WOODSIDE'S commitment to a lower-carbon footprint has led to an agreement with Greening Australia to source and lease portions of farmland in Western Australia for integrated native tree planting projects.
In the first year of the new initiative, Woodside and Greening Australia will target up to 7500 hectares within areas of the Wheatbelt and South West regions, including Brookton, Cranbrook, Mingenew, Moora and Katanning.
Woodside confirmed that, at this stage, it would only be sourcing lease land for a 25-year term, not land to purchase.
The land will be used for environmental planting, a method of capturing carbon by planting a biodiverse mix of native trees.
The companies plan to work collaboratively with landowners, with the native tree planting projects designed to improve biodiversity, reverse land degradation, increase farm profitability, build capacity for jobs in regional communities and support indigenous enterprises.
The agreement is a continuation of the relationship between the two companies, which commenced in 2019, which saw 3000ha being planted in 2020 and 2021 on Woodside's three properties: Cowcher, near Pingrup; Sukey Hill, Cranbrook; and Manalling Springs, Badgingarra.
Woodside chief executive officer Meg O'Neill said the agreement was a further demonstration of Woodside's commitment to a lower-carbon future.
"This builds on our existing partnership with Greening Australia and we look forward to these projects generating quality carbon offsets," Ms O'Neill said.
"Not only will the new projects be an important part of Woodside's expanding carbon offset portfolio, they will deliver value to regional Western Australia in the form of new jobs and opportunities, particularly for local indigenous enterprises."
Greening Australia chief executive officer Brendan Foran said the partnership had the capability to restore the WA landscape at scale.
"Our planting projects support biodiversity, enhance productivity for degraded farming systems, and sequester carbon, whilst also supporting local communities," Mr Foran said.
"As part of this new initiative, our spatial modelling has identified priority landscapes where there is the greatest potential to sequester carbon and return life to landscapes for combined environmental, economic and community benefits."
In May 2021, Greening Australia announced it was looking to acquire leasehold and freehold land across Australia, totalling 330,000ha.
Mr Foran said all of its partnerships and projects, including this latest agreement with Woodside, contribute to Greening Australia's target of restoring 330,000ha by 2030.
"We can't do it alone, so we're engaging strategic partners and thousands of landholders to help us achieve this critical goal, creating positive outcomes for the environment, the economy and local communities," he said.
Woodside said its carbon offset portfolio would play an important role in meeting its corporate targets to reduce net equity scope 1 and 2 emissions by 15 per cent by 2025 and 30pc by 2030, below a baseline of average annual emissions from 2016 to 2020.