Energy and Climate Change
Our operations are energy intensive and use large amounts of diesel fuel and electric power. In addition to being among our largest expenditures, both of these energy sources emit greenhouse gases (GHG), which can trap heat in the atmosphere leading to a gradual increase in the earth’s temperatures and changes in the global climate. Climate change is both a threat to and opportunity for our business. Creating long-term value requires responsible energy use, improved efficiencies and, where there is a business case, options for fuel switching and renewables.
Our commitment to efficiently manage our global energy consumption to reduce our carbon footprint while exploring and developing renewable energy and low-carbon opportunities is stated in our Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement Policy.
To realize this commitment, our global energy and climate strategy takes an operationally driven approach to managing threats and opportunities and preparing the business for climate change impacts. The strategy‘s objectives are:
- Ensure a stable, reliable, secure and cost-effective energy supply for our operations;
- Achieve sustainable cost and efficiency improvements;
- Reduce our carbon footprint through renewable energy, energy efficiency strategies and carbon offsetting;
- Adapt to a changing climate; and
- Collaborate internally and engage externally on energy policy frameworks that support an effective transition to a low-carbon economy.
Our cross-functional Global Energy and Climate Team (GECT) leads the efforts to implement our strategy. Regional and site energy and climate plans detail our efforts to reduce energy-related costs and GHG emissions and mitigate risks related to energy security, supply and cost.
As a member of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), we endorse the organization’s statement on climate change, which supports an international global climate change agreement and other policies and market mechanisms to reduce GHG emissions and encourage innovation.
Our near-term focus areas include identifying and pursuing opportunities for energy efficiency and GHG reductions; improving heavy equipment fuel economy; switching to low-carbon energy sources; and incorporating clean energy considerations into investment decisions.
To meet voluntary climate change commitments and prepare for a more demanding policy and regulatory context under the Paris Climate Agreement (the "Paris Agreement"), our long-term strategy focuses on the following:
- Establishing fact-based and measurable numeric reduction targets to achieve additional short-term improvements;
- Modeling longer-term emission reduction opportunities in consideration of science-based and other long-term targets;
- Engaging our equipment suppliers on improving the fuel efficiency of our haul trucks;
- Partnering with universities, NGOs and businesses to advance technical innovations; and
- Preparing scenarios for solutions – such as fuel switching away from coal and adding renewables – that taken together can flatten the upward trajectory of GHG emissions.
Our Global Energy and Climate Team (GECT) continues to assess our data and understanding of factors – such as new assets and operating efficiency programs – that affect our performance. Because our total energy consumption and GHG emissions can vary due to factors such as new mines and divested assets, we report on our energy intensity and GHG intensity. We calculate energy intensity and GHG intensity as the amount of energy needed and the amount of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) emitted, respectively, per consolidated gold ounce equivalent produced. We are reporting data for five years. However, given our understanding of the GHG Protocol Initiative’s Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and improvements in both our understanding of the factors affecting this metric and the data quality, we consider 2013 as the base year.
We measure and annually report our global GHG emissions data – which is independently assured in this report – to the CDP, which asks the world’s largest companies to report their GHG emissions and describe their climate change governance and strategy, management of risks and opportunities, and management of GHG emissions.
In our 2013 CDP questionnaire, we publicly stated a five-year goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 10 percent compared to a 2011 base year. We achieved this target by reducing our total GHG emissions by 10.4 percent, which corresponded to an energy use reduction of 16.9 percent. We also improved our CDP score, achieving a "B," which places Newmont above average as benchmarked against more than 2,200 other companies that responded to CDP’s 2016 climate change questionnaire. This score reflects our work on a number of fronts to execute against our global energy and climate strategy.
Total energy consumption decreased 23 percent in 2016 with consumption of energy generated from coal 46 percent lower largely due to the divestiture of our Batu Hijau mine. Electricity consumption increased by 3 percent as the acquisition of Cripple Creek & Victor offset net electricity reductions at our other operating sites. We continued to lower our energy intensity, which has declined by 36 percent since 2013, including a 5.6 percent reduction between 2015 and 2016.
Total GHG emissions decreased 22 percent between 2015 and 2016. The divestiture of Batu Hijau was the largest driver of the decrease with the increase in commercial renewable power in Nevada also contributing to the decline. GHG intensity slightly declined to 0.76 tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent per consolidated gold ounce equivalent produced as expected due to a decline in production.
Among our efforts in 2016 to progress our energy and climate strategy and execute against our near-term focus areas:
- We added the cost of carbon – a calculation that acknowledges climate change as a key business factor – to our investment model.
- To better manage climate change risks that have the potential to impact our product or supply chain, health and availability of our workforce, and security of water and power, we advanced our climate adaptation/resiliency program. For example, in Ghana we commissioned a third party to analyze the long-term climate change impacts on power supplies in the country. The review indicated a future shift in seasonality with early months in the wet season becoming drier and later months wetter, resulting in implications for fire risk, regional hydrology, and water availability for hydropower generation. This review informed the development of a guidance document for all regions and sites to take a collaborative, workshop-based approach to evaluate climate change risks and opportunities within their mine operations, supply chain, product transport and host communities. We tested the guidance document at our Nevada operations in late 2016. Initial findings indicate this approach improves our ability to quickly identify potential climate change impacts and focus our resources on managing those risks and opportunities.
- We developed a carbon intensity reduction strategy to achieve our emissions intensity reduction target for 2020.
- Through our Full Potential program – a global approach focused on continuous business improvement – and our GECT, we pursued the following energy and emission reduction opportunities:
- We conducted studies on renewable and clean energy options including solar photovoltaic in Ghana and micro-hydro in Peru. We continued to study solar technologies at Tanami in Australia.
We implemented the following opportunities that are expected to reduce emissions and improve the fuel efficiency of our haul truck fleet:
- Established new fuel specifications for diesel and biodiesel based on the ASTM-975 standard and other widely recognized global standards, and entering into a new global fuel contract based on the new specifications;
- Implemented Blutip power technology at our Boddington mine in Australia with demonstrated 5.2 percent fuel savings;
- Continuing to evaluate diesel fuel additives at our North America operations; and
- Improving haul routes, which results in not only greater operating efficiencies but also fuel savings and lower emissions on a per tonne basis.
- After a natural gas pipeline was expanded to Elko, Nevada, we replaced propane with natural gas as the primary fuel at the Carlin roaster to decrease costs and GHG emissions.
- We began development on a new Energy and Climate Management Standard that details planning and operational requirements aligned to overall strategy objectives.
|(in million GJ)||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016|
|Direct + indirect energy/consolidated Au equivalent ounces||11.9||13.1||12.3||8.9||8.4|
|(in million tonnes)||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||Total emissions (Scope 1 and 2)||5.40||5.80||5.30||5.54||4.31|
|2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||GHG intensity in tonnes CO2e/consolidated Au equivalent ounces||0.97||1.05||1.00||0.80||0.76|
Execution against our global energy and climate strategy will be a multi-year effort with a shorter-term focus on ensuring efforts to reduce our energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity align with the Paris Agreement. Programs include:
- Achieving a 30 percent reduction in our GHG emissions intensity by 2020 compared to our 2013 base year, which is when we increased our focus on energy and operational efficiency programs. Changes to our operating portfolio and/or business plan may result in adjustments to this target.
- Establishing a process for evaluating science-based, longer-term targets.
- Commencing a pilot to test our shadow cost of carbon internal pricing mechanism at our Long Canyon expansion project, the Yanacocha alternative energy study and the Tanami power study. Once testing is complete, we plan to integrate the mechanism into our investment system.
- Applying our climate modeling/adaptation/resilience program to all of Newmont’s regions and operations beginning in 2017 to:
- Raise awareness at each site of the range of potential global impacts of climate change, its causes, and what the international community is doing to stay well below a 2-degree Celsius global temperature rise;
- Model climate (temperature and precipitation) at the local level to identify future site climate change impacts; and
- Develop site strategies for building resiliency to the present and predicted physical impacts of climate change.
- Continuing to evaluate energy efficiency or renewable options such as:
- Fuel switching from coal to natural gas at our Nevada TS Power Plant to lower costs associated with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, which is currently on hold due to legal challenges;
- Progressing plans to switch from diesel fuel to natural gas at our Tanami mine in Australia; and
- Exploring diesel fuel additive options.
- Finalizing and beginning to implement our Energy and Climate Management Standard.