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Operational GHG emission reductions

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions at our operated assets is a key component of our climate change strategy, targets and goals.

Our operational greenhouse gas (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. View our targets and goals here

Our latest disclosures and performance data 

Our most recent climate-related disclosures and performance data can be found in our Annual Report 2023, Operating and Financial Review 6.12 - Climate change and the BHP ESG Standards and Databook 2023

We also publish our methodology for calculating GHG emissions and progress against our GHG emission reduction targets and goals in our Scopes 1, 2 and 3 GHG Emissions Calculation Methodology

Our latest progress and plans for operational decarbonisation 

In June 2023, we updated investors on our progress and plans to achieve our operational GHG emission reduction medium-term target and long-term goal. You can find that information here

GHG emissions intensity of our operated assets 

The GHG emissions intensity of our operated assets in CY2022 is estimated to rank in the first quartile (iron ore and nickel) or first half (copper and metallurgical coal) of global mining operations analysed, based on CY2022 data from Skarn Associates and reported BHP data for CY2022 (as Skarn Associates’ data is prepared on a calendar year basis). Global mining operations analysed cover seaborne iron ore operations, export metallurgical coal mines, copper mines and nickel mines and processing plants. 

CY22 GHG emissions - Iron Ore


CY22 GHG emissions - copper


CY22 GHG emissions - copper


CY22 GHG emissions - copper

Shifting to renewable electricity and other low to zero GHG emissions electricity 

Most of our operated assets are grid-connected in geographic areas that have access to renewable electricity through a network. This has enabled us to sign a number of renewable electricity Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for a proportion of our demand (on current projections) rapidly and at-scale. We aim to prioritise and incentivise new generation where commercially feasible, with eight out of nine of our current PPAs wholly or partially enabling new generation. All PPAs to date have been commercially attractive and operationally low risk, which has enabled reductions to our operational GHG emissions at low or no additional cost. More information on our PPAs is outlined below. PPA


Switching from diesel to electricity to power our material movement is likely to significantly increase the amount of electricity required at our sites. We are studying the spare network capacity and the ability to meet this load growth with existing networks. We continue to monitor commitments by our peers that are expected to increase future electricity demand and to work with our network service providers to understand and plan for future capacity. Some on-site renewable or other low to zero GHG emissions electricity may be required due to future lack of available capacity, as well as to achieve potential savings on network costs. 

Displacement of diesel 

Primarily used for material movement, diesel represents our largest source of operational GHG emissions and displacement is a core technical challenge. Our studies indicate that electrification through battery electric vehicles is the most technically feasible and commercially attractive solution for material movement for most of our operated assets.  

We are working with original equipment manufacturer partners and industry peers to accelerate the availability of battery electric vehicle technology for mining vehicles and equipment. We have seen progress with our original equipment manufacturer partners and peer collaboration to date. We expect original equipment manufacturers to be ready to produce battery electric vehicles at scale in the latter half of this decade.  

Given this trajectory, there may be instances where vehicle fleets will need to be replaced by diesel haul trucks to ensure continued safe and efficient production. For example, a significant proportion of our WAIO mining fleet is due for replacement prior to the anticipated availability of battery electric vehicle solutions, which would require us to purchase a significant quantity of diesel haul trucks. This is factored into our decarbonisation planning.  

In relation to hard-to-electrify uses of diesel, such as for bulldozers, most are anticipated to be addressed in the 2030s under the assumption of improved technical capabilities associated with electric options, more commercially attractive sources of sustainable biofuels or other technically feasible pathways.

people at Toyota with BHP

Toyota Australia and BHP join forces to prioritise safety and decarbonisation

Toyota Australia and BHP are proud to announce the strengthening of their relationship, aimed at enhancing safety and decarbonisation measures within BHP's Australian operations. This collaboration, solidified through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in August 2023, represents a significant milestone in the ongoing relationship between the two industry-leading brands.

Managing fugitive methane 

Managing fugitive methane Fugitive methane emissions from coal mining operations, although relatively small in relation to other GHG emission sources at BHP’s operated assets, are considered hard-to-abate as there are very few available solutions that are at a satisfactory technological and commercial readiness level for use in the mines we operate. Those fugitive methane abatement technologies that are proven do not address 100 per cent of the methane emissions, so it is likely that a sizeable residual volume will remain untreated without significant technological progress and further investment.  

In the short-term, we have begun a vent air methane destruction project at BMA’s Broadmeadow, our only underground metallurgical coal mine. This project offers co-benefits by reducing fugitive methane emissions and reducing safety risks for workers when underground.  

We are working with satellite imaging and data companies to help increase our understanding of fugitive methane emission levels over time as well as any potential changes associated with mining levels (given the general tendency for methane density to increase as coal mines deepen).  

Our other mines at BMA, which are open-cut operations, have geological and technology readiness challenges for reduction of fugitive methane emissions. Draining is currently the dominant technology used in methane abatement at open-cut coal mining operations, but the majority of draining occurs prior to mining activities. Therefore, the ability to retrofit a draining solution for an existing coal mine remains unclear.  

Capital allocation towards pathways and solutions 

Decarbonisation is embedded in our annual investment and prioritisation processes. All investment decisions consider the quantity of GHG emissions associated with the project, the cost per tonne of CO2-e associated with the project and the alignment with the Group pathways to a net zero trajectory. From FY2024 to FY2030, we expect to spend around US$4 billion (nominal value) on operational decarbonisation. 

BHP Ventures also continues to build a portfolio of investments to help accelerate innovation in the mining industry through assessment and execution of additional investments across emerging technology areas, including long-duration energy storage solutions, diesel displacement and carbon dioxide removal. 

The role of offsetting in our operational decarbonisation pathway  

Because of our prioritisation of structural abatement, our decarbonisation pathway to FY2030 does not assume the use of carbon credits to meet our medium-term target. However, if our planned abatement projects fail to deliver the expected GHG emission reduction, we retain the flexibility to use high-integrity carbon credits (those that meet our integrity standards) to manage our pathway to FY2030.  

Looking beyond FY2030, we may purchase and retire high-integrity carbon credits to offset operational GHG emissions that we have determined cannot be entirely avoided due to technological, physical or financial constraints. These carbon credits may be used to offset operational GHG emissions and support achievement of our long-term goal. For example, carbon credits may be used to offset fugitive methane emissions considered hard-to-abate.  

Our individual operated assets may also be subject to regulated GHG emission thresholds and regional carbon pricing (including GHG emission trading schemes). In cases where our direct GHG emission reductions are not able to meet the requirements specified for these schemes, we may purchase and retire eligible carbon credits to meet our compliance obligations. We do not intend to account for these carbon credits in order to reach our medium-term target. 

You can find more information on how we expect to use carbon credits, our integrity standards for carbon credits and the anticipated impact of Australia’s Safeguard Mechanism on our Carbon credits and offsetting webpage.