Our environment approach
We acknowledge that the nature of our operations can have significant environmental impacts. Additionally, we depend on obtaining and maintaining access to environmental resources such as land and water. Competition for environmental resources is growing, with climate change amplifying the sensitivities of our natural systems.
BHP’s approach to environment is embedded in our Purpose, our Charter Value of Sustainability and key company Position Statements and standards. In line with Our Charter, we acknowledge that we have a role in minimising adverse environmental impacts through every stage of our assets and contributing more broadly to the resilience of the natural environment. We also recognise that our environmental performance and management of environmental impacts on our host communities is an important part of our contribution to social value. Through our Position Statement on Climate Change and Position Statement on Water Stewardship, we recognise that BHP has a responsibility to play a leadership role in responding to these global challenges.
Our approach to environmental management is based on the robust identification, assessment and management of risks across all phases of our assets, including exploration, development, operation and closure. BHP applies a company-wide Risk Framework to identify and manage risks, including environmental risks, and we engage with stakeholders and take their perspectives and knowledge into account in our decision making.
As well as commitments in our Position Statements for Climate Change and Water Stewardship, we have company-level public environmental targets and longer term goals for water, biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions that include reducing emissions, sustainable use of resources and contributing to the achievement of collective goals such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We monitor and report our company-wide performance on a range of environmental indicators and metrics in line with external reporting frameworks such as Global Reporting Initiative. Annual performance data, progress on public targets and key initiatives, as well as certain environmental monitoring information and environmental social impact assessments are publicly available on the BHP website.
Minimising environmental impacts
We seek to avoid, minimise and mitigate adverse environmental impacts at every stage in the lifecycle of our assets in line with our defined risk appetite and have comprehensive frameworks, policies and processes (including on governance and risk management) that apply to environmental risks and set the basis for how we manage those risks and achieve our environmental objectives.
The Our Requirements for Environment and Climate Change standard outlines company-wide mandatory minimum requirements to deliver on our commitments and manage risk. It requires us to take an integrated, risk-based approach to the management of any actual or reasonably foreseeable operational impacts (which includes direct, indirect and cumulative impacts) on land, biodiversity, water and air. We establish and implement monitoring and review practices designed to ensure continued management of environment-related risk within our risk appetite through business planning and project evaluation cycles.
An updated version of the Our Requirements standard was issued in August 2019, to align with our current public targets for water, climate change and biodiversity, and our Water Stewardship Position Statement. For new requirements contained in the updated version, our operated assets are required to have an implementation plan in place by 1 July 2020.