Skip to content

Sustainability Approach

BHP’s strategy of owning and operating long-life assets means that we need to think and plan in decades.

We can create long-term value only if we safeguard the sustainability of our operations with the support of the communities in which we work. To do that, we must form and maintain deep, authentic and respectful relationships with all of our stakeholders.

Sustainability is one of the core values set out in Our Charter. To us, sustainability means putting health and safety first, being environmentally responsible and supporting our communities. The wellbeing of our people, the community and the environment is considered in everything that we do.

Chief Executive Officer's Review

Sustainability is ingrained in every action we take across our business.

Throughout this Report we voluntarily disclose our progress across a range of health, safety, environmental and community measures. This is the first time this Report has been made available solely in a digital format. It is a small but important step that further underscores our commitment to embed sustainability in all we do.

Sustainability is ingrained in every action we take across our business. We put the health and safety of our people first, we invest in our host communities, and we work towards better environmental outcomes in the areas where we operate.

Read more.

CEO Andrew Mackenzie

Also see

Annual Report 2018

Discover more

Economic Contribution Report 2018

Discover more

Water Report 2018

Discover more

Sustainability Report 2018

 
Subscribe to news alerts

No keyword(s) entered

Please ensure you enter a keyword and try searching again

Invalid email

Sorry, we are unable to subscribe you. Please ensure you have entered a valid email address and try again.

Subscription received

Thank you for subscribing to Annual Reports Mailing List. Please check your email for confirmation of your subscription.

Subscription confirmed

You have already signed up to our newsletter.

Our People, Health and Safety

Our global workforce is the foundation of our business.

Providing our people with a safe and healthy work environment is our top priority. Supporting their wellbeing and promoting an inclusive and diverse culture are vital for maintaining a competitive advantage.

Discover more.

Our people

We are committed to investing in our workforce so they have the right skills and a healthy culture in which to thrive.

Our workforce is empowered to find safer, more creative, and more efficient ways of working to fulfil our plan for a safe and productive BHP. Our investments in technology and simplifying processes help our people achieve this vision.

At BHP, we provide competitive remuneration to reward employees for their expertise and commitment to fulfilling our business strategy and contribution to our long-term success. Our remuneration frameworks and principles inspire our employees to embrace the core objectives and values that reflect our commitment to safety, culture and productivity.

The primary focus areas for FY2018 included building a culture that promotes trustful relationships and care, increasing the capability of our leaders and recruiting a diverse workforce. In particular, we work with our leaders to develop their capabilities, recognising the vital role they play in creating engaged employees and supporting ongoing improvements in safety and productivity.

Port Hedland iron ore terminal in Australia

Health

Recognising that our operations can impact the health of our people, we set clear requirements to manage and protect the health and wellbeing of our workforce, now and into the future.

Field Leadership at BHP

We set minimum mandatory controls to identify and manage health risks for both employees and contractors. Health risks at our workplaces include occupational exposure to diesel particulate matter (DPM), silica and coal mine dust, musculoskeletal stressors, noise and mental health impacts.

As our knowledge of health risks has improved and through advances in technology and improvements in reporting, there is an increased understanding of the link between potential health exposure and disease, and the prevalence and impact of non-communicable diseases, including mental health conditions.

We keep abreast of emerging issues and trends through our membership of industry associations, informal benchmarking and networking, professional associations, participation in national and international conferences, monitoring of scientific journals, occupational health regulatory setting and advisory agencies.

Across the resources sector we expect to see a trend of increasing recognition and reporting of long latency diseases. This emphasises the importance of our well-developed health systems, designed to identify and manage health risks, which are subject to periodic audit, regular review and continuous improvement.

Safety

Our highest priority is the safety of all those impacted by our operations, including our employees and contractors and the communities in which we operate. We achieve nothing if we do not do it safely.

There are inherent hazards in many of our operations, because of their nature and location. Tragically, two of our colleagues died at work in FY2018. In August 2017, Daniel Springer, a contractor from Independent Mining Services, suffered fatal injuries as a result of an incident while removing a curved wear plate from the back of an excavator bucket at Goonyella Riverside Mine. In November 2017, a sub-contractor from our Onshore US assets, suffered fatal injuries when he was struck by a forklift during well-completion operations in the Permian Basin.

Following both events, teams were established to identify organisational improvements that could prevent similar events from occurring again. The investigations were facilitated by an external expert and led by independent senior leaders.

Read more on our response.

Our safety performance

"While this Report is a snapshot of our performance in FY2018, our commitment to sustainability began long ago. Over this time, we have worked hard to strengthen safety and improve our environmental performance, and we will continue to make progress towards our long-term targets."

Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive Officer
Andrew Mackenzie, CEO

Also see

Annual Report 2018

Discover more

Economic Contribution Report 2018

Discover more

Water Report 2018

Discover more

Sustainability Report 2018

 
Subscribe to news alerts

No keyword(s) entered

Please ensure you enter a keyword and try searching again

Invalid email

Sorry, we are unable to subscribe you. Please ensure you have entered a valid email address and try again.

Subscription received

Thank you for subscribing to Annual Reports Mailing List. Please check your email for confirmation of your subscription.

Subscription confirmed

You have already signed up to our newsletter.

Supporting communities

We are committed to making a positive contribution to the quality of life and resilience of communities where we have a presence.

BHP aims to work collaboratively with our stakeholders to deliver meaningful and sustainable outcomes and relationships based on respect, honesty and trust.

Engaging with host communities

We seek to build good relationships with our stakeholders based on mutual respect, open and ongoing communications and transparency over our activities

Our community practitioners use a range of tools that are tailored to the needs of our stakeholders. We plan, implement, evaluate and document stakeholder engagement activities, ensuring we include a range of culturally and socially inclusive engagement activities and update our plans annually. Tools include stakeholder mapping, complaints and grievance reporting procedures, perception surveys, social impact and opportunity assessments and human rights impact assessments. Through these we gain valuable insights into what we do well and where we need to improve our performance.

BHP and society

Our contribution to communities

Under our Social Investment Framework theme of governance, we invested US$3.67 million in projects that aim to reduce corruption, enhance transparency and strengthen institutions in Australia, Canada, Chile, China and Trinidad and Tobago.

Our contribution to communities

In FY2018, more than 560 NGOs and approximately 203 small businesses participated in BHP-funded capacity building activities and eight organisations we partner with received anti-corruption training.

Under the theme of human capability and social inclusion, our projects aim to increase the number of people with improved health and wellbeing, access to quality education and vocational training and enhanced livelihood opportunities. In FY2018, we contributed US$36.53 million in programs in Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States.Our contribution to environmental projects totalled US$15.28 million in Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Kenya, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States. These programs aim to contribute to enduring environmental and social benefits through biodiversity conservation, water stewardship and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Through these investments, 63,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions were reduced and 123,000 hectares of habitat was improved through restoration activities.

An additional total of US$3.92 million was invested in other initiatives, including disaster relief and workplace giving.

Supporting local economic growth

We support local businesses by seeking to source products and services locally. All our assets are required to have local procurement plans that benefit local suppliers, create employment and build capacity through training of small business entrepreneurs.

During FY2018, 24 per cent of our external expenditure was with local suppliers. An additional 73 per cent of our supply expenditure was within the regions in which we operate. Of the US$16 billion paid to more than 10,000 suppliers across the globe, US$3.8 billion was paid to local suppliers in the communities in which we operate, supporting their further development.

Our expenditure with local suppliers in FY2018 was mostly made in the United States (81 per cent), Trinidad and Tobago (47 per cent), Chile (20 per cent) and Australia (13 per cent).

BHP also seeks to support growth and diversification of local economies, to ensure sustainability post-mining.

Show LessMore

1 Local spend refers to spend within the communities in which we operate. Regional and national spend refers to spend within the regions, such as states and provinces, and home country of operation, excluding local spend.

Also see

Annual Report 2018

Discover more

Economic Contribution Report 2018

Discover more

Water Report 2018

Discover more

Sustainability Report 2018

 
Subscribe to news alerts

No keyword(s) entered

Please ensure you enter a keyword and try searching again

Invalid email

Sorry, we are unable to subscribe you. Please ensure you have entered a valid email address and try again.

Subscription received

Thank you for subscribing to Annual Reports Mailing List. Please check your email for confirmation of your subscription.

Subscription confirmed

You have already signed up to our newsletter.

Environmental stewardship

We focus on minimising and mitigating our impact on water, land, air quality and biodiversity, and working with stakeholders on effective solutions to complex environmental challenges.

Protecting the environment

Pressure on land and water resources is growing, amplified by climate change.

Maintaining the right to access these resources relies on our ability to demonstrate responsible management and contribute to a resilient environment. We do this by minimising the environmental impacts from our activities and by working in partnership with others to support environmental resilience.

Minimising environmental impacts
We recognise our operations inherently impact the environment. BHP has comprehensive governance, risk management, policies and processes to help reduce that impact.

Protecting the environment

Our environmental performance

Progress against our five-year and longer-term environmental targets for water and biodiversity in the past year, as well as other key environmental stewardship activities, is outlined below.

Five Rivers Reserve supported by BHP

A particular priority in FY2018 was to advance a global strategy for BHP on water stewardship. To enable us to achieve our targets, our people have been identifying and implementing on-ground improvement projects and investigating technology solutions that will assist them to monitor and reduce potential environmental impacts. We are also increasingly looking for opportunities to collaborate with governments, communities and other industries to share information and enable effective collective action.

While no significant environmental events occurred at any BHP operated assets in FY2018, activities are ongoing to address the significant environmental impacts of the tailings dam failure at our non-operated joint venture, Samarco, in November 2015.

Read more about our remediation and reconstruction efforts in Brazil.

Contributing to a resilient environment

We look beyond our own operations for opportunities to contribute to environmental resilience. We support the conservation and sustainable use of natural environments for the benefit of future generations through community engagement, strategic partnerships and voluntary investment in projects through our Social Investment Framework.

Since 2011, we have committed more than US$60 million to biodiversity conservation through our alliance with Conservation International and with other partners. This was in addition to the environmental management activities at our assets. Our investments with Conservation International include the Five Rivers Conservation Area in Tasmania, Australia, Valdivian Coastal Reserve in Chile, Raine Island in Queensland, Australia, Alto Mayo in Peru and the Kasigau Corridor in Kenya. These contributions have contributed to the conservation of more than 620,000 hectares of land and 16 threatened species, improved the livelihoods of around 2,500 people and protected watersheds that provide more than 900 million cubic metres of fresh water in Chile and Australia. As sustainable financing is an important aspect of conservation projects, endowments were established at the Five Rivers Conservation Area and the Valdivian Coastal Reserve towards this objective.

Two people in nature in Newman, Western Australia

Also see

Annual Report 2018

Discover more

Economic Contribution Report 2018

Discover more

Water Report 2018

Discover more

Sustainability Report 2018

 
Subscribe to news alerts

No keyword(s) entered

Please ensure you enter a keyword and try searching again

Invalid email

Sorry, we are unable to subscribe you. Please ensure you have entered a valid email address and try again.

Subscription received

Thank you for subscribing to Annual Reports Mailing List. Please check your email for confirmation of your subscription.

Subscription confirmed

You have already signed up to our newsletter.

Climate change

Managing and minimising greenhouse gas emissions from our operations and from the use of our products.

We manage and minimise greenhouse gas emissions, build resilience of our portfolio to climate change risks, and work to build operational, community and ecosystem resilience to the physical impacts of climate change.

Discover more.

 

Our climate change strategy

Our climate change strategy focuses on reducing our operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, investing in low emissions technologies, promoting product stewardship, managing climate-related risk and opportunity and working with others to enhance the global policy and market response.

More information on each element of our strategy is available here.

Five Rivers Reserve supported by BHP

Climate change as a priority governance issue

Responding to climate change is a priority governance and strategic issue for us. Our Board is actively engaged in the governance of climate change issues, supported by the Sustainability Committee. Management has primary responsibility for the design and implementation of our climate change strategy.

Reducing our operational emissions is a key performance indicator for our business and our performance against our targets (outlined below) is reflected in senior executive and leadership remuneration.

Western Australia Iron Ore

Reducing our operational emissions

As a major energy consumer, managing energy use, ensuring energy security and reducing GHG emissions at our operations are key components of our climate change strategy.

Greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2) 1

Greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2)

Delivering against our emissions reduction targets

In FY2018, we began working towards a new five-year GHG emissions reduction target. Our new target, which took effect from 1 July 2017, is to maintain our total operational emissions in FY2022 at or below FY2017 levels while we continue to grow our business. Our new target builds on our success in achieving our previous five-year target.

Our operational emissions (Scopes 1 and 2 combined) in FY2018 totalled 16.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e). This is a 1 per cent increase compared to the FY2017 baseline, and is primarily due to an increase in Scope 2 emissions from our Minerals Americas business as a result of increased production at our Escondida and Pampa Norte copper assets in Chile, as well as the commissioning of the new Escondida desalination plant.5

In addition to our five-year target, we have set the longer-term goal of achieving net-zero operational GHG emissions in the latter half of this century, consistent with the Paris Agreement.

Our five-year target and our longer-term emissions reduction goal underpin our strategy and are an important driver of internal performance. In FY2019, we will continue to focus on the delivery of our five-year target and defining a pathway to net-zero emissions over the coming decades.

Promoting product stewardship

While reducing our operational emissions is vital, emissions from our value chain (Scope 3 emissions) are significantly higher than those from our own operations.

We recognise that we have a stewardship role in working with our customers, suppliers and other value chain participants to seek to influence emissions reductions across the full life cycle of our products.

Managing our value chain emissions

In FY2018, Scope 3 emissions in our value chain were 596 million tonnes of CO2-e. The most significant contributors to this total were emissions from the downstream processing and use of our products, which accounted for around 97 per cent of total Scope 3 emissions. In particular, Scope 3 emissions emanating from the steelmaking process (the processing and use of our iron ore and metallurgical coal) accounted for over 65 per cent of the total.

Hay Point coal terminal in Australia

Managing risk and opportunity

We recognise the physical and non-physical impacts of climate change may affect our assets, productivity, the markets in which we sell our products and the communities in which we operate.

Risks related to the physical impacts of climate change include acute risks resulting from increased severity of extreme weather events and chronic risks resulting from longer-term changes in climate patterns. Non-physical risks arise from a variety of policy, legal, technological and market responses to the challenges posed by climate change and the transition to a lower carbon economy.

A broader discussion of our climate-related risk factors and risk management approach is provided as part of our TCFD-aligned disclosures in our Annual Report 2018.

Environment

Contributing to the global response

Climate change is a global challenge that requires collaboration. We prioritise working with others to enhance the global policy and market response.

Supporting the development of effective climate and energy policy

Industry has a key role to play in supporting policy development. We engage with governments and other stakeholders to contribute to the development of an effective, long-term policy framework that can deliver a measured transition to a lower carbon economy.

We believe an effective policy framework should include a complementary set of measures, including a price on carbon, support for low emissions technology and measures to build resilience. We are a signatory to the World Bank's ‘Putting a Price on Carbon’ statement and a partner in the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, a global initiative that brings together leaders from industry, government, academia and civil society with the goal of putting in place effective carbon pricing policies.

We also advocate for a framework of policy settings that will accelerate the deployment of CCS. We are a member of the Global CCS Institute and, in FY2018, we joined the UK Government’s newly formed Council on Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS).

We contribute to policy reviews throughout our global operating regions. For example, we made submissions in response to the Australian Government’s 2017 Review of Climate Change Policies and Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market (Finkel review) and its 2018 Consultation on the operation of the Emissions Reduction Fund Safeguard Mechanism. We also engaged with the Australian Energy Security Board in FY2018, both directly and through our industry association memberships, on the design of the National Energy Guarantee.

Also see

Annual Report 2018

Discover more

Economic Contribution Report 2018

Discover more

Water Report 2018

Discover more

Sustainability Report 2018

 
Subscribe to news alerts

No keyword(s) entered

Please ensure you enter a keyword and try searching again

Invalid email

Sorry, we are unable to subscribe you. Please ensure you have entered a valid email address and try again.

Subscription received

Thank you for subscribing to Annual Reports Mailing List. Please check your email for confirmation of your subscription.

Subscription confirmed

You have already signed up to our newsletter.

Subscribe to news alerts

No keyword(s) entered

Please ensure you enter a keyword and try searching again

Invalid email

Sorry, we are unable to subscribe you. Please ensure you have entered a valid email address and try again.

Subscription received

Thank you for subscribing to Annual Reports Mailing List. Please check your email for confirmation of your subscription.

Subscription confirmed

You have already signed up to our newsletter.

Loading the player...