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ICMM publishes guidance to improve the mining and metals industry’s disclosure of Scope 3 emissions

7 September 2023

London, UK – Today, ICMM publishes Scope 3 Emissions Accounting and Reporting Guidance that provides a standardised framework for mining and metals companies to calculate and disclose their value chain emissions. It aims to improve transparency and accelerate collaborative action with suppliers and customers on reducing these emissions.

The Guidance is based on the most widely used standard for accounting and reporting corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally – the GHG Protocol Scope 3 Standard from the World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) – and tailored to the unique characteristics of the mining and metals industry.

Scope 3 emissions represent 75% of the emissions profile of a company on average – which can extend to 95% for mining and metals companies depending on their commodity portfolio[1].

As minerals and metals are the foundation of so many industries, this creates a particularly complex profile of Scope 3 emissions for the mining and metals sector, with significant variance across commodities and geographies. The Guidance helps companies to understand their unique emissions profiles and identify ‘hotspots’ where they can target efforts in partnership with suppliers and customers to achieve meaningful emission reductions.

The Guidance sets clear parameters for calculating emissions across the 15 categories of Scope 3 emissions in the GHG Protocol, and supports companies in applying the Protocol’s principles of Relevance, Completeness, Transparency, Accuracy and Consistency.

The goals of the Paris Agreement will not be met without the metals and minerals needed for renewable energy technologies, but the production of these minerals and metals is not without their own climate footprint. Since all action on Scope 3 emissions depends on good quality calculations and reporting, this needs special focus for the mining and metals industry.

“ICMM members – who represent one third of the industry – have embraced their role in supporting customers and suppliers with their own efforts to decarbonise. But while transparency and action begin with us, the urgent progress required will need collaboration at a scale we’ve never seen before. We hope that ICMM’s Scope 3 Emissions Accounting and Reporting Guidance drives partnerships that can significantly reduce value chain emissions in line with global climate goals.

The Guidance was developed with support from experts on Scope 3 from ICMM’s membership, and in consultation with investors and standard owners.

Climate change is the key challenge of our generation. ICMM’s Scope 3 Emissions Accounting and Reporting Guidance will help to improve the understanding of mining and metals companies’ Scope 3 emissions profiles, as well as provide opportunities to accelerate emissions reduction.

“Each company is on their own Scope 3 journey, and so the Guidance recognises that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach does not work in the accounting and reporting of Scope 3 emissions, and that there is a need to accommodate different levels of calculation and reporting maturity across the industry. This Guidance can be used by any mining operation, regardless of commodity or geography, and so we call on all companies to adopt its use in their own accounting and reporting of Scope 3 emissions to help improve alignment in disclosures across the industry.

In 2021, ICMM members committed to reach net zero Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 or sooner, in line with the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, as well as report on Scope 3 emissions by the end of 2023 and set reduction targets, if not by then, as soon as possible. Important progress has been made towards all aspects of these commitments, and members remain on track to meet their short and medium-term milestones.

The guidance is available here.


Notes to Editor

  1. Source: Mining Technology – How Scope 3 emissions pose the biggest threat to net-zero ambitions

About ICMM

ICMM stands for mining with principles. It brings together a third of the global metals and mining industry, along with key partners, to drive leadership, action and innovation for sustainable development, ultimately delivering a positive contribution to society. Through collaboration, ICMM member companies set the standard for responsibly produced minerals and metals in a safe, just and sustainable world.

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