b'BACK TO NAVIGATIONRENEWABLE ELECTRICITY AND CARBON OFFSETS Renewable energy in Australia is energy created from sources other than fossil fuels, including wind, hydro, solar and bio-energy. In 2019/20, renewable energy production comprised twenty-four percent of our annual electricity generation, and for the first time, wind overtook hydro as our leading energy source. Most energy retailers in Australia allow consumers to purchase some, or all of, their electricity as renewable energy (or sometimes called Greenpower). Purchase of renewable energy prevents the production of greenhouse gas emissions from electricity and reduces a firms overall carbon footprint.Another means of reducing carbon emissions from electricity and gas use, or business travel is by using carbon offsets. Carbon offsets are produced by organisations and projects around the world that mitigate carbon production (such as agriculture and forestry, building, and biogas projects). These projects often deliver a wide range of benefits, in addition to the capture of carbon, which support environmental biodiversity, as well as social and economic outcomes to the communities where the project is located. As a general principle however, organisations should not simply cleanse their conscience by purchasing renewable energy or carbon offsets. Carbon offsets should be a component of a broader program to reduce the gross greenhouse gas emissions energy and travel consumption before using offsets to balance what that are unable to otherwise control.2019 AusLSA Member PerformanceThis year almost one-quarter of our member firms reduced their net carbon emissions through the purchase of renewable electricity or carbon offsets, which was two more firms than last year. Six of our member firms purchased carbon offsets, one purchased renewable energy and two purchased a combination of both. The below graph shows how the majority of firms purchases are for carbon offsets rather than renewable energy. This is most likely because the costs of offsets are significantly lower per tonne of CO2e and there is an additional social and environmental value realised from their production which aligns with firms other priorities. Offsets purchase were 25 times higher than from renewable energy. (171,575 tonnes CO2e of offsets vs 6,854 tonnes CO2e for renewable energy). However, three firms this year made the largest investment in renewables since 2016. Greenpower purchases are an important market driver for the ongoing expansion of renewable electricity capacity in Australia.RENEWABLES AND OFFSETS All firms C0 -e 250,000Offsets Renewables 3,72440,000 632 40,5645721,165 761 35,094 36,615 Several of our member firms who have sought 30,000 30,115 NCOS accreditation or seek to be carbon 29,187 neutral often purchase a greater number of 20,000 carbon offsets than their gross total emissions detailed in this report. This is because, as part of NCOS accreditation, firms must include 10,000 carbon emissions from additional sources (such as hotel accommodation and travel 0 to and from work) which are not included in 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 AusLSAs reporting. 53'