Gold Fields has published a comprehensive set of 2030 targets for its most material environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities.
The targets include a commitment to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 30% on a net basis and by 50% on an absolute basis by 2030. As a signatory to the Paris Agreement on climate change, Gold Fields is committed to Net Zero carbon by 2050.
The Company is also setting ambitious new goals for its water and environmental stewardship, the management of its tailing facilities and to creating value for its stakeholders, particularly host communities.
For its employees, Gold Fields is seeking to further improve safety, health and wellbeing, and to achieve greater inclusion and diversity, by targeting a 30% female workforce by 2030.
“Gold Fields has already made significant progress in many ESG priority areas, and we now have to build on this to meet our commitments to stakeholders and the environment,’’ says Gold Fields CEO Chris Griffith.
Gold Fields has therefore embedded ESG as one of the three pillars in its strategy. The three pillars are:
- Maximise potential from current assets through people and innovation
- Build on our leading commitment to ESG
- Grow the value and quality of our portfolio of assets
Furthermore, Gold Fields has developed new Purpose and Vision statements that reflect the strengthened commitment to ESG. The new Vision, which replaces the previous commitment to leadership in sustainable gold mining, is:
- To be the preferred gold mining company delivering sustainable, superior value.
- The Purpose Statement is: Creating enduring value beyond mining.
- Gold Fields’ new ESG Charter is built on the substantive work that the company has carried out since 2016, including:
- Investing US$400 million in energy projects, largely funded through power purchasing agreements (PPAs), already ensuring that two of our Australian mines are partially powered by renewable energies.
- Commencing the construction of a R715 million solar power plant at South Deep that will provide the mine with about a quarter of its power requirements and save it over R120 million a year in electricity costs.
- The capacity of the plant has been increased from 40 MW to 50 MW. Raising the percentage of women in the workforce from 15% in 2016 to 21% at present.
- Ensuring that a significant amount of the value Gold Fields creates remains with its communities through a focus on host community employment and procurement.
- Limiting impact on the environment by curtailing serious environmental incidents, recycling over 70% of the water our operations use in their processes and limiting freshwater usage by mines.
Gold Fields will report progress against these targets as part of its annual results reporting each year.
“In finalising these targets we ensured that they were informed by detailed programmes, strategies and budgets. These targets are ambitious, but we realise that without this commitment to creating enduring value beyond mining and positively impacting our local stakeholders we cannot guarantee the long-term sustainability of our assets where we operate,” says Griffith.
The investment in decarbonising Gold Fields will total about US$1.2 billion until 2030, of which about a quarter will be financed by the company, with the remainder being funded through PPAs. All projects are expected to be NPV positive.
The capital investment required to ensure even safer tailings storage facilities (TSFs) at its operations and reduce the number of upstream facilities to three is estimated at US$325 million. A further US$25 million is required to achieve compliance of its TSFs with the GISTM.