Areas that account for over half1 of the world’s GDP are moderately or highly dependent on nature and the ecosystem services they provide.
BHP plans to support development and increased investment in nature-based solutions by:
- committing to having at least 30 percent of the land we steward2, under conservation, restoration, or regenerative practices by FY2030.
- developing new methods for nature-based carbon credits.
- continuing advocacy for high-integrity carbon credits that have non-carbon benefits (such as biodiversity, community, water, adaptation to climate change).
- continued research and advocacy related to the non-carbon benefits associated with nature-based solutions.
- investigating and supporting finance mechanisms for investment in nature and ecosystem services.
- continued investment in natural ecosystems that improve the resilience of our communities and environments to the physical impacts from climate change.
Our approach and position
Biodiversity loss and climate change are recognised as twin crises that are intertwined and driven by human economic activities.3 We recognise that neither will be successfully resolved unless both are tackled together.
Investment in the natural environment can be a cost-effective solution to deliver multiple social and commercial outcomes of interest to BHP in an integrated way. This includes managing BHP’s nature-related impacts and dependencies to carbon, biodiversity, air, water and/or environmental hazards, such as floods, fires, extreme heat, noise and dust. It also includes generating nature-based credits, including carbon and biodiversity credits. We target and co-ordinate our actions to protect, conserve and/or restore nature in a way that supports Indigenous peoples and local communities.
Recent research tells us that nature-based solutions can provide up to 37 per cent of the emissions reduction needed to keep global temperatures below a 2 degrees Celsius increase. In addition, these solutions may provide other non-carbon benefits to biodiversity, water and communities.
BHP's long-term goal to achieve net zero operational GHG emissions by 2050 is to prioritise internal abatement and use carbon offsetting during the transition to address hard-to-abate and fugitive emissions. Read more about our carbon offsetting strategy here.
Nature-based solutions refers to a suite of actions that protect, sustainably manage or restore natural or modified ecosystems, while simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits. Different types of nature-based solutions include:
- natural climate solutions - the conservation, improved land management and restoration of ecosystems that results in the increased carbon storage or avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions
- ecosystem-based adaptation – the use of ecosystems and biodiversity to help communities and infrastructure adapt to the physical impacts of climate change
REDD+4 has been integrated into BHP’s climate change strategy for almost a decade. Our investments in REDD+ include a US$5 million contribution to the Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative project in Peru, and through BHP’s US$12 million support for the International Finance Corporation (IC) Forests Bond to the Kasigau Corridor REDD Project – Phase II Community Ranches project. See more on these projects here.
In FY2020, our support of carbon market development was broadened beyond REDD+ to include investments in other types of nature-based solutions, including ‘blue’ carbon – the carbon stored in coastal and marine ecosystems.
Since FY2020, we have committed over US$25 million to progress our nature-based solutions strategy. This includes:
- continued work under the BHP-Conservation International Alliance, including development of a mangrove restoration project in Latin America, and funding of a Coastal Resilience project in Fiji.
- Coastal Carbon – Australia’s blue forest future – a co-funded project with CSIRO (Australia’s national science agency), which seeks to seek to measure and quantify the net emissions reduction potential of Australia’s mangroves, seagrasses and tidal marshes, and quantify the value of other benefits these ecosystems provide for coastal protection, fisheries and biodiversity.
- support for development of new blue carbon crediting methods, through funding of research by Deakin University’s Blue Carbon Lab and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).
- support for development and expansion of the blue carbon market in Australia through a A$5 million blue carbon grant program. This program builds on the A$3.3 million research program, launched in 2021 by BHP and CSIRO to measure and quantify the net emissions reduction potential of Australia’s mangroves, seagrasses and tidal marshes
- Australian Coral Reef Resilience Initiative (ACRRI) - a co-funded project with Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), which takes a ‘whole-of-system’ approach to reef restoration that combines research in coral re-seeding with healthy reef sounds to attract fish and improve the resilience of coral reefs being affected by climate change
- work with Curtin University and Greening Australia to trial vegetation barriers to capture dust and improve air quality in the West End of Port Hedland as part of BHP’s Pilbara Air Quality Program.
- continued advocacy via groups such as the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), Carbon Markets Institute (CMI), Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM).
1 For more information refer to WEF_New_Nature_Economy_Report_2020.pdf (weforum.org)
2 Excluding greenfield exploration licences (or equivalent tenements), which are located outside the area of influence of our existing mine operations. 30 per cent will be calculated based on the areas of land and water that we steward at the end of FY2030. For more information refer to the BHP ESG Standards and Databook 2023.
3 For more information refer to this report
4 Countries established the REDD+ framework to protect forests as part of the Paris Agreement. REDD stands for Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. The ‘+’ stands for additional forest-related activities that protect the climate, namely sustainable management of forests and the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. For more information visit What is REDD+? | UNFCCC
Improving coastal resilience for Indigenous peoples in Fiji
The seascape approach is a framework for countries, communities and the private sector to improve marine and coastal protections and support a resilient ocean economy through the more sustainable use of resources, improved livelihoods, and better ocean health.