We recognise that climate change is one of the most significant challenges and risks that humanity faces
Climate change may significantly impact mining operations in the regions where we operate, now and in the future.
Nordgold is committed to implementing carbon reducing initiatives, as well as adhering to best practices and international initiatives and guidelines. We endeavour to do all we can to reduce our carbon footprint across our operations.
We are committed to achieving net zero CO 2 emissions by 2050
To meet this target, Nordgold is developing the strict criteria for all new projects, including progressive new requirements for renewable power generation, a green mining fleet and supporting vehicles, processing, and refining capacity. All projects whose life-of-mine extends beyond 2050 will have a pathway to achieving net zero by 2050.
Essential onsite power generation, which provides both the energy to run our operations and ensures that our employees benefit from safe and comfortable accommodation and amenities, is a significant source of CO 2 emissions, and we are therefore implementing a programme to reduce associated impacts.
Our target is to reduce direct Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions intensity (Scope 1) by 3% by 2023 from 2020 levels
This will mainly be achieved by building a new, highly efficient power plant at Lefa and introducing efficiency improvements at the Gross mine’s power plant.
Nordgold’s other current initiatives to reduce the carbon intensity of its operations are:
- implementation of the OMNICOMM fuel and lubricant materials consumption monitoring and the WENCO mining equipment dispatching systems which is expected to reduce both fuel consumption and downtime;
- undertaking of technical feasibility and design assessments for a proposed solar power plant at Bissa;
- annual reforestation campaigns; and
- looking at options to use hydropower generation where possible.
Analysis of climate risks (TCFD)
In 2020, Nordgold took the first steps to ensure compliance and disclosure in accordance with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
In 2021, we conducted a qualitative climate risk assessment of our assets in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Africa and subsequently intend to draft a Climate Risk Management Policy in accordance with the TCFD. A Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures statement is also part of the Nordgold’s annual sustainability report.Reports & Policies
Nordgold’s governance of climate change issues is influenced and overseen by the CEO, Board of Directors, and major shareholders. Nordgold’s Safety and Sustainable Development Committee of the Board is the highest body within the Company responsible for addressing climate change. The Board meets at least four times a year to discuss a range of issues, including strategies for sustainable growth and climate change actions and invites from the Company’s major shareholders.
Climate change strategy
In 2020, the Group, under the supervision of the Safety and Sustainable Development Committee of the Board of Directors, initiated a new approach and strategy for estimating and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, covering:
- estimations of greenhouse gas emissions.
- determining climate risks that are pertinent to the production assets of the Group.
- climate risks analysis, assessment of their materiality, prioritising risks.
- elaborating climate risk mitigation actions that minimise economic damage in the event of climate risks materialising.
- creating strategic goals to mitigate the impact of the climate on our operating and financial performance.
We also initiated the elaboration of a new methodology for measuring GHG emissions, which will enable us to develop strategic targets for reducing our carbon footprint. Nordgold’s new approach encompasses both direct and indirect emissions (Scope 1 and Scope 2), in accordance with international standard ISO 14064-1-2018, GHG Protocol standards, and 2006 IPCC1 Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.
The new methodology will facilitate the benchmarking of the carbon intensity of each mine across each production process, thereby helping us to identify opportunities for improvement.
The climate risk management system to be implemented at Nordgold will consist of a set of internal policies and procedures applicable to all organisational levels and is intended to mitigate climate risks.
The system will be fully integrated into the corporate risk management system. As a result, we will be able to respond proactively and expansively to all climate change factors in the business environment, including international and national climate change initiatives.
Indicators and targets
It is our underlying goal to reduce climate change risks, while simultaneously constantly improving our financial performance.
In accordance with TCFD recommendations, we have split Nordgold’s climate risks into two main categories: physical and transitional.
Physical risks are attributable to the direct impact of adverse climate factors: temperature, humidity, the level of precipitation, and other factors that could have a permanent impact (chronic risks) and an increase in the likelihood of hazardous weather phenomena (acute risks).
Transitional risks consist of political, legal, technological, market, and reputational risks related to a global transition to a low-carbon development model.
Based on the analysed transition risks, Nordgold has identified the following preventative actions:
- Implement a regular greenhouse gas emissions reporting and monitoring system by applying universally recognized methodologies and standards: the GHG Protocol, Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories of the Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
- Monitor and participate in a discussion of regulatory initiatives to assess the potential tax burden on Nordgold’s products.
- Reduce electricity consumption through investments in energy-efficient technologies.
- Increase the share of low-carbon energy sources in Nordgold’s energy balance through a transition to low-carbon generation.
- Analyse and implement global best practices to reduce the carbon intensity of the gold mining industry. Pursuant to the World Gold Council, to reach the target of limiting global warming to 2ºC by 2050, gold miners must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80%.
- Draft a systematic approach to monitoring and disclosing information on climate risks through adopting TCFD recommendations on the timely submission of objective information on performance in terms of climate risk management parameters to all stakeholders.
Based on the analysed physical risks, the following performance indicators measure our progress against our goals when it comes to preventing global climate change risks:
- The integrity of tailing storage facilities: monitoring the state of tailings storage facilities, supervising the water level, quality control of slurry pipelines, monitoring soil erosion at the sides of tailings storage facilities.
- The industrial safety of production facilities: analysis of the region’s landslides, monitoring plots with identified landslide activity, stabilisation of slopes, wastewater disposal.
- Environmental protection: constant monitoring of the impact of production processes on the environment to prevent damage.
The safety of working conditions and zero fatalities in the workplace:
- compliance with occupational health and safety rules in instances of high temperatures or limited visibility;
- due consideration of the operability of equipment at high temperature;
- and consideration of the additional energy consumption required to cool production shops;
- controlling the level of mine waters in underground mining, forecasting any increase in the level and factoring in additional resources for the operation of pumps;
- implementing preventative measures to combat epidemics;
- and suppling clean water to local communities.
- Continuous production: storage of water (for production, household, and practical needs) and stocks of raw materials in case of disruptions to supplies, and creating alternative means of communication.
Reforestation is one of Nordgold’s environmental programmes that is guided by UN Sustainable Development Goals to help combat climate change in the countries where we operate.
In addition, Nordgold supports the development of artificial forests as a means of working with local communities to deliver tangible change. Every year Nordgold plants thousands of trees. As well as helping to tackle climate change, by planting fruit trees we create opportunities for local communities to generate additional income in a sustainable way.
Drought In Burkina Faso: Our Response
“Climate change”, a phrase that has almost become a media cliché, sounds quite differently where its sad consequences are clear for everyone to see: just south of the great Sahara desert.
Africa is drying up. And Burkina Faso is one of those countries where the Sahara hot breath is felt most.