Sustainability is key to our purpose of bringing people and resources together to build a better world.
Our approach to sustainability includes identifying opportunities to create a positive contribution to society through social value. Social value is BHP’s positive contribution to society – our people, partners, the economy, the environment and local communities. It is about creating enduring, mutual benefit for BHP, our shareholders and the broader community. Our social value framework, approach to governance and annual performance against our social value scorecard are detailed on our Social value webpage and in the BHP Annual Report 2023, Operating and Financial Review 6.5 - 2030 goals.
Our approach and position
We define our approach to sustainability through Our Charter, which is governed through the Our Requirements standards. These standards describe our mandatory minimum performance requirements and provide the foundation to develop and implement management systems at our operated assets.
Governance and oversight
The BHP Board has oversight of our approach to and delivery on sustainability and is supported by each of its Committees.
The Board’s Sustainability Committee advises and assists the Board in its oversight of the Group’s management and performance in relation to health, safety, environmental, climate and community matters.
The Board’s Risk and Audit Committee is responsible for assisting the Board in overseeing and reviewing emerging and priority group risks, risk management and internal controls. The Risk and Audit Committee also reviews and recommends to the Board public financial disclosures related to sustainability matters.
The Nomination and Governance Committee is responsible for reviewing and making recommendations to the Board on the Group’s significant social, community and sustainability policies. The Nomination and Governance Committee also reviews and makes recommendations to the Board on the Group’s public sustainability targets and goals.
The People and Remuneration Committee is responsible for considering and assessing the performance measures for the Executive Leadership Team and performance outcomes against those measures. In doing so, the People and Remuneration Committee considers recommendations from the Sustainability Committee in relation to health, safety, environment, climate and community measures.
As a global company, we interact with a range of partners and stakeholders. Our methods, frequency of engagement and approach to listening to partners and stakeholders are diverse. We use a range of formal and informal communication and engagement channels to understand partner and stakeholder views. The following table provides an overview of our partner and stakeholder groups, their range of interests and how we engage with them.
BHP also seeks advice from external experts and forums on issues relating to sustainability as inputs into our policy development and decision-making processes. The BHP Forum on Corporate Responsibility (FCR) is a key part of our governance approach and stakeholder engagement program. The FCR comprises independent civil society leaders in various fields of sustainability, who make an important contribution to our approach over a range of social and environmental issues and to the development of our policies, strategies and standards. They provide insight into current and emerging issues, challenge our thinking and allow us to understand and consider the broader impacts of our actions. More information on the FCR is available on our FCR webpage.
We use various metrics to measure our sustainability progress and performance. Our sustainability performance metrics are independently audited and a copy of the EY independent assurance report is available in the BHP Annual Report 2023, Operating and Financial Review 6.17 - Independent limited assurance report.
Refer to the ESG Standards and Databook 2023 for details on our FY2023 sustainability performance data.
Refer to the Social value webpage for our 2023 social value scorecard.
Contributing to sustainable development
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) aim to create a better, fairer and more sustainable world by 2030. The 17 SDGs address the global challenges society faces, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, conservation and economic growth. We can contribute to these broader goals through working in partnership with many different stakeholders, from global to local.
We recognise our business activities can create negative impacts. Therefore, sustainability must be integral to how we do business. The interconnectedness of the SDGs means that a positive contribution to one can either have a multiplier effect or lead to potential negative impacts for another, so we work to understand the linkages, manage and mitigate any adverse impacts, and determine how we can make a positive contribution to those most relevant to our business and social value priorities.
We contribute towards the achievement of the SDGs through:
Our work on inclusion and diversity. Refer to our People webpage for information on our approach and how we are tracking against our aspirational goal for a gender-balanced employee workforce by the end of FY2025 (SDGs 5 and 8).
Our focus on water stewardship. Refer to our Water webpage for information on our approach to water management (SDG 6).
The taxes and royalties we pay to governments where we operate, the direct and indirect employment opportunities we create and our supply chain. Refer to our Economic Contribution Report for more information (SDG 8).
Our voluntary social investment. Refer to our Social investment webpage for information on our social investment strategy and framework (SDGs 3, 4 and 11).
Our commitment to the aims of the Paris Agreement and action to reduce our operational emissions help to address emissions in our value chain, build resilience and enhance the global response to climate change. Our operational GHG emission reduction strategy continues to prioritise structural abatement in areas that are technically and commercially feasible, while working in collaboration with our suppliers, partners and peers on accelerating the development of other potential decarbonisation technologies. Our medium-term target is to reduce operational GHG emissions by at least 30 per cent from FY2020 levels by FY2030, and our long-term goal is to achieve net zero operational GHG emissions by 2050. Refer to our Climate change webpage for our approach to climate change. (SDG 13).
This approach allows us to work in partnerships with others to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes (SDG17).
Risk management approach
Under our Group-wide Risk Framework, our aim is to identify risks (both threats and opportunities) associated with our business, including risks and potential impacts that relate to sustainability issues. This enables us to prioritise and manage the risks that matter most.
We classify all risks to which BHP is exposed using our Group Risk Architecture. This is a tool to identify, analyse, monitor and report risk, which provides a platform to understand and manage risks. Similar risks are considered together in categories, such as ‘People and culture’, ‘Health and safety’ and ‘Environment, climate change and community’. Each category is then further comprised of groups of risks, which include ‘Occupational safety’, ‘Human rights’, ‘Climate change’ and other sustainability risks. This gives the Board and management visibility over the aggregate exposure to risks, including sustainability risks, on a Group-wide basis and supports performance monitoring and reporting against BHP’s risk appetite.
When we assess the materiality of a current risk, our Risk Framework requires us to consider all potential impacts, including to health and safety, the environment, communities, human rights and social value. This is designed to support the consideration of all potential impacts in risk assessments and means potential sustainability impacts are required to be considered in the context of all identified risks.
Risk management is embedded into work processes and critical business systems to help us develop a risk-informed approach to sustainability. We set workplace health, safety, environment and community standards for our operated assets and work to enforce their application. Contractors working at our operated assets must comply with our standards and requirements, and we seek to ensure our suppliers, agents and service providers maintain business practices and workplace standards comparable to our own.
Our Internal Audit team is responsible for providing independent and objective assurance over the control environment (governance, risk management and internal controls) to the Board and Executive Leadership Team. Third-party assurance providers visit selected operated assets and evaluate our sustainability approach to ensure we accurately represent our commitments and actions. For more information on our approach to risk management refer to the BHP Annual Report 2023, Operating and Financial Review 8 – How we manage risk.
We commit to a number of sustainability frameworks, standards and initiatives and we disclose data both as required by law and according to the requirements of those frameworks, standards and initiatives. Our sustainability performance data is included in relevant sections of the BHP Annual Report 2023, Operating and Financial Review, and in our ESG Standards and Databook. Our Annual Reporting suite also includes our Modern Slavery Statement 2023, prepared under the Australian Modern Slavery Act (2018) and UK Modern Slavery Act (2015), and our Economic Contribution Report 2023. We have obtained external limited assurance over the sustainability disclosures included in the BHP Annual Report 2023, Operating and Financial Review and our ESG Standards and Databook 2023.
Our sustainability disclosures are consistent with the principles, position statements and requirements of the following disclosure frameworks, standards and initiatives.
Our approach to responsible production and sourcing standards, including details on some of our relevant memberships, is detailed on our Value chain sustainability webpage.
ESG ratings agencies and benchmarks
|Morningstar Sustainalytics is a leading independent ESG and corporate governance research, ratings and analytics firm that supports investors around the world with the development and implementation of responsible investment strategies.
|BHP is rated ‘Medium Risk’ with a score of 27.5. This places BHP in the top 11th percentile of the Diversified Metals Industry.
|MSCI is a leading provider of decision support tools and services for the global investment community.
|BHP is rated ‘A’. MSCI has one ‘Very Severe’ Controversy against BHP, related to the failure in 2015 of the Fundão tailings dam operated by Samarco Mineração S.A. (Samarco), and a consequent ‘fail’ status against the UN Global Compact. Samarco is a non-operated joint venture owned by BHP Billiton Brasil Ltda (BHP Brasil) and Vale S.A. (Vale), with each having a 50 per cent shareholding.
BHP Brasil remains fully committed to supporting the extensive ongoing remediation and compensation efforts in Brazil through Fundação Renova (the Renova Foundation). BHP believes MSCI’s upgrade conditions on this controversy have been met. We continue to provide MSCI with updates on the remediation and compensation efforts undertaken by the Renova Foundation and engage MSCI regarding the controversy. MSCI has stated an upgrade can be granted when BHP has met ‘most’ of its upgrade conditions. By MSCI’s measure, BHP has met three of these, partially met one and a fifth is unmet.
|CDP is a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts.
|2022 CDP Submission – B
2021 CDP Submission – B
2020 CDP Submission – B
2019 CDP Submission – A-
2018 CDP Submission – A
|ISS ESG is the responsible investment arm of Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., a global provider of environmental, social and governance solutions for asset owners, asset managers, hedge funds and asset servicing providers. They provide research and services relating to ESG performance of companies and investment portfolios.
| ISS ESG rates BHP as C+. ISS ESG has a ‘red signal’ and UN Global Compact ‘fail’ status against BHP, related to the failure in 2015 of the Fundão tailings dam operated by Samarco, on its environment criteria.
BHP Brasil remains fully committed to supporting the extensive ongoing remediation and compensation efforts in Brazil through the Renova Foundation. BHP continues to engage ISS ESG and provide updates on the remediation and compensation efforts undertaken by the Renova Foundation.