Newmont shines in ESG rankings amid rising climate target

Newmont's Peñasquito mine in Mexico.

Newmont, a top performer in London-based Alva’s environment, social and corporate governance (ESG) report during the third quarter, has committed to a 30 per cent greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2030.

The 2030 target has increased from Newmont’s emissions reductions target of 16.5 per cent over five years that is ending this year.

The company is also aiming for zero emissions by 2050.

To achieve the targets, Newmont is developing a new energy and climate investments standard.

“At Newmont, we hold ourselves to high standards — from the way in which we govern our business, to how we manage relationships with our stakeholders, to our environmental stewardship and safety practices,” Newmont president and chief executive Tom Palmer said.

“We fundamentally understand the human contribution to climate change and understand we reap what we sow. It is our responsibility to take care of the resources provided to us.

“We take these climate change commitments seriously, and make them because our relationship with the planet is absolute. We want a world that is not just sustainable, but thriving for generations to come.”

Newmont has also topped the top 20 list in Alva’s ESG report after reaching a water availability agreement with the San Juan de Cedros community, where Newmont’s Peñasquito silver mine is based.

The media monitoring company, Alva assigns ESG scores to companies based on publicly available content from social media to non-governmental organisation (NGO) research to assess companies’ non-financial performance.

It identified energy management and greenhouse gas emissions as the most positive development for the mining sector.

Ranking second in the energy management list is Newcrest Mining, which has joined the Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution to boost energy efficiency across its projects.

Third-placed Trafigura also contributed to the energy management’s top ranking with its plans to develop solar, wind and power storage projects over the coming years.

Trafigura was a consistent performer, with carbon levy on marine fuels to meet decarbonisation targets helping greenhouse gas emissions climb to second on the overall category ranking.

The top five was rounded out by Gold Fields and AngloGold Ashanti.

Health and safety ranked third, air quality in fourth and biodiversity impacts rounded out the top five in the ESG categories.

Community relations slid to the bottom of the category rankings, with Rio Tinto’s destruction of Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara, Western Australia taking up the major share of the impact during the third quarter this year.

The freezing of Brazilian miner Vale’s assets in the Minas Gerais state to cover damages from the Brumadinho tailings dam failure also contributed to the fall in ranking for community relations.

Rio Tinto slid to the 20th and final spot on the list, with the Juukan Gorge incident also being noted in the human rights category ranking of 10th out of 11.

Fellow mining giant BHP came in 16th place with minus 23 points, well below the sector average of minus six.

BHP was commended for its plans to cut global emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, which came under greenhouse gas emissions’ second place category ranking.

“The mining sector average falls this quarter, hovering around the neutral point, with a score of minus six,” Alva stated.

“Nine out of eleven material issue areas scored negatively in the third quarter (health and safety, air quality, biodiversity impacts, water management, business ethics, labour relations, waste and hazardous materials, human rights and community relations).

“Companies across the sector are investing in energy management, helping this issue become one of the only positive material issues during the quarter.”

The report also indicated that ESG perceptions of mining had deteriorated slightly from the last quarter, with the most negativity coming from community relations and human rights.

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