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Top mining and metal companies commit to net zero by 2050 goal

In an open letter, the CEOs of the companies also outline plans to set targets for Scope 3 value chain emissions.

Collahuasi trucks at a copper mine in Chile

One company, Anglo American Plc, has already set more ambitious decarbonization targets that include slashing Scope 3 indirect emissions.

Anglo American Plc

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) announced that its 28 members have signed an open letter committing to achieve net-zero operational emissions by 2050 at the latest.

While some of the 28 companies, such as Anglo American, Rio Tinto and BHP, have already set more ambitious decarbonization targets that include slashing Scope 3 indirect emissions, the ICMM said in the letter that all signatories are committed to delivering net zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions from their operations and energy use by mid-century at the latest. The companies are set to incorporate this joint ambition into their internal climate targets by 2023.

At the heart of the new commitment, is the ambition to slash direct emissions to net zero by 2050 or sooner, but the letter also outlines plans to set targets for Scope 3 value chain emissions "if not by the end of 2023, as soon as possible" and advance partnerships "that enable credible target setting and emission reductions across value chains."

ICMM members are also committed to annually reporting progress of their decarbonization efforts, the group said.

We encourage other mining and metals companies, suppliers and customers to join us in decarbonizing commodity value chains.

"As the suppliers of the minerals and metals that are critical to decarbonization and sustainable development, we have a particular responsibility to minimize the impact of our operations on the environment," said Rohitesh Dhawan, CEO of ICMM. "ICMM members' collective commitment to net zero Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2050 is a pivotal moment in our history."

ICMM members have and will continue to set meaningful short and/or medium-term targets to build clear pathways to achieving this goal, while also accelerating action on addressing Scope 3 emissions and enhancing disclosure. We encourage other mining and metals companies, suppliers and customers to join us in decarbonizing commodity value chains so that we collectively accelerate climate action in our wider industry."

The new commitments have been incorporated into the ICMM's existing Climate Change Position Statement and build on related sustainability initiatives, such as its Innovation for Cleaner Safer Vehicles program, which aims to roll out zero emission mining vehicles across ICMM member's operations.

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