Coates unveils sustainability strategy

Towards sustainability, the smart way. Coates commits to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.  Underpinned by the circular economy concept, Coates’ sustainability framework is based on five key pillars: People, Communities, Resilience, Eco-efficiency and Greener Choices.

Coates, Australia’s leading equipment hire and solutions provider, has unveiled its first sustainability strategy and has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2040, with mid-term targets of a 30 per cent emissions reduction on 2020 levels by 2026 and a 50 per cent reduction by 2030.

The net-zero target is aligned with parent company Seven Group Holdings which unveiled its sustainability report earlier this month.

SGH and Coates will, in future, report on sustainability efforts under the globally accepted GRI framework and make climate-related disclosures in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures’ recommendations.

“We have a vital role to play in Australia’s drive towards net zero emissions and our first sustainability plan recognises that sustainability is a key aspect of our current and future business success,” said Coates chief executive officer Murray Vitlich.

“Through this important work, we aspire to strengthen the resilience of our people, our customers and our planet by playing our part in the circular economy.”

Coates’ sustainability framework is underpinned by the circular economy concept that is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use and regenerating natural systems.

This approach aims for business growth as well as positive, society-wide benefits. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural, and social capital.

A roadmap to sustainability

Coates’ sustainability framework is based on five key pillars:

  • Its People: To provide Coates employees with a safe and inclusive workplace, inspire its people to make a positive difference and promote its sustainability profile to attract and retain diverse talent.
  • Its Communities: To provide assistance when the community needs it, enhance social licence to operate and leave positive legacies wherever Coates operates.
  • Resilience: To become a trusted brand in natural disaster management and recovery, enable resilience within its business and help customers build resilience through equipment, services and partnerships.
  • Eco-efficiency: To reduce waste sent to landfill, enhance energy efficiency and maximise use of renewable energy, and enhance water management through efficiency and recycling.
  • Greener Choices: To provide its customers with more sustainable equipment solutions, establish circular systems plans for all major products, and leverage IoT/telemetry to reduce carbon footprints.

“As a responsible organisation we must proactively respond to global and industry trends that are impacting us all today, and into the future,” Vitlich said.

“Through driving eco-efficiency and resilience in our business and equipment solutions, we will contribute to a sustainable economy that keeps products and materials in use, designs out waste and pollution and helps regenerate the natural environment.”

In line with these pillars, Coates has begun or will undertake the following projects:

  • Implementing an LED lighting program that will be rolled out across the Coates branch network during the next 12 months. LED lighting is more energy efficient and longer lasting.
  • In 2022, the company plans to install solar panels on a number of its sites as the first step to a broader solar rollout over the next five years, while also investigating several opportunities to reduce water usage and minimise waste to landfill across its branches.
  • In 2022, Coates has progressed its electric and hybrid vehicle roadmap and is establishing minimum standards for energy efficiency for new buildings.
  • Coates is establishing circular systems plans for all major product categories. Working across three phases – ‘Design and manufacture’, ‘Use’ and ‘End of life’, these plans will guide the company in pursuing sustainability outcomes across its equipment portfolio at each stage of the equipment’s development and use – including working with its supply chain to reduce energy use and emissions optimise materials efficiency and reduce waste through improved design for disassembly and recycling.

In addition, the company recently announced that customers can now use blended Biodiesel up to B7 in all Coates’ diesel engine-powered plant and equipment. Biodiesel has proven its sustainability, reliability and efficiency in recent years while producing significantly less emissions than standard diesel fuel.

The company is also soon launching the following initiatives and programs:

  • The Coates Foundation will be launched in November this year to provide a framework for its philanthropic work and structure around how Coates gives back to the communities in which it operates.
  • A sustainability training program will also launch in November and is designed to engage and educate employees on Coates’ sustainability strategy and their role in it.
  • Coates’ ‘Innovate’ Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) will launch in February, to build on the success and initiatives delivered in its ‘Reflect’ RAP launched last year.
  • A workplace engagement program will encourage employees to participate in workplace recycling across the company’s office and branch network will launch in March 2022. The program will be designed to help Coates become more sustainable, as well as educate employees on a range of sustainability topics and their role in reducing office waste and adopting energy efficient processes.
  • The Coates ‘Greener Choices’ catalogue will be available to customers in 2022, to provide customers with more sustainable choices for their equipment and solutions.

“At Coates, we are leveraging what we already do well and stretching into new areas of focus. Our road to net zero will be paved with more initiatives as the years progress,” said Vitlich.

“We believe our plans for the next 12 months will build a strong foundation for our company to continue our journey towards sustainability, the smart way.”


About Coates

Coates, part of Seven Group Holdings (ASX: SGH), is Australia’s leading equipment hire and solutions provider, operating across a range of markets including engineering, mining and resources, infrastructure, manufacturing, construction, agriculture and major events.  

 Coates has recently celebrated 136 years of commitment to supporting their customers who help build Australia. With a national footprint of over 150 branches, more than one million pieces of equipment and 2,000 highly skilled employees, Coates provides expert equipment solutions for nearly 19,000 customers. This includes end-to-end solutions for temporary works, traffic management, water management, industrial shutdowns, maintenance, training services and events.

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