Climate change

As one of the world’s largest diversified resource companies, we recognise climate change science as set out by the United Nations and are proud of the role we play in supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Through responsibly sourcing the commodities that advance everyday life, we supply raw materials that provide affordable energy and are essential to societal transformations such as the growing demand for electric vehicles.

We responsibly manage, monitor and report our direct and indirect emissions.

What is Glencore’s position on climate change?

We recognise climate change science as set out by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 
We believe the global response to climate change should pursue dual objectives: to limit temperatures in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including universal access to affordable energy.

Our well-positioned portfolio supports the transition to a low-carbon economy, while also meeting the need for universal access to reliable energy.

Why this matters

The world requires a global transformation of energy, industrial and land-use systems to achieve these goals. As one of the largest diversified natural resource companies in the world, we can support the achievement of the goals by producing, trading and supplying the metals and minerals that are essential to the transition to a low-carbon economy and to meeting the needs of everyday life.

We understand the role the commodities we produce and market have in meeting the needs of daily lives. The diversity of our portfolio underpins our strategic ambition to play a leading role in enabling the decarbonisation of global energy demand through providing metals such as copper, cobalt, zinc and nickel that are essential to the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Our climate change commitments

In December 2020, we announced a 1.5oC pathway aligned target of an absolute 40% reduction of our total emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3) by 2035 on 2019 levels, consistent with the midpoint of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 1.5oC scenarios and the 1.5oC pathways set out by the International Energy Agency. Post 2035, we set ourselves the ambition to achieve, with a supportive policy environment, net zero total emissions by 2050.
Read the full statement

We plan to deliver our ambition of net zero total emissions by 2050 through seven core actions:

Managing our footprint
1.    Managing our operational footprint: Reducing our Scope 1 and 2 emissions
2.    Reducing Scope 3 emissions: Our diverse portfolio uniquely allows us to address this portion of our footprint through investing in our metals portfolio, reducing our coal production and supporting deployment of low emission technologies
3.    Allocating capital to prioritising transition metals: Investing in the commodities the world needs

Contributing to global decarbonisation
4.    Collaborating with our value chains: Working in partnership with our customers and supply chain to enable greater use of low-carbon metals and support progress towards technological solutions
5.    Supporting uptake and integration of abatement: An essential contributor to achieving low  or net zero carbon objectives
6.    Utilising technology to improve resource use efficiency: Contributing to the circular economy
7.    Transparent approach: Reporting on our progress and performance

We have formulated our climate change strategy in partnership with key stakeholders. Our ongoing engagement activities are core to our commitment to inform stakeholders on our progress towards meeting our 2035 emissions target and our ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, as well as demonstrating our portfolio resilience under a range of scenarios.

Climate change strategy

In 2016, Glencore’s Board established a Climate Change Working Group (the Working Group). 

The Working Group supports the delivery of our public commitments on climate change in a timely manner through reviewing, developing and progressing the Group’s strategic approach to climate change. Its work underpins the identification, mitigation and management of climate-related risks and enables our business to be alert to developing opportunities. 

Glencore’s Chairman, Tony Hayward, leads the multi-disciplinary, cross-commodity Working Group and its members include commodity department heads and representatives from relevant corporate functions. 

We incorporate energy costs and our carbon footprint into our annual planning process. Commodity departments are required to provide energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions forecasts for each asset over the forward planning period and provide details of emissions reduction projects.

The Working Group oversees the ongoing integration of carbon emissions and energy into our annual business planning and the mapping of our projected energy and carbon footprints. It includes an assessment of potential mitigation and abatement projects, and underpins the basis of our internal Marginal Abatement Cost Curve.

Climate change disclosure

We recognise the importance of disclosing to investors how we ensure our material capital expenditure and investments are aligned with the Paris Goals. This includes each material investment in the exploration, acquisition or development of fossil fuel (including thermal and coking coal) production, resources and reserves, as well as in resources, reserves and technologies associated with the transition to a low carbon economy.

Download our Climate Report 2020: Pathway to net zero for further details

Supporting the electric vehicle revolution

We responsibly source the commodities that advance everyday life. Our well-positioned portfolio includes commodities that are essential to energy and mobility transformations, such as copper, nickel and cobalt.

The growth in electric vehicle (EV) uptake is driving demand for the mass production of powerful batteries that require the raw materials we produce. 

The increased deployment of EVs will also result in greater demand for secure and reliable baseload electricity and associated infrastructure required to service the EV fleet. This presents further opportunity for our business to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Metrics and targets

We divide CO2 emissions reporting into three different scopes, in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, and measure both the direct and indirect emissions generated by the industrial activities, entities and facilities where we have operational control.

We separate our CO2 emissions reporting into Scope 1 and Scope 2 – location-based emissions. Scope 1 (measured in CO2e) includes emissions from combustion in owned or controlled boilers, furnaces and vehicles/vessels and coal seam emissions (direct emissions). Scope 2 – location-based emissions (measured in CO2) applies the grid emission factor to all our purchased electricity, regardless of specific renewable electricity contracts (indirect emissions). 

The majority of our Scope 1 emissions include fugitive emissions from the production of coal (coal seam emissions) and consumption of fuel and reductants. Scope 2 emissions principally relate to purchased electricity for our operations, in particular our metals processing assets, which require secure and reliable energy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In addition to Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, our activities include Scope 3 emissions. These relate to the indirect GHG emissions across our value chain. These include upstream emissions associated with the products and services we purchase from suppliers and downstream emissions that include emissions resulting from our customers’ use of the fossil fuels that we produce, their processing of our metals and concentrates, and the emissions resulting from time-chartered vessels.

In 2017, we announced our first target of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 5% by 2020 compared to a 2016 baseline. We are on track to exceed our target. To date, we have reduced our Scope 1 and 2 emissions intensity by 9.7% compared to the 2016 baseline, achieved by a range of measures including abatement, use of renewable energy sources and production changes at our operations.

Principles we follow
UN Global Compact
Principle 7

businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges

Principle 8

undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility

Principle 9

encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

Environmental performance
UN Sustainable Development Goals
Climate action