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Total GHG Emissions of Major Metals and Mining Companies Worldwide by Revenue in 2021

  • Rio Tinto, Vale SA, BHP, Glencore, and Fortescue are all large emitters of greenhouse gases in metals and mining sector
  • In 2021, Rio Tinto’s total GHG emissions were 584.6 MtCO2eq, with Scope 3 accounting for 553.5 MtCO2eq
  • In 2021, Vale and BHP emitted 505.2 MtCO2eq and 418.7 MtCO2eq with revenue of $52,694 million and $56,921 million respectively

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are one of the main causes of rising global warming and the metals and mining industry accounts for approximately 4% to 7% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. A substantial amount of greenhouse gases emitted by fuel use, on – site electricity, and other sources include CO2, methane, and NOx. It has become increasingly vital for major contributing industries to record greenhouse gas emissions throughout operations, and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has committed to a goal of net zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2050.

GHG emissions are generally classified into Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions. Scope 1 emissions are direct GHG emissions from operated assets by the company, such as fuel use, industrial processes and other minor sources. Scope 2 (Indirect GHG emissions) accounts for GHG emissions from the purchased or acquired electricity. Scope 3 refers to the company's other indirect emissions beyond the company’s direct operations and occur in the company’s value chain, including upstream and downstream activities, such as transport, business travel, product use and downstream leased assets.

Rio Tinto, Vale, and BHP are large metals and mining companies with a considerable amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Rio Tinto is one of the major GHG emitters with a revenue of $63,495 million in financial year (FY) 2021. Rio Tinto’s total GHG emissions were 584.6 million tonnes CO2 equivalents (MtCO2eq) while Scope 3 emissions accounted for 553.5 MtCO2eq which is 94.7% of Rio Tinto’s total GHG emissions in 2021. To reduce GHG emissions, the company has set a target to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% by 2030.

Vale, is one of the largest contributors to GHG emissions with a revenue of $52,694 million in FY2021. In 2021, Vale’s total GHG emissions were 505.2 MtCO2eq, dominated by Scope 3 emissions, accounting for 98% of its total GHG emissions. The company has set a goal to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 33% by 2030 and Scope 3 net emissions by 15% by 2035.

BHP is a natural resources company with a revenue of $56,921 million in FY2021. BHP’s overall GHG emissions in 2021 were 418.7 MtCO2eq, with Scope 3 emissions accounting for the majority of the total emissions. The company’s target is to reduce the operational emissions by at least 30% by 2030 from the level they were in 2020. The company has set a long term goal to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2050.

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