Having recently won the approval of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for its greenhouse gas (GHG) targets, Metso’s Climate Program now has the recognition it deserves.
The GHG goals are applicable to all relevant emission sources: production, procurement, inbound and outbound transportation as well as the use of Metso’s products.
Following on from this environmental win, IM put some questions to Metso’s Director of Sustainable Business Development, Kaisa Jungman, to find out what impact these climate change aims might have on the mining equipment manufacturers’ product offering and how the company is already leading from the front with its environmental sustainability initiatives.
It’s worth acknowledging, first, that these GHG goals are all-encompassing.
As a scope 1 and 2 GHG target, Metso has committed to a 25% reduction in carbon emissions in production by 2030, while 30% of its suppliers – in terms of spend – are required to set science-based emission targets by 2024. Metso also aims for a 20% reduction in transportation emissions by 2025 (scope 3 GHG emissions target) by streamlining transportation routes and optimising warehouse locations.
Through extensive research and development work, Metso says it has been able to significantly reduce the energy consumption in customer processes. To continue this development, the company is aiming for a 10% reduction in GHG emissions in the most “energy-intensive customer processes” using Metso products by 2025.
The company is also demanding energy-efficiency targets in its Metso R&D projects, and offsetting flight emissions by 100% by 2021.
The target to lower GHG emissions by 10% in the most “energy-intensive customer processes” stood out in these targets, and it was hardly surprising to find out grinding falls into this category.
“Grinding is the most energy-intensive stage of minerals processing,” Jungman said. “Overall, it is estimated that comminution counts for 3-5% of the energy consumption in the world and grinding is part of this.”
In the company’s climate program it has included three of its products – the HRC™ high pressure grinding roll, Vertimill® and stirred SMD (stirred media detritor) – to help achieve this 10% cut in GHGs.
“We have estimated, based on our installed base, in 2018, that approximately 1,073,648 t of CO2 emissions were saved through these energy efficient grinding technologies,” she said, explaining that these savings were calculated by comparing its three solutions with conventional technology.
At this stage, it is only the HRC, Vertimill and SMD included in this calculation – due to their substantial energy and emission reduction credentials and the company’s ability to quantify accurately the estimated savings – but Jungman said Metso plans to widen the scope of the technologies to be included.
“In addition to our climate program, we are also looking into other environmental benefits the customers are gaining through our solutions,” she said.
“To improve energy and emissions efficiency in the future, our target is that all our R&D projects will set energy-efficiency targets by 2021.”
She concluded on these technologies: “I would say that this climate program is an important first step and we will continue developing even more comprehensive sustainability targets for our technologies.”
When it comes to displaying evidence of where the company is reducing scope 1 (generated from fuels used in production) and 2 (generated from purchased energy) emissions, Jungman could point to several examples.
“We have installed solar panels in some of our locations already and are looking now for opportunities to install more in several locations in the coming years,” she said.
In some of the company’s facilities, a percentage of the electricity it purchases is already from renewable sources, and Metso is investigating the possibilities of expanding this, Jungman added.
“In addition to electricity consumption, we are also searching for renewable alternatives for the other forms of our energy consumption, including, for example, replacing natural gas consumption with renewable alternatives.”
The company has also, in recent years, invested in many energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, according to Jungman.
“As an example, in our foundry in China, we have invested in a new type of melting furnace to gain better energy efficiency.
“In another production location, we have installed technology to recover process heat from the exhaust air to be used as heating energy. We have also invested in the process automation and insulation of the furnaces to gain better energy efficiency.”
She concluded: “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is something we take seriously, and to which Metso is fully committed. We want all our stakeholders to be involved in the work to reach these important targets and to aim even higher.”