Weipa operations, Australia

Industry association disclosure

Industry associations have an important role to play in the policy development process, the sharing of best practice and the development of standards. Industry associations provide us with a leadership opportunity, allowing us to better understand a range of external views and contribute our perspectives and experiences in support of a coordinated approach which benefits business, the economy and society.

We recognise there is increasing stakeholder interest in industry associations and the role they play in policy advocacy.

Each industry association is different. Some focus on a thematic mandate and promote best practice in a given domain; while others gather a broader set of companies and represent a sector’s interest to government, policy makers and other stakeholders. Our participation across different industry associations will also vary, with more active engagement in associations on issues where we can benefit, influence and add value.

Our work with industry associations

Industry Association Disclosure 2022
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2023 principles for industry association advocacy

Our positions on climate change policy were updated as part of the 2022 Climate Change Report. These provide a common architecture for the positions we take with all of our stakeholders including governments, investors, civil society and industry associations.

We have updated our principles for industry association advocacy to align with our new positions on climate change policy. In summary, we expect policy positions and advocacy by our industry associations to satisfy all of the following:

  • Accept mainstream climate science and advance the Paris Agreement’s central aims
  • Support governments as they raise the ambition of their Nationally Determined Contributions
  • Support market mechanisms such as carbon pricing. The purpose of these market mechanisms should be to stimulate innovation and cost-effective emissions reductions and minimise competitive distortions within and across sectors and jurisdictions
  • Support policy tools other than carbon pricing to tackle emissions reductions and simultaneously achieve objectives related to industrial policy
  • Recognise the valuable contribution that renewable energy sources make in reducing emissions and not undermine the role renewables have in the energy mix
  • Ensure that any positions on and advocacy of the use of thermal coal do not support subsidies and note that it will require advanced technology, and, in the medium to long term, must be consistent with the Paris targets

How we measure alignment against these principles

In February 2024 we will release our annual disclosure measuring the advocacy of our associations against these principles. Download our more detailed breakdown of how we measure alignment against these principles.

2023 Principles for Industry Association Advocacy
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The value of industry association membership

We join industry associations where membership provides value to our business, investors and other stakeholders.

The value of membership and the scope of services provided to members of industry associations varies by industry association for each and may include:

  • opportunities to understand a range of views on issues affecting the industry
  • opportunities for us to contribute our perspectives and experiences in support of efficient and effective policy
  • opportunities to share best practices, technical insights and research on safety, health and the environment
  • opportunities to contribute to the development of industry standards
  • cost-sharing among members for the development of technical expertise
  • education and professional development opportunities
  • opportunities to open new markets, improve the operating environment for our assets or create new opportunities for our products that add value for shareholders
  • engagement with employees or customers across the industry

Positions taken by industry associations on a given topic will consider a range of members’ views, and the nuance and emphasis of an industry association’s position may differ from ours. Diverse and differing views should be heard in order to support rich and full debate, reach compromises where appropriate, and make progress on solutions to complex issues. We encourage industry associations to engage broadly with other stakeholders (such as investors and non-government organisations). We expect our industry associations to employ best practice in their political engagement.

In our engagement with industry associations and more broadly, we do not favour any political party, group or individual.

We operate on a politically neutral basis. No political donations are made by the Group. However, in accordance with the United States Federal Election Campaign Act, US employees formed a Political Action Committee (PAC) in 1990 to facilitate bipartisan voluntary political contributions. The PAC operates in compliance with federal and state campaign finance laws.

This content is approved by our Board. Responsibility for the application of this document to individual association membership is delegated to management on a ‘comply or explain’ basis.

Monitoring of industry association memberships

Recognising that industry associations’ views will not always be the same as ours, we periodically review our memberships in individual industry associations. This assessment may include:

  • the purpose of the association and the value that the membership may provide to Rio Tinto and its investors;
  • appropriate governance structures within the industry association; and
  • activities and positions of advocacy of the industry association.

Where significant differences in policy positions arise, we may:

  • provide greater clarity on our own policy positions, such as company submissions on policy issues and/or direct engagement with policy makers;
  • work as part of that industry association to understand alternative points of view and to seek common ground that enables progress to be made;
  • seek a leadership position in the governance body of that industry association to further influence the policies and perspectives of that association; and/or
  • ultimately, and if formal dialogue processes appear incapable of resolving such differences in positions after 12 months, decide whether to suspend our membership. Such a decision will take into account other benefits, unrelated to climate change, that membership of such associations brings to our business, our investors and other stakeholders.

Industry association fees

Membership fees payable to industry associations are often based on either production volumes or revenue, and in some cases are subject to a cap. Generally, the annual subscription fee payable is an aggregate amount – that is, no part of the annual fee is earmarked for any particular purpose or activity. On some occasions, we pay charges in addition to membership fees to industry associations, these are typically for one-off projects or exceptional undertakings.

Our top five industry association memberships by fees are detailed in the table below.

  • Top Five Association Memberships by Fees

    Rio Tinto’s top five industry association memberships by fees for 2022

    Industry association

    Jurisdiction

    Rationale for membership

    Fee paid ($US)

    Minerals Council of Australia (MCA)

    Australia

    The MCA represents Australia’s exploration, mining and minerals processing industry nationally and internationally. They advocate for an industry that is sustainable, profitable and competitive while also contributing to sustainable development and society.

    $1,965,000

    International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM)

    International

    ICMM is dedicated to a safe, fair and sustainable mining and metals industry. It serves as a catalyst for change, enhancing mining's contribution to society.

    $1,123,000

    Natural Diamond Council (NDC)

    International

    The NDC’s purpose is to protect and promote the integrity and reputation of diamonds, thereby ensuring the sustainability of the diamond industry.

    $1,080,000

    Aluminium Association of Canada (AAC)

    Canada The AAC represents the Canadian primary aluminium industry and strives to ensure that the Canadian primary aluminium industry is considered a world-class model of sustainable prosperity.

    $716,000

    US National Mining Association (NMA)

    US

    The NMA is a leading voice of the US mining industry and represents all mining sectors.

    $626,000

Areas of interest

In addition to the information above on our memberships of industry associations in general, we provide particular information in relation to our membership of industry associations and climate and energy policy.

Climate and energy1

Climate change presents a significant challenge for the world and for Rio Tinto. Read more about our approach to climate change.

Significant progress towards a solution to climate change will only occur where there is broad engagement involving the breadth of experience and opinion from business, governments, investors, civil society organisations and consumers. Government policy that creates the right framework for change is critical, coupled with real business action and societal shifts. Collaboration across countries, industries and society is key to achieving the systemic change needed to meet climate challenges.

Our approach to climate change therefore requires active engagement on climate and energy policy with governments, industry associations, investors and civil society in the countries where we operate.

With our industry associations, we expect any positions and advocacy to be accepting of mainstream climate-science. We encourage our industry associations to challenge themselves to raise their climate ambition and consider how they can advocate for the emissions cuts required to meet the goals in the Paris Agreement. We do not support advocacy for policies that undermine the Paris Agreement or discount Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

We expect our industry associations to align with us on the journey to achieve the goals in the Paris Agreement.


[1] This information supplements information provided in our Climate Change Report and in our annual CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) submissions on industry associations that take positions on climate change and energy.

Significant differences in policy positions and advocacy

We list all our major industry associations important to our policy advocacy approach and that take positions on climate and energy issues in the table below.

  • Industry association list

    List of industry associations that take positions on climate change and energy

    Legend

     

    Stated policy positions and advocacy are on balance aligned with Rio Tinto climate and energy policy 

     

    Stated policy positions and advocacy are on balance partially aligned with Rio Tinto climate and energy policy 

     

    Stated policy positions and advocacy are on balance not aligned with Rio Tinto climate and energy policy 

     

     

    Industry Association

    Jurisdiction

    Rationale for membership

    Engagement

     

    Australian Aluminium Council (AAC)

    Australia

    The AAC represents the aluminium industry in Australia. It acts as a focal point for the industry on key national issues such as climate change, energy, trade, health and the environment.

    Our Aluminium business is one of the major participants in this organisation, and a Rio Tinto representative is a member of the board.

     

    Australian Industry Greenhouse Network (AIGN)

    Australia

    The AIGN is a network of industry associations and individual businesses that contribute to the climate change policy debate. Through joint industry action, they seek to promote sustainable industry development.

    Rio Tinto participates in the monthly AIGN meetings.

     

    Business Council of Australia (BCA)

    Australia

    The BCA provides a forum for the chief executives of Australia’s largest companies to promote economic growth and social progress. Rio Tinto is a member company of as well as a participant in a number of working groups and committees. We actively participate in the energy and climate change working party.
     

    Clean Energy Council (CEC)

    Australia

    CEC represents Australia's clean energy sector and works with industry and government to build a competitive and sustainable market to help accelerate the transformation of Australia’s energy system to one that is smarter and cleaner. Rio Tinto is a corporate member.
     

    Maritime Industry Australia Limited (MIAL)

    Australia

    MIAL is an industry and employer association that represents the collective interests of maritime businesses, primarily those operating maritime assets or facilities from Australia. Rio Tinto is a member and has worked with MIAL for advocacy and consultation on matters relating to maritime/shipping issues.
     

    Minerals Council of Australia (MCA)

    Australia

    The MCA represents Australia’s exploration, mining and minerals processing industry nationally and internationally including its contribution to sustainable development and society. 

    A Rio Tinto representative is a member of the board. We actively participate in the energy and climate change standing committee and continue to be engaged with the MCA’s climate and energy position. 

     

    Chamber of Minerals & Energy of WA (CMEWA)

    Australia (Western Australia)

    CMEWA represents members across mining, oil and gas and resources sector services. They support an innovative and competitive Western Australian resources sector, which delivers value to the community and strengthens sector practices.

    Rio Tinto has a position on the Advisory Board and Executive Council. Rio Tinto also has membership of various committees, working groups and reference groups, such as the climate policy and energy efficiency reference group.

     

    Aluminium Association of Canada (AAC)

    Canada

    The AAC represents the Canadian primary aluminium industry, and strives to ensure that the Canadian primary aluminium industry is considered a world-class model of sustainable prosperity.

    A Rio Tinto representative is a member of the board and Rio Tinto is one of three major members of the association.

     

    Business Council of Canada (BCC)

    Canada

    The BCC represents Canada’s leading enterprises and brings business leaders together to shape public policy in the interests of a stronger Canada and a better world.

    Rio Tinto is a member of the BCC.

     

    Canadian American Business Council (CABC)

    Canada

    The CABC is an issues-oriented organisation dedicated to elevating the private sector perspective on issues that affect Canada and the US. Activities include high-level briefings on issues of current concern, assistance with practical trade and policy challenges, significant networking opportunities, and seminars.

    A Rio Tinto representative is a member of the board.

     

    Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC)

    Canada

    The CCC is a broad-based business association that advocates for public policies that will foster a strong, competitive economic environment that benefits businesses, communities and families across Canada.

    A Rio Tinto representative is a member of the board.

      Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) Canada The CEA represents electricity utilities and private companies that provide products and services to the electricity sector across Canada. They act as the national voice for sustainable electricity for their members and the customers they serve as the country works towards a Net Zero by 2050 future. A Rio Tinto representative is a member of the board of directors as well as the Generation and Transmission councils.
      Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA) Canada CSPA is the national voice of Canada’s steel industry. It is committed to fostering a strong and sustainable future for Canada’s vital steel producers. Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium (RTIT) Quebec Operations is a member of the board of CSPA.
      Mining Association of Canada (MAC) Canada MAC represents the Canadian mining industry in promoting the industry, working with governments on policies affecting the sector, and educating the public on the value mining brings to the economy. A Rio Tinto representative is a member of the board, as well as a member of the executive committee of MAC.
      The Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC) Canada (British Columbia) BCBC is a collaborative, non-partisan organisation that produces public-policy research and advice on issues to enhance British Columbia’s competitiveness and prosperity. Rio Tinto is a member of BCBC.
      Association Minière du Québec (AMQ) Canada (Quebec) AMQ represents mining companies producing metals and minerals and their constituent mines, metallurgy companies, mining contractors and junior mining companies established in Quebec. They promote the interests of the mining industry, while respecting people and the environment. A Rio Tinto representative is a member of the board.
      Association Québécoise des Consommateurs Industriels d'Électricité (AQCIE) Canada (Quebec) AQCIE represents the largest consumers of electricity for industrial purposes, including agrifood, aluminium, petrochemicals, pulp and paper, primary metal processing, chemicals and non-metallic mineral products. A Rio Tinto representative is a member of the board.
      Conseil du patronat du Québec Inc. (CPQ) Canada (Quebec) The CPQ represents a broad-based group of Quebec employers. It works with public authorities, the economic community and the general public to promote a business environment conducive to prosperity and sustainable and responsible economic development. Rio Tinto participates in committees.
      Conseil Patronal de l’Environnement du Québec (CPEQ) Canada (Quebec) CPEQ represents Quebec companies on issues related to the environment and sustainable development. Rio Tinto is a member of CPEQ.
      Manufacturiers et Exportateurs du Québec (MEQ) / Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) Canada (Quebec) The MEQ/CME represents the interests of Canadian manufacturers and exporters. Its focus is to enhance productivity, trade and export, energy and environment, leadership development, safety and more for its partnership members. A Rio Tinto representative is a member of the board.
      Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ) Canada (Quebec) The FCCQ represents more than 50,000 companies operating in all sectors of the economy and throughout Quebec. It seeks to foster an innovative and competitive business environment. A Rio Tinto representative is a member of the board.
      Consejo Minero Chile The Mining Council is the trade association that brings together the 18 largest mining companies in Chile, to promote the competitive and sustainable development of the mining sector and its environment. A Rio Tinto representative is a member of the board and Rio Tinto participates in subcommittees, including on energy and climate change.
      Eurometaux EU Eurometaux represents the interests of the combined non-ferrous metals industry to EU policy makers. It aims to promote sustainable production, use and recycling of non-ferrous metals in Europe, and a supportive business environment for members. Rio Tinto is a member of the champion energy and climate change committee.
      European Aluminium Association EU The European Aluminium Association is an industry association in Brussels representing more than 80 member companies and advocating at the EU level for the European aluminium value chain. Rio Tinto Aluminium co-chairs the innovation task force.
      European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT) EU The ERT is a membership body for large European companies’ CEOs. It covers trade, energy, climate change and EU competition law. Rio Tinto’s Chief Executive is a direct member of the ERT.
      Business NZ New Zealand Business NZ is New Zealand's largest advocacy group for business. Rio Tinto is a member of the major companies group and the Business NZ Energy Council.
      Major Electricity Users’ Group (MEUG) New Zealand MEUG's purpose is to help members’ management of electricity costs and risks, achieving outcomes consistent with competitive markets for the long-term benefit of electricity consumers. A Rio Tinto representative is deputy chair at monthly meetings.
      Minerals Council South Africa (MinCoSA)1 South Africa MinCoSA acts as a principal advocate for mining in South Africa to government, communicating major policies endorsed by its members. It seeks to create a conducive policy, legislative and operating environment that facilitates doubling real investment in mining by 2030. A Rio Tinto representative is a member of the board. Work is underway at MinCoSA to develop a new climate change position paper. Rio Tinto is actively engaged in the development of the paper.
      International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) UK The ICC represents more than 45 million companies in over 100 countries. They promote international trade, responsible business conduct and a global approach to regulation, in addition to providing market-leading dispute resolution services. Rio Tinto is a corporate member.
      Aluminium Association (AA) US The AA is committed to advancing aluminium as the sustainable metal of choice around the world. It provides global standards, industry statistics and expert knowledge to member companies and policy makers nationwide and is highly engaged in public policy and technical forums. A Rio Tinto Aluminium representative serves on the board and company representatives serve on various advocacy and policy committees.
      US Chamber of Commerce (USCC) US The USCC represents the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions. Rio Tinto is a member of the USCC’s energy and climate change committee.
      US National Mining Association (NMA)

    US

    The NMA is a leading voice of the US mining industry and represents all mining sectors.

    Rio Tinto has a position on the NMA board and is a member of the environmental, social and corporate governance task force.
     

    Energy Transitions Commission (ETC)

     International

    ETC aims to accelerate change towards low-carbon energy systems that enable robust economic development and limit the rise in global temperature to well below 2°C. Rio Tinto’s Head of Strategy & Investor Relations is Commissioner at the ETC.
     

    International Aluminium Institute (IAI)

    International

    The IAI represents the global primary aluminium industry. It promotes responsible production and sustainable applications and recycling of aluminium.

    An RTA representative is a member of the board. A company representative chairs one of the main committees, and representatives are active participants in several working groups.

     

    International Copper Association

    International

    The International Copper Association represent the global copper industry. They seek to develop copper markets while making a positive contribution to the UN Sustainable Development goals.

    A Rio Tinto representative is a member of the executive committee. Rio Tinto representatives are active participants in several working groups.

     

    International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM)

    International

    ICMM is dedicated to a safe, fair and sustainable mining and metals industry. It serves as a catalyst for change, enhancing mining's contribution to society.

    Rio Tinto's Chief Executive is a member of the ICMM Council. We are an active participant in the climate change and energy working group.

     

    International Emissions Trading Association (IETA)

    International

    IETA’s mission is to empower business to engage in climate action, advancing the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement as informed by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change science, and establish effective market-based trading systems for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removal that are environmentally robust, fair, open, efficient, accountable and consistent across national boundaries.

    A Rio Tinto representative is a member of IETA’s Council. Rio Tinto representatives are active participants in several working groups.

     

    Natural Diamond Council

    International

    The NDC’s purpose is to protect and promote the integrity and reputation of diamonds, thereby ensuring the sustainability of the diamond industry.

    Rio Tinto has a position on the NDC Board.

    1. MinCoSA is committed to the implementation of carbon markets but have raised concerns about the design of proposals for a carbon tax from the South African Government. These proposals are viewed as an attempt to generate revenue rather than a measure to transition the South African economy to a low-carbon trajectory. Rio Tinto met with MinCoSA to discuss their concerns. MinCoSA’s concerns about the design of the carbon tax are shared by Rio Tinto and do not constitute opposition to the implementation of a carbon tax itself.

We also provide further information on any of those industry associations whose positions and advocacy on climate and energy policy significantly differ from Rio Tinto’s climate and energy elements below.

  • Further information

    Industry associations whose positions on and advocacy of climate change and energy policy are not aligned or partially aligned with Rio Tinto’s climate and energy policy

    NOT ALIGNED

    National Mining Association (US)

    The National Mining Association (NMA) advocates for national and international mining interests in the US. Although there are many areas of agreement on issues such as mining law reform, safety and public land management, and the Resolution Copper project, there is a significant departure on climate and energy policy positions between the NMA and Rio Tinto. Rio Tinto has a position on the board, but does not sit on the Executive Committee.

    The NMA has been valuable in addressing COVID-19-related issues, Mining Law reform, public land issues, and some issues regarding Resolution Copper. However, challenges remain around NMA’s climate change position and alignment with Rio Tinto’s stated climate goals.

    Rio Tinto has communicated our company’s position on the need to address climate change and recommended that NMA align with us. Rio Tinto further advocated for the NMA to create an environmental, social and governance (ESG) task force which will guide the NMA’s future positioning on these matters. While the NMA adopted ESG policy positions, with our company being a leading proponent, NMA needs to recognise the views of all of its members, some of whom continue to challenge references to the Paris Agreement. Moreover, the NMA continues to support incentives for thermal coal to maintain base load generation, price and grid stability. Rio Tinto will continue working towards better alignment of NMA policy with Rio Tinto policy and will review our membership on an annual basis.

    Issue Association position/advocacy Rio Tinto’s policy element Action taken

    Paris Agreement

    The NMA does not support the Paris Agreement on the grounds that it believes that it would have damaging effects on the US economy.  

    Advance the Paris Agreement goals to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

    Rio Tinto will continue working towards better alignment of NMA policy with Rio Tinto policy and will review our membership on an annual basis.

    Market Mechanisms

    The NMA's advocacy and policy are unsupportive of a carbon tax; however, the NMA is committed to reasonable solutions to reduce the global climate challenge. The mining industry continues to proactively undertake efforts to protect the environment, including measuring and reducing its carbon footprint through continual investment in and implementation of technology solutions, energy conservation and efficiency programs.

    Support market mechanisms, including carbon pricing, that stimulate innovation and cost-effective emissions reductions and minimise competitive distortions within and across sectors and jurisdictions.

    Rio Tinto will continue working towards better alignment of NMA policy with Rio Tinto policy and will review our membership on an annual basis.

    Positions and advocacy on the use of coal

    The NMA supports incentives for thermal coal to maintain base load generation, price and grid stability. 

    Ensure that any positions on and advocacy of the use of coal do not support subsidies and note that it will require advanced technology, and, in the medium to long term, must be consistent with Paris Agreement targets.

    Rio Tinto will continue working towards better alignment of NMA policy with Rio Tinto policy and will review our membership on an annual basis.

    PARTIALLY ALIGNED

    US Chamber of Commerce (US)

    The US Chamber of Commerce (USCC) represents the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions. Rio Tinto is a member of the Chamber’s energy and climate change committee. The USCC has been valuable regarding protecting Resolution Copper’s licence to operate, and geopolitical supply chain issues around China and Southeast Asia.

    The Chamber previously had significant policy differences to us, but following engagement they subsequently adjusted their position.

    The Chamber welcomed the Biden Administration’s decision to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and its advocacy for the US to take a leadership stance in the Paris talks to facilitate meaningful global progress and to maintain and enhance the competitiveness of US business in a global market. Further, the Chamber supports reducing emissions at the pace of innovation.

    The USCC is ranked as partially aligned as some advocacy regarding coal continues to be inconsistent with the Paris Agreement targets.

    We will continue to engage with the USCC to ensure that any positions on and advocacy of the use of coal do not support subsidies and note that it will require advanced technology, and, in the medium to long term, must be consistent with Paris Agreement targets.

    Issue Association position/advocacy Rio Tinto’s policy element Action taken

    Positions and advocacy on the use of coal

    The USCC has made statements that coal will be an important part of the energy mix into the future, when used cleanly and responsibly, but does not explicitly state the requirement for advanced technology.

    Ensure that any positions on and advocacy of the use of coal do not support subsidies and note that it will require advanced technology, and, in the medium to long term, must be consistent with Paris Agreement targets. Rio Tinto is a member of the USCC’s energy and climate change committee. The Chamber previously had significant policy differences to us, as detailed in our previous disclosures. We communicated and engaged with USCC on their climate change position along with other companies, and the association has subsequently adjusted its position to reflect better alignment with our company. The USCC now supports US participation in the Paris Agreement, acknowledges that humans contribute to climate change, and calls for action to address the challenge through market-based climate schemes. This is aligned with principles 1-6. We will continue to engage with a view to ensure that the USCC is fully aligned with Rio Tinto’s climate change and energy policy related to advocacy of coal.

Policy and advocacy alignment

In accordance with the provisions governing the monitoring of our industry association memberships, we may decide to suspend our support and membership of industry associations if an industry association’s policy positions or advocacy differ significantly from Rio Tinto’s climate and energy policy and such differences appear incapable of being resolved.

Such a decision will take into account other benefits, unrelated to climate change, that membership of such associations brings to Rio Tinto, its investors and other stakeholders.

Please note the above text represents a consolidation of previous reports. For completeness, these can be viewed through the links below:

Sustainability cover image

Climate change report

The low-carbon transition is at the heart of our business strategy
Hydropower facility

Sustainability reporting

We have a responsibility to extract the full value from the minerals and materials we produce in the safest and most sustainable way possible

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