Ocean ringed with fish

Climate Change

76%

Electricity we use from renewable sources

29%

Reduction in emissions intensity since 2008

46%

Reduction in absolute emissions since 2008

$1B

To be invested in climate-related projects

Our Approach to Climate Change

Hilltop wind farm

Strive for net zero emissions

Our ambition is to reach net zero emissions across our operations by 2050

Further reduce our carbon footprint

Our 2030 targets are to reduce our carbon intensity by a further 30% and our absolute emissions by a further 15%

Wave tunnel
Wild vegetation

Invest $1 billion in climate-related projects

Including R&D and projects to reduce emissions and enhance the resilience of our business

Build partnerships across our value chain

No company can adequately address the climate change challenge alone

Bridge over untroubled water
Cyclists ride beside beautiful city

Support climate advocacy

Carbon pricing through market mechanisms is the best way to accelerate innovation and achieve emissions reductions at least cost

Work with industry associations

Industry associations play an important role in constructive engagement on climate policy issues  

Land restoration, QMM
Scenic Pilbara landscape

Be transparent

We support the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and are enhancing our climate reporting

Our Climate Change Strategy

1. Producing materials essential for a low-carbon future

We supply the metals and minerals essential to human progress. Each of the commodities we produce has a role to play in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

2. Reducing the carbon footprint of our operations

Many of our operations are highly energy-intensive and some of our industrial processes also result in GHG emissions. We are taking steps to enhance productivity and efficiency, as well as exploring alternative sources of energy and developing innovative pathways to reduce emissions.

Our ambition is to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Our 2030 targets are to reduce our emissions intensity by 30% and our absolute emissions by 15% (or approximately 4.8mt CO2e).

3. Partnering to reduce the carbon footprint across our value chain

Climate change will only be solved through collective action by governments, business and consumers around the globe. We are working on innovative partnerships to stimulate action with customers and other partners across the value chain. We are also participating in industry forums and advocating policy positions to promote climate action in a responsible and sustainable way.

4. Enhancing our resilience to physical climate risks

We consider climate risks over the life of our operations, from the development of new projects through to closure and beyond. We have already experienced extreme weather events at many of our sites and are using scenarios to assess further medium- to long-term risks.

2019 Performance

  • Year in Review
  • Year in Numbers

Since 2008, we have reduced the absolute emissions from our managed operations by 46% (18% when excluding divestments) and have also reduced our emissions intensity by 29%. Today, 76% of the electricity we use at our managed operations is from renewable energy – globally, 26% of electricity production is sourced from renewable energy. As a result, most of our operations now have significantly lower carbon intensities than sector averages.

In 2020, we set a new ambition to reach net zero emissions by 2050.  Last year, we looked at our operations in detail to identify emission reduction opportunities and develop marginal abatement cost curves. This comprehensive work informed our 2030 targets: to reduce our emissions intensity by 30% and absolute emissions by 15% compared to our 2018 baseline (equity basis).  Our overall growth between now and 2030 will also be carbon neutral.

To help achieve these targets, we plan to invest approximately $1 billion over five years in climate-related projects. In 2019, at our Kennecott Copper Mine in Utah, in the US, we retired the original coal-fired power plant after 75 years of operation. Kennecott today buys 1.5 million megawatt hours of carbon-free, Green-e certified renewable energy certificates, mainly from Rocky Mountain Power's wind and solar resources.  And in early 2020, we announced a $98 million (A$144 million) investment to build a 34MW solar plant at our new Koodaideri iron ore mine in the Pilbara, alongside a lithium-ion battery energy storage system.

Climate change will only be successfully addressed through collective action by governments, business and consumers around the world. We are working on innovative partnerships to stimulate action with customers and other partners across our value chain. In September, we signed a memorandum of understanding 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.

Progress on climate change

  • 46% reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions from our managed operations since 2008 (18% when excluding divestments)
  • 29% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions intensity since 2008
  • Target to reduce our absolute greenhouse gas emissions 15% and our emissions intensity 30%, both by 2030
  • $1bn estimated spend on climate related projects over five years 
  • Ambition for our operations to be net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
  • Overall, carbon neutral growth between now and 2030

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Intensity

Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Sources of Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Partnering and Advocating for Policies that Advance Climate Goals

On the complex issue of climate change, we believe that significant progress towards a solution will only occur where there is broad engagement involving the breadth of experience and opinion from business, governments, investors, civil society organisations and consumers. We advocate for policy consistent with our public climate change position and the principles contained within it. We see global industry associations as important partners including in advocacy on key policy issues. Accordingly, where our membership is significant, we will work in partnership with those industry associations to ensure their advocacy is consistent with our own public position and the Paris Agreement.

Partnering to Reduce Carbon Emissions Across the Steel Value Chain

The steel industry accounts for 7-9% of the world’s carbon emissions, according to the World Steel Association.

In 2019, we partnered with China’s largest steel producer, China Baowu Steel Group, and Tsinghua University, one of China’s most prestigious and influential universities, to work on a joint action plan to explore ways to improve environmental performance across the steel value chain.

We will combine our strengths on everything from research and development, technologies, processes, equipment, logistics, industry coordination and policy advisory capacities to bring together solutions to help address the steel industry’s carbon footprint.