Climate change is one of the main threats facing humanity in the coming decades. As a mining and metallurgical group whose operations generate large amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs), Eramet is a key stakeholder when it comes to tackling this issue. The Group is thus seeking to avoid or minimize these emissions.
By focusing on critical metals such as nickel and lithium, Eramet aims to be a "part of the solution" in terms of the energy transition.
A PRACTICAL ROAD MAP FOR CARBON REDUCTION
As part of its decarbonization efforts, Eramet has developed a strategy based on reducing its scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions (i.e, in terms of direct on-site emissions and indirect emissions linked to electricity and heat purchases), as well as by supporting the circular economy.
A Group decarbonization road map sets out the measures that need to be implemented in the field, such as:
- the use of bio-reducers in ore reduction;
- the development of CO2 capture and storage (CCS) systems in partnership with other stakeholders
- the use and production of electricity from renewable sources along with the electrification of mines
- the use of natural gas instead of heavy fuel oil for electricity production in order to reduce the carbon content of the electricity consumed by SLN's Doniambo plant and GCO
- the development of hydrogen ore reduction in conjunction with bio-reducers.
Based on the Group's general road map, discussions were held with each site in order to further develop local road maps.
As a result of the actions carried across all subsidiaries, scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions have been reduced by 8% compared to 2020, in a context of increased mining production (up by approximately 30% compared to 2020) and pyrometallurgical production (up by approximately 4% compared to 2020).
In 2022, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) recognised Eramet's efforts by giving it an A- rating, an improvement on 2021 (B). The Group has been responding to the CDP questionnaire since 2018.
FACING UP TO THE CLIMATE CHALLENGE: REDUCING OUR OVERALL EMISSIONS BY 40% BY 2035
In its CSR road map published in 2019, Eramet has also committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 26% (in terms of scopes 1 & 2, i.e. emissions resulting from the company's operations) over the period 2018-2023.
By opting to focus on developing low-carbon activities and implementing measures to reduce its emissions, the Group met its objectives by 2021 and has even surpassed them by achieving a reduction of 39%.
In its continuing efforts to help combat climate change, Eramet has decided to speed up the process by setting a new 15-year target that is in line with the Paris Agreement and the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): the aim is to reduce total scope 1 and 2 emissions by 40% by 2035 (compared with 2019 levels). This is yet another step towards making the Group carbon neutral by 2050.
This target is coupled with a commitment extending the Group's efforts to scope 3, which involves prompting its suppliers and customers to reduce their emissions to ensure that they set their own "Science Based Targets" by 2025 and commit to a decarbonization process that is consistent with the Paris Agreement.
In September 2021, this objective was validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a collaboration between the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi ensures that the commitments made by the companies participating in the process are relevant and compatible with the Paris Agreement.
Working towards ISO 50001 certification for all sites
ISO 50001 is the standard that helps organizations implement a high-performance energy management system. By the end of 2021, 17 sites had implemented an ISO 50001 certified energy management system. The Eramet Marietta and GCO sites were granted certification in 2021; Comilog's two remaining entities, the mine and the Moanda Metallurgical Complex, are scheduled to be certified during the first quarter of 2022. By this point, the Group's main energy consumers and CO2 emitters will be ISO 50001 certified.
REDUCING ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND DECARBONIZING PRODUCTION: THE PRACTICALITIES
In 2021, the Eramet Group continued its efforts to reduce energy consumption and decarbonize its energy mix by means of the following major projects:
- The construction of two wind farms in Norway: the two wind farms in Tysvaer and Buhei went into service in 2021. Eramet Norway is purchasing the electricity generated by these wind farms under 17-year Corporate PPAs. Signed at the end of 2019, these initial Corporate PPAs will ensure that Eramet Norway has a supply of wind-generated electricity at a guaranteed cost. Eramet Norway has thus secured a long-term supply of competitively-priced electricity, while contributing to the development of renewable energy. This has also enabled the Norwegian subsidiary to diversify its electricity supply, which has traditionally come from hydroelectric sources. The use of wind power further consolidates Eramet Norway's already extremely low CO2 emissions compared with its competitors in the manganese alloys market.
- Replacement of SLN's oil-fired power plant in New Caledonia: A "temporary offshore power plant" solution is scheduled to go into operation on the Doniambo site by the end of 2022. This offshore oil-fired power plant will be more efficient than the existing plant and will provide continuity of electricity supply to the site in the short term. The increase in efficiency will significantly reduce CO2 emissions in New Caledonia.
- The use of electric conveyors with energy recovery for transporting ore at Comilog in Gabon. As the Okouma mining site is located 200 meters above the shipping area, Comilog has decided to use an electric conveyor to transport the ore and recover the electricity generated by its descent, rather than using mining machinery, which consumes diesel. The equipment was ordered in the spring of 2021 and is scheduled to go into service in the course of 2022.