Global mining company Anglo American announced today a series of new climate goals aimed at decarbonizing its shipping activities, including a new target to achieve carbon neutrality in its controlled ocean freight by 2040, and to slash emissions from these activities by 30% by 2030.

Peter Whitcutt, CEO of Anglo American’s Marketing business, said:

“Since establishing our shipping desk in 2012, we have built a diverse portfolio and today we transport more than 70 million tonnes of dry bulk products per year to our customers around the world. We are committed to playing an active role in accelerating the transition to a more sustainable shipping sector, a crucial component in our efforts to extend our positive impact beyond our mine sites. This ambition further cements that commitment and will help us shape a clearer path towards decarbonisation.”

As companies globally increasingly aim to reduce the climate impact of their supply chains, the sustainability profile of ocean shipping is coming under growing scrutiny. According to the European Maritime Safety Agency, shipping accounts for 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to air pollution close to coastal areas and ports.

The new goal follows the announcement last month by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM, with members – including Anglo American – representing roughly a third of the global metals and mining industry, of a commitment by its members to reach net zero Scope 1, and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, and to accelerate action on Scope 3 value chain emissions.

Anglo American’s own climate goals include achieving carbon neutral mining operations by 2040 and reducing Scope 3 emissions by 50% by 2040. Earlier this year, the company announced that it completed its exit from thermal coal mining, eliminating its exposure to the highest carbon emitting source of energy in the global fuel mix.

The company outlined several of the initiatives it will pursue in order to achieve its new shipping goal, including vessel retrofits, the use of voyage optimisation software, and support for technology development targeting the switch from conventional fuel oil to sustainable marine fuels. Anglo American stated that it is participating in industry efforts to accelerate the development of alternative low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels, exploring biofuels, green ammonia, and hydrogen-based fuels.

Whitcutt added:

“Connecting our customers with the metals and minerals they need in a way that is safe, efficient and sustainable is a key priority for us, so our ambition for carbon neutral controlled ocean freight is a natural extension of our commitment to be carbon neutral across our mining operations by 2040.