Measuring Our Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The Copper Alliance® publishes annual data on key sustainable development indicators regarding copper production. The goal of this industry research is twofold:
- To provide transparency on the sustainable-development performance of the Copper Alliance members across the entire copper production value chain.
- To analyze trends and measure performance over time using established sustainable-development indicators.
Most of our members produce audited data for their own sustainability reports, providing a trustworthy source of information on industry practice and performance. We chose the following indicators based on the reliability of the methodology and the insight that the indicator can provide to measure to our contribution to sustainable development.
Our members rated their performance against a range of indicators. The following members responded:
Measuring Across Three Sectors
Before copper ends up in a finished product, it must go through many stages of processing. The first is mining, where the members who responded produce approximately eight million tonnes of ores and concentrates per year. The second stage, refined production, involves members smelting and refining around nine million tonnes of ores, concentrates and recycled material into cathodes, cakes, and billets annually. The third category is fabrication where members transform around four million tonnes per year of refined copper into semi-fabricates and products such as wire rods and sheets.
Amount of World Copper Production Represented by the SD Indicators in 2015
When calculating the indicators, the volume of copper is not double or triple counted as it moves along the manufacturing chain. This means the indicators characterize 10 – 11 million unique copper tonnes per year, representing around 40 percent of the annual world copper used.
Facts & Figures
On average, the Copper Alliance members surveyed emit less than 0.13% of the world’s total emissions (35 Bt CO2).
On average, the Copper Alliance members surveyed consume around 0.11% of the world’s total annual final energy consumption (375 B GJ).
On average, the Copper Alliance members surveyed recycle 2.6 billion m3 of water per year. This amount is equivalent to the annual water footprint of 2 million people.
On average, the Copper Alliance members surveyed feed $121 billion per year into the global economy, including $12 billion paid to governments as taxes.
On average, the Copper Alliance members surveyed invest $22 billion every year to make their operations more sustainable.
On average, the Copper Alliance members surveyed employ over 336,000 people.
On average, the Copper Alliance members surveyed invest nearly $340 million per year toward protecting the safety of their employees. Please note this indicator records all injuries; it is therefore much higher than the Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate.
The majority of Copper Alliance members publish sustainability reports. Please note that some companies are privately owned and are not legally obliged to publish sustainability reports.
To learn more about how the indicators are calculated, download the methodology.