The copper industry

Our contribution to sustainable development

  • The value of copper

    Working towards a low-carbon future

  • United Nations sustainable development goals

    Preserving the ability of future generations to progress

  • Generating opportunity

    How we support local communities


  • Paris Agreement signed

    The Paris Agreement was adopted by all 196 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at COP21 in Paris on 12 December 2015. In the agreement, all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and given the grave risks, to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

    See our contribution to a sustainable world in the Environment section.


  • The Global Mining Industry Begins... Aug. 2016

    To counter the existential threat facing our planet, while lifting millions from energy poverty, the potential of these sprawling mines to become clean energy resources cannot be...

  • Chinese Government moves to tackle... Jul. 2016

    "Guiyu currently processes around 400,000 tons of discarded e-waste (a year). We have established a system to cover the whole recycling process-from keeping records of all the waste that enters...

  • Japanese giants target European... Jul. 2016

    Japanese giants Mitsubishi Materials Corporation (MMC) and Hanwa Co. Ltd have established a new company at Moerdijk in the Netherlands to expand collections of e-scrap from Europe. The joint...

  • Copper mine goes green as it powers... Jun. 2016

    “This is the largest integrated off-grid solar and battery storage facility in Australia and draws together a number of technologies which are widely expected to have a transformational...

World copper map

Facts & Figures

  • Two-thirds

    of the copper produced in 1900 is still in productive use

  • On average, the copper industry feeds $125 billion per year into the global economy, including $15 billion paid to governments as taxes

  • 70% of copper

    goes into electrical applications that benefit from its amazing energy efficiency

Four pillars of sustainability

  • Addressing the challenges

    The very nature of mining brings its own unique challenges to the environment. Similarly, the copper produced can bring special benefits to society and contribute to addressing many of the environmental challenges we face today.

  • Investing in the local economy

    The copper industry is a significant economic contributor to both the communities and governments in which it operates. The goal of our economic indicators is to capture the true economic value of these investments and demonstrate how much wealth the organisation has created for its stakeholders.

  • Making people our priority

    Society is about measuring the copper industry’s impact on people. This indicator takes into account the employment provided both directly and indirectly by the industry. Health and safety in the workplace is also a key consideration.

  • Transparency in our reporting standards 

    Our members have publicly declared their commitment to sustainable development. The majority publish sustainability reports and openly declare their commitment to embracing sustainable development principles and goals.