Our approach to mining
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Sustainability report 2019
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2019 Annual Results
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The difference makers
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Main Content

Mining ought to contribute to a low carbon world

Our purpose is to re-imagine mining to improve people's lives.

Combined with our values and guiding our strategy, it is the context against which we consider the defining challenges of our era, including climate change. It is how we start to answer the questions of what our contribution could (and should) be in the transition to a low carbon world.

Mining and climate change

Mining cannot continue its long path of simply scaling up to supply what the world needs.

We need to do things differently if we are to transform our carbon footprint. We need to reduce our energy and water usage, and our emissions – and we are committed to doing exactly that. We’re on track to achieve our 2020 targets and are confident that our FutureSmart MiningTM technologies will be a key driver of emissions reductions and of driving our operations towards carbon neutrality.

Ensuring resilience to climate change: a critical strategic issue

Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our era

The challenge is significant. The Paris Agreement calls for a global temperature increase of 'well below 2°C'. Achieving this would require at least a 50% reduction in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.

Mining is already forming the basis of the transition to a low carbon economy.

At the same time, we expect climate change to reshape the mining industry.

It will require us to run more resilient, carbon neutral operations, to target our extraction methods in order to minimise wider environmental impacts, and to adapt our businesses in response to society’s changing expectations.

2020 target
Improvement in energy use
2020 target
Reduction in freshwater withdrawals
2020 target
Saving in GHG emissions

Our scenarios for possible future worlds

Scenarios are not forecasts, nor do they represent our policy or preferences. They help us imagine how the world might develop.

It is not possible to know how climate change will evolve and what its implications will be. However, for mining we expect the impacts in two areas:

  • Physical: The potential impact on our operations and communities from weather events.
  • Demand for mined products: The regulatory and technological implications of the transition to a low carbon economy and how this might impact demand for mined products.

Industry associations audit and commitment

Our commitment

Anglo American completed an independent audit of the Industry Associations of which it was a member in 2018/19 and published the results of that audit and our response to it in April 2019.

Anglo American has considered, including with a number of institutional shareholder groups, plans for strengthened governance regarding such memberships. Particular consideration has been given to ensuring action will be taken on any fundamental misalignments that emerge between Anglo American’s policy positions, including those that support the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, and those of an Industry Association of which we are a member.

Prior to its Annual General Meeting in May 2020, Anglo American commits to the following:

  • To publish the memberships of all its Industry Associations, including the membership fees paid and a short description of the rationale for each membership;
  • To update the “Working with Institutional Stakeholders” element of the Business Integrity section of our Code of Conduct, making it clear that we expect the same standards of behaviour from the Industry Associations of which we are a member as we would from any other organisation with which we partner;
  • To update Anglo American’s Group Business Integrity Policy to clarify that it is applicable to our dealings with Industry Associations and that we require due diligence into Industry Associations in a similar way to what is expected of us with regards to prospective business partners as set out in our Code of Conduct; and
  • To detail the process by which Industry Association memberships should be assessed, both before joining and every two years thereafter, including guidance on what steps to take when misalignments between Anglo American policy positions and those of the Industry Associations are identified. Key elements of this process include:
    • An escalation process for any issues of concern;
    • In the event of misalignment being identified, Anglo American would engage with the Industry Association first but, in the event of continued misalignment, all potential actions would be considered, up to and including suspension or termination of Anglo American’s membership; and
    • A disclosure every two years that outlines an analysis of policy alignment and how the governance process has been applied during the reporting period.

Any queries regarding any aspect of this approach should be directed to Anglo American’s International and Government Relations Team at its London headquarters.