Moranbah North Power Station, Queensland
As an energy-intensive company, a major producer of coal and neighbour of many underdeveloped communities, Anglo American has identified three main strands of climate change-related risk to which the Group is exposed:
- The increase in energy and compliance costs associated with new policy measures, including potentially significant costs from carbon pricing.
- Changing expectations from our investors, communities, customers and suppliers.
- Increased risks associated with the physical impacts of climate change on our operations and neighbouring communities.
In response to these risks, our climate change strategy has three focus areas: operational excellence; investing in technology; and engaging and partnering with our stakeholders.
The emphasis in the first phase of our climate change strategy is on identifying energy-saving and emission-reduction opportunities, setting ambitious emission reduction targets relating to site-level risks and opportunities, and developing high level plans for adaptation to regional climate change.
In 2011, we issued a new Group technical standard to manage energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions performance at all our operations, and we are in the process of rolling out our energy and carbon management programme, ECO2MAN.
The new Group technical standard requires sites to identify their energy and GHG emissions-related risks and opportunities, integrate them into operational plans and establish appropriate measurement and reporting processes.
Our ECO2MAN programme helps us identify and prioritise energy efficiency and GHG savings opportunities and it is tied to our internal and external verification and assurance processes.
With the energy we consume accounting for roughly 75% of our GHG emissions we are primarily focusing existing activities on identifying and implementing innovative technologies aimed at using energy more efficiently.
We are investing in technologies that will enable us to run cost efficient, carbon-neutral mines by 2030. Our technology development vision forms a critical part of our long term business strategy. In the belief that the large scale deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies will have a critical role to play in addressing climate change, we participate in various research initiatives aimed at identifying commercially viable solutions for CCS. These include the US-based FutureGen Industrial Alliance, the Otway CO2 storage project in Australia, and the South African Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage.
In 2011, an important initiative was our investment in the renewable energy Kalahari Project. We have also been partnering with Johnson Matthey on the development of a technology for capturing and using ventilation air methane (VAM) from mine shafts, as well as examining opportunities with them relating to fuel cell technology.
In Australia, we hold a 20% interest in MBD Energy, which is undertaking applied research into an algal synthesiser process that involves entrapping CO2 from power station flue gases.
Engagement and partnerships
We continue to work with governments and our business peers to inform the development and implementation of efficient, effective and equitable climate change policies.
In 2011, we were particularly active in engaging with the South African and Australian governments. In South Africa, we commented on the National Treasury’s discussion paper on a carbon tax, submitting detailed comments individually, as well as through the Industry Task Team on Climate Change (ITTCC).
Through our Platinum business we are partnering with the fuel cell company Altergy and the South African government to manufacture and market platinum-based emissions-reduction technologies locally and in other sub-Saharan countries. This collaboration marks the launch of the government’s strategy to develop a manufacturing-based ‘hydrogen economy’ and transform and expand uses for the country’s national resources.