Barrick Gold Corporation’s ESG strategy delivered tangible results in 2020, including an update to its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, said president and chief executive Mark Bristow in a virtual presentation to investors on sustainability.
The presentation was the first of its kind for Barrick and coincided with the publication of Barrick’s 2020 Sustainability Report.
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Bristow said the company’s ESG advances last year also included zero Class 1 environmental incidents1, a new record of 79% water recycling and re-use by its operations and the introduction of fully functional community development committees at all its operating sites to guide its social investment programs.
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“At the beginning of last year, we set an emissions reduction target of 10% by 2030 against a 2018 baseline that combined the data from the legacy Barrick and Randgold operations as well as newly acquired assets.
“Through the year we worked on identifying further reduction opportunities and this has enabled us to set an updated target of at least 30% by 2030 with an interim reduction target of 15% based on projects already being implemented, while maintaining a steady production profile.
“Ultimately our aim is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, achieved primarily through greenhouse gas reductions and offsets for some hard-to-abate emissions,” he said.
“Sustainability has long been a strategic business priority for us. Our strategy is based on four pillars: the creation of economic benefits for all stakeholders; the protection of health and safety at our mines and in their host communities; a respect for human rights; and the minimization of our environmental impacts. For us ESG is not a corporate compliance function: it’s integral to how we manage our businesses worldwide.”
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“In the same presentation, Barrick’s group sustainability executive Grant Beringer said all the company’s sites had been certified to the ISO 14001:2015 environmental management standard.
“Each site had also been empowered to manage its own environmental issues under the oversight of the group’s strategic leadership. There was a particularly rigorous approach to their management of tailings facilities.
“Our tailings and heap leach management standard has been aligned with the recently updated guidelines of the International Council on Mining and Metals, of which Barrick is a member, as well as those of the Mining Association of Canada. The standard sets out six levels of inspection and surety for the safe operation of tailings and heap leach facilities,” he explained.
Barrick’s 2020 Sustainability Report is available here.