Economic contribution report

Our approach to transparency and tax

During a global pandemic, tax and broader economic policy is rightly a major subject of discussion in many jurisdictions. BHP has a strong commitment to demonstrating the highest standards of corporate governance and transparency. 

Our approach to tax is underpinned by Our Charter and Our Code of Conduct, and is embodied in our tax principles.

Our commitment to transparency

BHP has a long-standing commitment to transparency. We have disclosed details of our tax and royalty payments for more than 20 years and during that time we have continually updated and expanded our disclosures. The 2021 Economic Contribution Report meets the requirements of the Australian Voluntary Tax Transparency Code and aims to provide a greater understanding of BHP’s global tax profile, tax contributions and the manner in which we govern and manage our tax obligations. This year, our Economic Contribution Report 2021 reflects the requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standard 207: Tax issued by the Global Sustainability Standards Board.

Olympic Dam with two employees
In FY2021, our tax, royalty and other payments to government totalled US$11.1 billion. During the last decade, we paid US$84.0 billion globally in taxes, royalties and other payments.
David Lamont


FY2021 total economic contribution

We are proud that in FY2021 we have continued to provide support to local businesses, regional and Indigenous communities, to protect local jobs and continue to pay taxes and royalties to governments. BHP’s total direct economic contribution for FY2021 was US$40.9 billion.

This includes payments to suppliers, wages and benefits for around 80,000 employees and contractors, dividends, taxes, royalties and voluntary investment in social projects across the communities where we operate.

US$40.9bnOur total economic contribution in FY2021
US$11.1bnIncome taxes, royalty-related income taxes, royalties and other payments to government
US$8.7bnDividend and interest payments
US$175mCommunity contributions(1)(2)
US$16.5bnPayments made to our suppliers for the purchase of utilities, goods and services(1)
US$4.4bnEmployee expenses for salary, wages and incentives(1); around 80,000 employees and contractors


1 Calculated on an accruals basis.

2 Total social investment includes community contributions and associated administrative costs (including US$1.9 million to facilitate the operation of the BHP Foundation) and BHP’s equity share in community contributions for operated and non-operated joint ventures. Our social investment target is not less than 1 per cent of pre-tax profits invested in community programs, including cash and administrative costs, calculated on the average of the previous three years’ pre-tax profit.

  • Our tax principles
  • Our contribution throughout the value chain
  • Downloads

Our tax principles


Our Charter and Our Code of Conduct (Our Code) define how we work at BHP. Our Charter describes our purpose, values
and how we measure our success.

It is the single most important means by which we communicate who we are, what we do and what we stand for, and
is the basis for our decision-making. Supporting Our Charter is Our Code, which helps guide our daily work. It demonstrates how we practically apply the commitments and values set out in Our Charter.

Our approach to tax is underpinned by Our Charter and Our Code, and is embodied in our Tax Principles. The Risk and Audit Committee of the BHP Board endorsed these principles and in FY2021, we conducted assurance that we have adhered to our Tax Principles.

1. Transparency

We are transparent about the taxes and royalties that we pay to governments because we believe that openness allows our shareholders, employees, contractors, partners, customers and communities to understand the contribution we make and have a greater ability to assess the integrity of the tax systems in the countries in which we operate.

2. Corporate citizenship

We act with integrity when engaging with revenue authorities to support positive and sustainable relationships. Where possible, for the purposes of obtaining certainty of our tax positions, we engage with revenue authorities on a real-time basis regarding the application of the tax law and to identify and resolve any disagreements on a timely basis.

3. Risk management and governance

We are committed to strong governance. We seek to identify, assess, control and report tax risks in accordance with our global Risk Framework. Risks identified as material are reported to the Risk and Audit Committee. More information is provided on page 16 of the Economic Contribution Report.

4. Business rationale

Our transactions have proper commercial purposes and economic rationale. We locate business activities where value is optimally created. We seek to have a tax charge that contributes to superior business performance and delivers long-term shareholder value. Accordingly, we do not engage in aggressive tax planning.

5. Compliance

We respect and comply with the laws of the jurisdictions in which we operate. We meet all of our tax compliance obligations on time. Our tax obligations include pricing transactions in our global value chain according to where value is created and economic activity occurs, in compliance with the OECD guidelines, and based on the arm’s length principle.

6. Advocating reform

We support simple, stable and competitive tax rules and the principle that the taxing rights of countries should be commensurate with where the economic activity occurs. We engage in the reform process of international tax rules (including transfer pricing) and local tax rules in the jurisdictions in which we operate. We do this because we believe that tax systems should be effective, efficient and competitive, in order to support economic growth, job creation and long-term sustainable tax contributions.


Our contribution throughout the value chain

We create value – both financial and social – for the stakeholders and communities where we operate and also to society more broadly. We do this at each step in our value chain. 

We work in partnership with communities. We provide employment, purchase goods and services, pay taxes, royalties and other payments to governments and make contributions (such as donations) to communities where we operate.

How we contribute

Exploration and acquisition

With copper and nickel our primary targets.

  • Payments to suppliers
  • Wages paid to employees
  • Permits, licence fees and employment taxes

Development and mining

Our aim is to be the industry’s best operator through a focus on safety, operational excellence and social value.

How we contribute:

  • Capital expenditure
  • Payments to suppliers and contractors Wages paid to employees
  • Employment and sales taxes, import duties
  • Contributions to communities where we operate

Process and logistics

We process and refine ore, strive to safely manage waste, and aim to efficiently and sustainably transport our products to customer markets.

How we contribute:

  • Net profits – corporate taxes paid
  • Royalties paid from extraction
  • Payments to suppliers and contractors Wages paid to employees
  • Employment and sales taxes, import duties
  • Contributions to communities where we operate


Sales and marketing

We seek to maximise value through our commercial expertise, customer insights and proactive risk management.

How we contribute:

  • Payments to suppliers and contractors
  • Wages paid to employees
  • Corporate, employment and sales taxes, import duties

Closure and rehabilitation

Are considered throughout the asset life cycle, to help minimise our impact and optimise post-closure value for all.

How we contribute:

  • Payments to suppliers and contractors Corporate taxes paid if alternative
  • revenue streams from post-mining land use are found
  • Lower employment and sales taxes

Economic Contribution Report 2021

Download and read our 2021 Economic Contribution Report.