JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Decarbonisation, net positive biodiversity, and progress towards assuring all operations against recognised responsible mining standards are addressed in Anglo American’s twice-yearly sustainability performance update, which was presented on Monday.
Recognising that many of the metals and minerals the London- and Johannesburg-listed company produces are critical to the technologies required to decarbonise the world’s energy and transport systems, its commitment to being part of the solution to climate change begins in its own business by meeting emissions reduction and carbon neutrality goals. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video.)
“There is growing awareness of the centrality of mining to enabling the energy transition and the contribution we can make to a more sustainable future,” Anglo CE Duncan Wanblad stated in a release to Mining Weekly.
“All the while, we know we also have a role to play to support host countries and communities in terms of skills, jobs and new fields of economic opportunity that are emerging. This transition must include all of society – it must be ‘just’,” said Wanblad.
As a further commitment to its holistic set of sustainability ambitions, Anglo has put in place its Sustainability Financing Framework in recent months, linking certain of its funding requirements to the stretching sustainability objectives it has set for the business.
“Within that framework we issued our first sustainability-linked bond, including performance targets to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions and freshwater abstraction, and to support job creation in host communities – a first of its kind for the mining sector,” he said.
In 1918, Anglo set a target to reduce GHG emissions by 30% by 2030, on its pathway to achieving carbon neutrality across operations by 2040.
"On-site energy requirements are the largest source of our operational emissions and the company is progressing towards their abatement."
By 2023, all its South America operations will have 100% renewable electricity supply and, for Southern Africa, it has partnered with EDF Renewables to develop 3 GW to 5 GW of clean generation capacity. This is expected to meet Anglo's operational power requirements and support the resilience of local electricity supply systems.
The company has also set an ambition to reduce Scope 3 emissions by 50% by 2040, including by forming a number of partnerships with major steel customers to work together to unlock clean steelmaking technologies.
Anglo’s sustainable mining plan commits it to achieving a net positive impact on biodiversity across managed operations.
Completed baseline assessments define significant biodiversity features to protect and further restore, including key habitats and species and important ecosystems.
Investments are being made into innovative technologies and nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change impacts and water scarcity, and to nurture wildlife habitats, with biodiversity management plans for each site being integrated into life of asset plans.
The company has been engaging to develop responsible mining standards since 2005. Its sustainable mining plan embraces responsible mining standards for all sites by 2025 and meeting that goal is described as being on track.
It is increasingly finding that its most important customers are those whose values and aspirations align with its own, with value not only attributed to the physical characteristics of the products sold, but also to the ethical approach and commitments of those who produce them.
“The world we are living in is changing in so many ways, not least in society’s expectations of businesses across many industries.
“We have set up Anglo American to be resilient, disciplined, opportunistic – and responsible. We have the people, the assets and the capabilities to deliver sustainable returns over the long term. It is incumbent on us to deliver the metals and minerals the world so urgently needs in the cleanest and most socially responsible way possible,” added Wanblad.