Rio Tinto and Tsinghua University extend partnership on resources, energy and sustainable development

23 November 2020

Rio Tinto has further strengthened its partnership with China’s Tsinghua University, signing a new partnership agreement and committing a further 30 million yuan ($4.5 million) over the next five years to support research projects of at the Tsinghua-Rio Tinto Joint Research Centre for Resources, Energy and Sustainable Development.

The partnership will continue to focus on sustainability issues, particularly those that support Rio Tinto’s 2050 net zero carbon emissions strategy and the company’s collaboration to reduce carbon emissions and improve environmental performance across the steel value chain as part of the separate Rio Tinto-China Baowu Steel Group-Tsinghua University Partnership.

Rio Tinto and Tsinghua University established the Joint Research Centre in 2012 to bring together leading experts from China and around the world to study, generate and share ideas and best practice for sustainable development. Over the last eight years, the partnership has delivered over 90 research papers on sustainability topics, with multiple policy recommendations submitted to the Chinese authorities.  

Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques and Vice Chairman of China’s National Experts Panel on Climate Change, Tsinghua University former executive vice president He Jiankun witnessed the signing of the agreement to extend the partnership at a ceremony today in Beijing.

Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said "The Tsinghua-Rio Tinto Joint Research Centre for Resources, Energy and Sustainable Development has already delivered great insight into the outlook of our largest market and our long-term strategic considerations for the transition to a low-carbon economy.” 

“Extending our strong partnership with Tsinghua University, as one of the leading institutions in China, underscores our commitment to be part of the solution to climate change.”

“With China’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2060, the research projects conducted by the Tsinghua-Rio Tinto Centre are likely to become even more relevant to achieving China’s long-term strategic goals.”

Tsinghua University vice president You Zheng said "We will strive to build the Joint Research Centre into one of the world's leading research institutions on energy, resources and sustainable development, and one of the most influential think tanks in China. We hope to continue to work with Rio Tinto to contribute to the sustainable development of humanity, leveraging our complementary advantages for mutual benefit and common development."

About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto produces materials that are essential to human progress. We have publicly acknowledged the reality of climate change for over two decades and have reduced our emissions footprint by over 30 per cent in the decade to 2020.
We have set ambitious emissions targets to reduce our carbon intensity by a further 30% and our absolute emissions by a further 15% by 2030, alongside establishing a $1 billion fund to invest in climate related projects.  These targets will bring us a step closer to achieving our long-term goal of becoming net zero emissions by 2050. 

In 2018, we completed the divestment of our coal assets, becoming the only major mining company not producing fossil fuels. In the same year, we also entered into the Elysis joint venture with Alcoa, with investments from the Government of Quebec and Apple, which is developing a revolutionary process to make aluminium that eliminates all direct greenhouse gas emissions from smelting.

In 2019, we entered into a partnership with China’s largest steel producer, China Baowu Steel Group and Tsinghua University to develop and implement new methods to reduce carbon emissions and improve environmental performance across the steel value chain. 

About Tsinghua University
Established in 1911, Tsinghua University is one of China’s most prestigious and influential universities. With the motto of “self-discipline and social commitment” and the spirit of “actions speak louder than words”. Tsinghua greatly values the interaction between Chinese and Western cultures, the science and humanities, the ancient and modern. Over the past century, more than 200,000 graduates from Tsinghua have become top talent in China and around the world. Tsinghua is committed to developing innovative solutions that will help solve pressing problems in China and the world, by setting its sight on the frontiers of science and technology that align with the country’s strategic objectives.

Category: General