Decarbonising our operations
We recognise that we have a major carbon footprint, significant Scope 1 and 2 emissions. And we know we must address this with urgency to be part of the solution.
In October 2021 we announced that we will accelerate actions to decarbonise our assets in the short term and aim for a 15% reduction in emissions by 2025 – five years faster than originally planned. We increased our 2030 target to a 50% reduction in our Scope 1 and 2 emissions. We remain committed to reaching net zero by 2050.
We estimate that we will invest approximately $7.5 billion in capital between 2022 and 2030 to deliver our decarbonisation strategy (approximately $1.5 billion over the period 2022 to 2024). There will also be incremental operating expenditure on building new capabilities, energy efficiency initiatives, and research and development of approximately $200 million per year to 2030.
Our 2021 scope 1 & 2 emissions
Our absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions in 2021 were 31.1Mt CO2e (2020: 31.5Mt CO2e), 4.3% below our 2018 equity emissions baseline. The reductions achieved since 2018 are primarily the result of switching to renewable electricity contracts at Kennecott in the US and the Escondida mine in Chile (managed by BHP; Rio Tinto owns 30%), and also relate to unplanned operational disruptions in 2021 at Richards Bay Minerals in South Africa and the Kitimat aluminium smelter in Canada.
- Develop renewable power in the Pilbara. The 34MW solar plant at Gudai-Darri and the 45MW battery system at Tom Price that we approved in 2020 are expected to come online in 2022. We are now targeting the rapid deployment of one gigawatt of wind and solar power. This will replace gas power and meet demand from our fixed plants and infrastructure, as well as support the early electrification and decarbonisation of our mobile fleet
- Work with state and federal governments, power companies and renewable developers to dramatically increase the availability of renewables in eastern Australia, and aim to develop green repowering solutions for the Boyne Island and Tomago smelters
- Advance the projects in our Marginal Abatement Cost Curve such as the deployment of zero-emission trucks and the use of hydrogen at our alumina refineries
- Use a $75/t CO2e internal carbon price to incentivise energy efficiency investments and identify new mitigation projects
- Scale up the ELYSISTM technology with the goal to have it available for installation from 2024. Construction of the first commercial-scale prototype cells of the inert anode technology has begun at our Alma smelter in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec
Total equity greenhouse gas emissions (million tCO2e)
Equity greenhouse gas emissions by product group (million tCO2e)
Equity greenhouse gas emissions by location (million tCO2e)
Sources of total equity greenhouse gas emissions (percentage)