ENVIRONMENT | Climate change | Next: Energy management

Environment
Climate change

CLIMATE CHANGE AND CARBON emissions FOOTPRINT

To ensure alignment with our carbon emission reduction goals, a steering committee oversees energy management projects and activities. This helps us thoroughly understand risks and opportunities so that our operations can focus on managing energy consumption, carbon emissions and other climate change-related matters.

Exxaro measures, manages and reports energy and carbon data in terms of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. Our scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions are monitored and reported annually. We use the operating control accounting approach in reporting emissions.

Scope 1
Direct GHG emissions (measured in tCO2e) from sources owned or controlled by Exxaro using diesel, petrol, gas and anthracite combustion in day-to-day mining operations

Scope 2
GHG emissions from electricity generated by Eskom and purchased by Exxaro

Scope 3
Emissions outside our control but emanating from our products or activities such as customers burning coal sold by Exxaro

The GHG Protocol provides a standard measurement platform to compare aggregate data nationally and internationally. South Africa has arguably set the most aggressive carbon abatement targets of any developing country. The country aims to reduce emissions by 34% below business as usual by 2020 and 42% by 2025. Our GHG emissions recorded over the past three financial years are shown in the following tables and graphs.

GHG emissions Year-on-year
change
2020 
(ktCO2e)
2019 
(ktCO2e)
2018 
(ktCO2e)
Scope 1 -6% 385  412  315 
Scope 21 -3% 650  670  553 
Total scope 1 and 2 -5% 1 035  1 082  867 
Year-on-year change (%) -5  25 
Scope 32 -2.4% 69 220  70 947  72 928 
Year-on-year change (%) +2.5%  +2.7% 
Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions
Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions
Scope 3 GHG emissions
Scope 3 GHG emissions
1 Scope 2: Electricity-based emissions are derived from the grid emission factor for South Africa, which is 1.06tCO2e per megawatt hour (MWh).
2 Scope 3: Reported emissions based on use of product sold by Exxaro (representing over 96% of Exxaro's scope 3 emissions).

  Carbon emissions by source Year-on-year
change
2020 2019 2018
  Electricity (ktCO2e) -3% 650 670 553
  Year-on-year change (%) 3 18 2
  Source proportion (%) 63 62 64
  Diesel (ktCO2e) -3% 261 268 218
  Year-on-year change (%) 3 19 3
  Source proportion (%) 25 25 25
  Fugitive emissions (ktCO2e) -14% 117 136 93
  Year-on-year change (%) 14 32 2
  Source proportion (%) 11 13 11
  Other sources (ktCO2e) -11% 8 9 0
  Year-on-year change (%) 11 96 74
  Source proportion (%) 1 1 1
Carbon disclosure

The CDP, a UK-based organisation overseeing a global environmental disclosure system, receives data that provides valuable insights into corporate strategies and the journey towards environmental leadership. The system also helps channel investment to companies adhering to sustainable carbon and emissions management.

We have participated in the CDP climate change programme since 2008, supporting our reporting with a central data repository that records our energy consumption and intensity, carbon emissions measurement and cost performance at BU and group levels. The database is audited and assured externally every year. We have also participated in the CDP Water programme since 2010.

Reducing our energy consumption and improving our energy efficiency remains a high priority.

Therefore, we continue focusing on lowering our carbon footprint. In a fast-changing legislative environment, with the promulgation of carbon tax from 1 June 2019, reducing GHGs is a business imperative as it could affect our financial performance. Our carbon intensity continues to show a decreasing trend as we focus on managing our electricity and diesel consumption. We expect this trend to continue as we implement initiatives to support 2050 our carbon-neutrality target.

GHG emissions in 2020 Scope 1
(ktCO2e)
Scope 2
(ktCO2e)
Scope 3
(ktCO2e)
Total
(ktCO2e)
Mpumalanga 208 243 19 120 19 573
Belfast 55 3 233 291
Dorstfontein East 24 18 95 137
Dorstfontein West 9 15 353 377
Forzando North 3 46 49
Forzando South 11 414 58
Leeuwpan 54 27 3 622 3 704
Mafube 16 28 3 220 3 264
Matla 36 106 11 182 11 324
Limpopo 177 396 50 100 50 674
Reductants 77 77
Grootegeluk 177 394 50 023 50 364
Tshikondeni 0.03 2 0 2
Gauteng 0.1 8 8
Corporate Centre, the conneXXion 0.02 1.6 2
FerroAlloys 0.1 6 6
KwaZulu-Natal 0.2 0.1 0.3
Durnacol 0.1 0.05 0.2
Hlobane 0.1 0.02 0.1

During 2020, the carbon intensity was 4.9ktCO2e/TTM compared to 5.4ktCO2e/TTM in 2019. This translates to a 9% decrease in carbon intensity due to energy efficiency projects at our BUs. The reduction in the number of employees working from the office due COVID-19 also contributed to the reduction.

Electricity and diesel intensities decreased in 2020, mainly due to energy efficiency projects in our operations, particularly at our largest operation, Grootegeluk. Based on production tonnages in 2020, electricity intensity decreased by 7% to 13MWh/kt (14MWh/kt in 2019) and diesel intensity decreased by 6% to 2 042 litres (L)/kt (2 183l/kt in 2019). The following projects currently underway at Grootegeluk avoided 1 088tCO2e in 2020:

  • In pit crushing and conveying
  • Haul truck out of cycle time reduction
  • Pantograph Trolley utilisation improvement

The focus to 2021 will be to roll out energy management projects across the group to ensure that we can leverage on the direct benefits on the GHG reduction.