BHP has reformed its approach towards climate action and encouraged industry bodies to follow suit.
The mining giant announced four reforms, including the publication of its global climate policy standards to define how its policy positions on climate change should be shown through advocacy from both BHP and the associations it belongs to.
The mining giant stated the changes were made to improve its approach to industry associations and “ensure we maximise the value of our memberships”, while adhering to investor expectations around climate-related advocacy from industry associations.
BHP’s global climate policy standards build upon stakeholder feedback and the company’s review of its corporate approach towards industry associations.
Other reforms include BHP working with Australia’s minerals sector associations to develop a protocol for the allocation of advocacy accountabilities at the national and state level, and the publication of an annual advocacy plan with key associations it is a part of.
“We believe the protocol should help improve resource allocation across the associations and within member companies, and ensure the sector has a consistent, transparent voice on important national issues such as climate change,” BHP stated.
The company will also be making changes to its own disclosures on industry associations, by publishing an annual list of its material association memberships that hold an active position on climate policy, and actively disclose if the company determines one of its material association memberships has “materially departed” from its global climate policy standards.
BHP’s global climate policy standards aim to follow emission reduction targets set by national governments, following the aims of the Paris Agreement of achieving net zero global emissions by 2050. BHP also has set the long-term goal of the Paris Agreement of preventing the global average temperature increase to be well below two degrees Celsius.
The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), one of the industry associations BHP is part of, has welcomed BHP’s advocation for climate action.
“The MCA welcomes today’s confirmation by BHP in its latest industry association review of the importance of responsible and constructive advocacy and the need to align with community and stakeholder expectations,” MCA chief executive Tania Constable said.
“The MCA will work with BHP and state associations to progress the key issues raised in BHP’s industry association review.
“The MCA will also continue working with all its members, the wider industry, government and the community – including through constructive engagement in relevant policy debates – to keep building a safer, stronger, more sustainable and more responsible future Australian minerals sector.”