BHP Billiton outlines four-pronged approach to climate change

In its revised Climate Change Policy, BHP Billiton says it believes accelerated action is required to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at levels guided by the research of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The policy states that BHP Billiton “will take action within our own businesses and work with governments, industry and other stakeholders to address this global challenge and find lasting solutions consistent with our goal of zero harm”.

The four action areas identified in the policy are:

  • Understanding emissions from the full life-cycle of products
  • Improving the management of energy and greenhouse gas emissions across the businesses
  • Committing $300 million over the next five years to support low emissions technology development, internal energy excellence projects and encourage emissions abatement by employees and local communities
  • Using technical capacity and experience to assist governments and other stakeholders on the design of effective and equitable climate change policies including market-based mechanisms such as emissions trading

Chief Executive Officer, Chip Goodyear, said BHP Billiton acknowledged that the risks of climate change associated with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere must be addressed. “BHP Billiton has recognised that our company, as well as society generally, must make real behavioural changes and accelerate technological progress if we are to achieve a meaningful reduction in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Our policy is about trying to play our part as best we can and encouraging those we work with to do the same.”

The policy includes new targets to reduce the energy and greenhouse intensity of BHP’s products by a further 13% and 6% respectively by 2012. It builds on previous achievements, which include a 12% improvement in greenhouse intensity over the period 1996 – 2000. “We are on track to exceed our current target of a further 5% improvement by the end of this financial year. We have also contributed significantly to research and development in clean coal technologies, including geosequestration, and have implemented several related programs across the business,” Goodyear said.

“As a leader in the natural resources industry we have an important role in meeting the world’s growing energy and resources needs. At the same time, we have an equally important role in minimising the impact of our activities on the global environment and supporting our customers’ efforts to do the same”, he said.