Global Outperformer Pioneers New CSR Strategy
Leadership, Environment, Thriving Communities, Trust
Anglo American has rolled out an innovative strategy to foster energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), enhance smart water use and create value spanning its global footprint. Through this new strategy officials are accelerating—and better communicating—cross-operational improvements in key sustainability areas that systematically augment each other.
This blueprint has been systematically formulated to scale sustainability while embedding trust and transparency among all–stakeholders and stakeholder groups.
Following robust internal and external consultations as well as risk and opportunity-based analyses, Anglo outlined three strategic pillars, “Trusted Corporate Leader, Thriving Communities, Healthy Environment.” All further principles driving Anglo’s existing FutureSmart Mining™ blueprint. Integral, too, is the miner’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Given ore depletion and growing market demands, miners are working harder to discover copper in remote corners of the world. Miners must address the sustainability of operations carefully and systematically: failure to do so can result in problems for the environment, communities and broader regions. These issues are mission critical—given “pit-to-port” industrial infrastructure, from the mines and associated facilities to roads, highways and railways to deep water ports.
“If Anglo American is to play its part in creating a sustainable future for the world and improving the lives of all of us, we must be prepared to challenge our business and ourselves, by re-imagining mining.”
– Mark Cutifani, Anglo American CEO
Beyond “Business as Usual”
Yet opportunities are vast, and Anglo is on the cutting edge of a drive to reinvent the copper mining industry itself.
Specific targets encompass reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) 30 percent, enhancing energy efficiencies 30 percent and slashing freshwater abstraction rates by 50 percent in water-scarce regions—a major concern to copper miners the world over.
In 2017, GHG emission reductions totaled 4.8 million tonnes—a full 21 percent reduction below initial forecasts. GHG emission-reduction targets for 2020, meanwhile, were 22 percent against projected emissions under “Business as Usual” (BAU) predictions.
Moreover, Anglo accomplished a 6 percent energy savings relative to BAU scenarios. In total, 320 energy-efficiency and business-improvement projects conserved 6.4 million gigajoules (GJ) in energy consumption throughout last year.
In the long term, Anglo aims to build a fully carbon-neutral, 100 percent green-powered mine. It is a multi-dimensional approach yielding remarkable returns. With help from a holistic climate-smart procurement focus—also intrinsic to the new strategy—full GJ annual consumption dropped to 97 million GJ from 105 million since 2016.
Walking on Water
Environmental and biotic impacts are important across jurisdictions for leading copper miners. For Anglo officials, water conservation is a major focus. In 2017, most notably, half of all the copper miner’s sites were water-stressed—pending global forecasts of a water shortfall of 40 percent by 2030.
“Delivering on these commitments will transform the way Anglo American does business.”
– Mark Cutifani, Anglo American CEO
Anglo is simultaneously pursuing 2020 freshwater reduction targets of 20 percent—contrasting with BAU—while moving toward recycling 75 percent of all water used at its mines. Other water-friendly measures target ore crushing and grinding, which will enable a re-use of 80 percent of process water. In the future Anglo plans an eventual move toward a 100 percent waterless mine.
These are among myriad examples of how Anglo’s sustainable energy and water priority strategies are interrelated. Its environmental conservation and sustainable development for local communities—including job creation and educational opportunities—as well as regional economies are a source of inspiration to miners across the globe.
About the Copper Alliance®
The Copper Alliance® is a network of regional copper centers and their industry-leading members. It is responsible for guiding policy and strategy and for funding international initiatives and promotional activities. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the organization has offices in four primary regions: Europe and Africa, Asia, Latin America and North America. Copper Alliance programs and initiatives are executed in more than 60 countries through its regional offices and country-level copper promotion centers.
About Anglo American
Anglo American plc is a diversified multinational mining firm based in Johannesburg, South Africa and London, United Kingdom, and is a major copper producer with four red metal mines in Chile.
About FutureSmart Mining™
Enabled by robust, cross-operational and stakeholder consultations, Anglo methodology is embedded in its FutureSmart Mining™ initiative, which applies cutting-edge technology and broad innovative thinking. This encompasses collaboration to ensure safer, more efficient and more sustainable mining while accommodating the needs of each host community.