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Sustainability at Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto


Our values, experience and history tell us that we must work in a way that delivers real, lasting benefits for the owners of our company as well as the wider communities in which we operate.

We must care for our employees, respect and care for the environment when we explore, build and operate, and repurpose or rehabilitate the land when our operations come to an end. We must contribute our fair share to local and national economies, including through the payment of taxes and royalties, and do so transparently. These beliefs are the foundation of our views on sustainability.

In 2018, we launched our first integrated sustainability strategy. This strategy commits us to adopt high standards, often going beyond legal requirements, on the sustainability issues that are material to our business, our employees, the communities that host us and the customers that buy and use our products.

Our goal is to achieve consistent, high-quality social and environmental performance across all of our operations and to increase our stakeholders’ knowledge of how we work through meaningful disclosures and transparency. We have also made an effort to better understand, engage and partner with our key stakeholders to create sustained, mutual value.

We support the 2030 development agenda and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Our portfolio is also an important part of our sustainability strategy. In 2018, we became the only major player in our industry to have a portfolio free of fossil fuel production. Today, our portfolio comprises commodities with solid long-term fundamentals, including those critical for the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Our Climate Change Strategy

1. Producing materials essential for a low-carbon future
We supply the metals and minerals essential to human progress. Each of the commodities we produce has a role to play in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

2. Reducing the carbon footprint of our operations
Many of our operations are highly energy-intensive and some of our industrial processes also result in GHG emissions. We are taking steps to enhance productivity and efficiency, as well as exploring alternative sources of energy and developing innovative pathways to reduce emissions.

Our ambition is to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Our 2030 targets are to reduce our emissions intensity by 30% and our absolute emissions by 15% (or approximately 4.8mt CO2e).

3. Partnering to reduce the carbon footprint across our value chain
Climate change will only be solved through collective action by governments, business and consumers around the globe. We are working on innovative partnerships to stimulate action with customers and other partners across the value chain. We are also participating in industry forums and advocating policy positions to promote climate action in a responsible and sustainable way.

4. Enhancing our resilience to physical climate risks
We consider climate risks over the life of our operations, from the development of new projects through to closure and beyond. We have already experienced extreme weather events at many of our sites and are using scenarios to assess further medium- to long-term risks.

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