Continuing to improve the efficiency of our operations, reduce energy use and associated costs, and lower our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are top sustainability priorities for the business. Extreme weather events, which impacted a number of Newmont’s operations in 2017, are a growing risk and demonstrate the need to assess and build the resiliency of our business to a changing climate.
Our commitment to efficiently manage our global energy consumption, reduce our carbon footprint and manage our climate-related risks is stated in our Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement Policy.
Through our global energy and climate strategy – which supports the International Council on Mining and Metals’ (ICMM) position statement on climate change and the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement – we work to fulfill our commitments. The five pillars of our strategy are:
- Supply – Secure stable, reliable, consistent quality and cost-effective electric power and fuel supplies to power Newmont’s operations
- Cost efficiency – Achieve sustainable cost and efficiency improvements
- Collaboration – Collaborate internally and engage externally on energy policies and regulations, energy supplies, challenges and opportunities
- Carbon reduction – Reduce Newmont’s carbon footprint through renewable energy, energy efficiency strategies and carbon offsetting
- Adaptation – Adapt Newmont’s operations and assist local communities to mitigate predictable physical impacts tied to climate change
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.
Our near-term focus is on progressing three key components of the strategy, namely:
- Develop long-term emission reduction approach – We continue to build our understanding of factors – such as new assets, operating efficiency programs and innovative energy technologies – to assess GHG reductions that are science-based. We pursue opportunities and technologies that improve efficiencies, reduce energy and emissions, and result in measurable cost savings through supply chain engagement, asset management and our Full Potential program – a global approach focused on continuous business improvement.
- Develop climate adaptation guidance and plans – Several of our regions have experienced extreme weather events related to changing climates, and we must adapt to address impacts to our business, including the potential to affect operations, supply chain, health and availability of our workforce, and supply of water and power. We recognize that further work is required to characterize our current risks and develop specific regional climate plans.
- Implement an internal “shadow” cost of carbon – To manage the financial impacts of climate-related issues, we are working to effectively measure our carbon footprint and establish a “shadow” cost of carbon – a calculation that acknowledges GHG emissions as a key business factor. This internal pricing mechanism improves our ability to quantify future carbon pricing-related risks associated with the energy and equipment investment decisions we make today. We include the shadow cost of carbon for any investment, contract, merger or acquisition that has a carbon footprint greater than 25,000 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). The cost – assessed at both $25/tonne CO2e and $50/tonne CO2e – is included in the pre-feasibility stage and carried through until full funding.
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 emissions intensity. We calculate our GHG emissions using the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and have set a target to reduce our GHG emissions intensity by 16.5 percent by 2020, measured from our 2013 base year. The 2013 base year and target do not include our divested Batu Hijau operation and were calculated to reflect our current asset portfolio.
As of the end of 2017, we have reduced our GHG emissions intensity by 15.6 percent compared to our 2013 baseline. The year-over-year decrease is largely due to the addition of two new lower emissions intensity mines – Long Canyon in Nevada and Merian in Suriname. Our Full Potential program to improve operational efficiencies and an increase in renewable energy from grid sources in Colorado, Nevada and Western Australia also contributed to the decline. Based on current mine plans that include mining deeper and hauling ore longer distances, achieving the 2020 target will require implementing additional emission efficiencies, applying new technologies, switching to low emission or emission-less fuel sources, and increasing lower energy-intensity production.
|Total emissions (Scope 1 and 2)||5.00||4.66||4.68||4.31||4.69|
|GHG intensity (tonnes CO2e/Au oz equivalent||0.88||0.86||0.81||0.76||0.74|
Total GHG emissions increased 8.7 percent from the prior year due to the addition of the Long Canyon and Merian operations. GHG intensity slightly declined to 0.74 tonnes of carbon dioxide per consolidated gold ounce equivalent produced, due to the low GHG intensity of the Long Canyon and Merian operations.
Total combined direct and indirect energy consumption increased by 1.9 percent and coal- and diesel-sourced energy increased 3 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively, primarily due to an increase in power generation at our Nevada TS Power Plant and the addition of Long Canyon and Merian to our operations portfolio.
Efforts in 2017 to progress our energy and climate strategy and execute against our near-term focus areas included:
- Using findings from a pilot workshop held in 2016 with our Nevada region as well as an ICMM-led workshop in 2017, we progressed the development of regional climate adaptation planning methodology and guidance to support regions and operations in preparing for extreme climate events. Aligned with the ICMM, the guidance and methodology are designed to help sites understand how physical risks relating to climate change may impact operations, key infrastructure and host communities, and develop action plans to mitigate material risks and implement key opportunities.
- The Tanami Power project was approved at the end of the year and involves the construction of a 450-kilometer natural gas pipeline and two power stations. The project provides a consolidated energy solution by providing reliable, gas-fueled power generation. Switching from diesel fuel to natural gas is expected to reduce annual energy costs and carbon emissions by approximately 20 percent, beginning in 2019.
- We continued to pursue a number of energy and emissions reduction opportunities. Highlights during the year included:
- At our Akyem site in Ghana, we advanced a 110-kilowatt (kW) solar project to the contracting phase. The solar plant will power the camp and mess hall during daylight hours. The plant has a 25-year asset life and is redeployable, so it can be disassembled and moved to another location at closure.
- We continued to explore partnerships on innovative renewable and low-carbon fuel technologies. One of the more significant opportunities is with Caterpillar on dual-fuel engines for our large haul trucks. This would allow our haul trucks to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), which displaces 65 percent of a truck’s diesel fuel, reducing fuel costs and lowering CO2e emissions by 18 percent per truck.
- Our two forestation projects – in Australia and Peru – create natural carbon sinks that capture and store atmospheric carbon dioxide. During the year, the Australian project sequestered an estimated 7,600 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide – equal to 7,600 Australian Carbon Credit Units – bringing the total amount sequestered since 2012, when Newmont joined the program, to 33,594 metric tonnes. Our Yanacocha operation in Peru conducted an inventory of the forest areas and tree species on Yanacocha lands and initiated the registration process to begin to formally recognize the amount of carbon dioxide stored throughout the area. Out of the 794 hectares that were planted, 745 hectares were surveyed, with an estimated 30,068 tonnes of carbon sequestered.
- We maintained our “B” score for carbon emissions in the CDP’s 2017 report. The score represents a solid management approach and places Newmont above average as benchmarked against more than 2,400 other companies that responded to CDP’s 2017 climate change questionnaire.
Because current mine plans are expected to increase our future emissions intensity, achieving our 2020 target to reduce our emissions by 16.5 percent compared to the baseline year will require continued progress on a number of fronts.
Activities planned for 2018 to achieve our 2020 target and align with the Paris Climate Agreement and other global frameworks include:
- We will continue to evaluate opportunities to improve our energy efficiencies or implement lower emissions sources such as:
- Switching from diesel to natural gas at our Tanami operation;
- Tendering large-scale solar plants at various sites to reduce our global carbon footprint;
- Piloting a solar power plant at Akyem and installing a small-scale solar plant at our Cripple Creek & Victor mine in Colorado;
- Continuing to engage with Caterpillar to advance dual-fuel engines on haul trucks that could displace on average 65 percent of diesel fuel with LNG;
- Expanding Blutip technology – which has reduced fuel consumption by 5 percent in our Australia region – to our Africa and South America regions; and
- Conducting a B20 (a 20/80 ratio of biodiesel to diesel fuel) and HDRD (hydrogenation-derived renewable diesel) fuels study.
- We are evaluating long-term, science-based GHG emissions targets – and the actions required to achieve them – for our global operations.
- Once our climate adaptation approach is fully aligned with ICMM, we will hold workshops with teams in Australia, Ghana, Peru and Suriname. The workshops will focus on identifying localized climate-related risks and developing action plans to mitigate material risks and implement opportunities.
- We will apply our shadow cost of carbon to assess the Long Canyon expansion project in Nevada.
- We will evaluate reporting against the recommended financial disclosures published in 2017 by the Financial Stability Board Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The goal of the disclosures is to demonstrate that climate-related risks are considered in business and investment decisions, including risk management strategies for potential impacts under long-term carbon emissions reduction scenarios such as achieving a 2 degrees Celsius or lower change in global temperature.