Home » ICMM Sets Targets for Mining Industry’s Scope 3 Emissions Reduction

ICMM Sets Targets for Mining Industry’s Scope 3 Emissions Reduction

ICMM Publishes Guidance for Mining Companies on Scope 3 Emission Reductions

by Adenike Adeodun

The International Council for Mining and Metals (ICMM) has recently published new guidance urging mining and metals companies to reduce Scope 3 emissions. Released on Wednesday, this tool aims to assist companies in engaging with various stakeholders, including the financial sector, investors, regulators, suppliers, and customers. Scope 3 emissions, often comprising up to 95% of a company’s total emissions for some commodities, are now a focal point for the industry.

The guidance enables companies to set short-, medium-, and long-term targets for reducing Scope 3 emissions, which occur throughout a company’s value chain. This includes emissions from both upstream manufacturing of products bought from suppliers and downstream from customers repurposing a company’s materials.

Highlighting the importance of transparency and engagement, the guidance emphasizes collaboration with suppliers, customers, investors, and regulators in target-setting. This approach is expected to accelerate emissions reduction across the value chain.

Drawing principles from various regulatory frameworks, including those in Europe, America, Britain, Canada, Australia, and the United Nations’ high-level expert group, the guidance tailors its recommendations to the unique considerations of the mining and metals sector. It provides a sector-specific context for commonly used approaches, allowing flexibility in methodology adoption.

The framework also encourages companies to evolve their targets as their capabilities mature, covering aspects like accounting and reporting, emissions hotspot identification, business integration, decarbonisation pathway assessment, and organisational governance.

ICMM CEO Rohitesh Dhawan, in a statement to Mining Weekly, emphasized the sector’s responsibility in global emissions reduction. “As discussions at COP28 have highlighted, each sector must understand its part in the broader system and work beyond immediate boundaries to find solutions to stubborn emissions sources,” Dhawan said.

Recognizing the essential role of metals and minerals in industries ranging from renewable energy and sustainable transport to construction and technology, ICMM has called on all mining and metals companies to set their own Scope 3 emissions reduction targets.

According to a report by Mining Weekly, Iván Arriagada, CEO of Antofagasta and chair of ICMM, described the guidance as a crucial step in fostering collaborative efforts across the industry to curb emissions. “Tackling Scope 3 emissions demands a distinct approach, focusing on collaborative and integrated engagement beyond direct emissions management,” Arriagada explained.

In 2021, ICMM members committed to achieving net-zero Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner, in line with the Paris Agreement. They also agreed to report on Scope 3 emissions and set reduction targets by the end of 2023 or as soon as possible.

Significant progress has been made toward these commitments, with members focused on meeting their short- and medium-term milestones. This new target-setting guidance builds on previous Scope 3 emissions accounting and reporting guidelines, enhancing the industry’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.

For instance, Johannesburg-listed Gold Fields pledged last month to reduce its Scope 3 carbon emissions by a net 10% by 2030, off a 2022 baseline. The company has already commissioned 50 MW of solar power at its South Deep gold mine and is exploring additional wind power options.

Gold Fields worked closely with key suppliers to determine its total 2022 Scope 3 emissions, setting a target to cut 100,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (t CO2e) from its baseline by 2030.

This initiative by ICMM and its members marks a significant step in the global transition to net zero, highlighting the mining sector’s pivotal role in fostering sustainable practices and combating climate change.

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