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Sustainability is integral to how we contribute to social value creation. It is core to our strategy and sits at the heart of everything we do. We put health and safety first, aim to be environmentally responsible, respect human rights and support the communities in which we operate.

The resources life cycle of exploration and production through to rehabilitation and closure requires us to operate our assets over many decades. This means the long-term health of BHP’s business is directly dependent on the long-term health of society and the natural environment.

Sustainability is the leading value in Our Charter, which enables our people to understand our common purpose, our values, how we measure success and the basis for our decision-making.

At a local level, sustainability is about managing our risks, reducing our adverse environmental, social, economic and cultural impacts, and supporting and sustaining the communities and environments in which we operate.

We also believe sustainability includes playing an appropriate role in addressing global issues such as climate change, supporting and respecting human rights and advocating for social change such as by supporting the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Sustainability is a core part of who we are and what we do at BHP. We are determined to make a positive difference.

Sustainability targets

We have set clear targets to improve our sustainability performance, transparency and accountability. To realise these targets, we embed sustainability performance measures throughout our business. For example, we have included Group-wide key performance indicators within the balanced scorecards of our employees.

Our targets and longer term goals (also available in Spanish ) help us operate safely, manage water sustainably, reduce our adverse environmental impact, look after our people and contribute to improved quality of life in the communities where we have a presence.

These targets and goals were created in consultation with our operated assets and key internal and external stakeholders, and were approved by the Board’s Sustainability Committee.

Achieving these targets and working towards our goals is fundamental to the success of our business and aligns with our commitments to the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.

How we have tracked against our targets is mapped in the ‘Our FY2020 sustainability performance’ table.

Our FY2020 sustainability performance

FY2020 Sustainability performance

(1) FY2018 and FY2019 data includes Continuing and Discontinued operations (Onshore US assets).
(2) FY2019 data includes Discontinued operations (Onshore US assets) to 28 February 2019 and Continuing operations.
(3) The sum of (fatalities + lost-time cases + restricted work cases + medical treatment cases) multiplied by 1 million/actual hours worked by our employees and contractors. Stated in units of per million hours worked. We adopt the US Government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration Guidelines for the recording
and reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses.
(4) FY2018 TRIF data includes Continuing and Discontinued operations (Onshore US assets).
(5) FY2019 TRIF data includes Discontinued operations (Onshore US assets) to 28 February 2019 and Continuing operations.
(6) For exposures exceeding our FY2017 baseline occupational exposure limits discounting the use of personal protective equipment, where required. The baseline exposure profile (as at 30 June 2017) is derived through a combination of quantitative exposure measurements and qualitative assessments undertaken by specialist occupational hygienists consistent with best practice as defined by the American Industrial Hygiene Association.
(7) New FY2017 baseline due to the removal of 98 exposures attributed to the Onshore US assets.
(8) Data excludes Discontinued operations (Onshore US assets).
(9) A significant event resulting from BHP operated activities is one with an actual severity rating of four and above, based on our internal severity rating scale (tiered from one to five by increasing severity) as defined in our mandatory minimum requirements for risk management.
(10) Our voluntary social investment is calculated as 1 per cent of the average of the previous three years’ pre-tax profit.
(11) Expenditure includes BHP’s equity share for operated and non-operated joint ventures, and comprises cash, administrative costs, including costs to facilitate the operation of the BHP Foundation.
(12) FY2017 and FY2018 social investment figures includes Discontinued operations (Onshore US assets).
(13) FY2019 social investment figure includes Discontinued operations (Onshore US assets) to 31 October 2018 and Continuing operations.
(14) Comparison calculated on a Continuing operations basis. The FY2017 baseline has been adjusted for the divestment of our Onshore US assets to ensure ongoing comparability of performance.
(15) With the use of carbon offsets, as required.
(16) FY2018 GHG data includes Continuing operations and Discontinued operations (Onshore US assets) and has been restated.
(17) FY2019 GHG data includes Discontinued operations (Onshore US assets) to 31 October 2018 and Continuing operations and has been restated.
(18) The FY2017 baseline data has been adjusted to account for: the materiality of the strike affecting water withdrawals at Escondida in FY2017 and improvements to water balance methodologies at WAIO and Queensland Coal and exclusion of hypersaline, wastewater, entrainment, supplies from desalination and Discontinued operations (Onshore US assets) in FY2019 and FY2020.
(19) Where ‘withdrawal’ is defined as water withdrawn and intended for use (in accordance with ‘A Practical Guide to Consistent Water Reporting’, ICMM (2017)).
‘Fresh water’ is defined as waters other than seawater, wastewater from third parties and hypersaline groundwater. Freshwater withdrawal also excludes entrained water that would not be available for other uses. These exclusions have been made to align with the target’s intent to reduce the use of freshwater sources subject to competition from other users or the environment

Disclosures and commitments

We voluntarily commit to several sustainability frameworks, standards and initiatives and transparently disclose data according to their requirements. Our commitments inform and influence our sustainability approach.

In FY2020, we further integrated our sustainability reporting into the Annual Report to enable more effective reporting for our stakeholders and to capture the most material topics and both financial and non-financial information in one report. Instead of a stand-alone Sustainability Report we now disclose our sustainability management approaches on our website. Our Sustainability Performance data is included in section 6.6 of our Annual Report and in our online ESG Databook. Our Annual Reporting suite also includes our Modern Slavery Act Statement prepared in accordance with both UK and Australian requirements and our Economic Contribution Report. In 2020, we also released our Climate Change Report which presents BHP’s disclosures on climate change and has been developed in alignment with the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

We have obtained external limited assurance over our full sustainability disclosures included in our Annual Report 2020, including our Sustainability Performance Data in section 6.6 of that Report and available in our online Databook.

Our sustainability disclosures are consistent with the principles, position statements and requirements of the following disclosure frameworks, standards and initiatives. Our response to them can be found below:


GRI logo 


The GRI Standards are the first global standards for sustainability reporting. They feature a modular, interrelated structure, and represent the global best practice for reporting on a range of economic, environmental and social impacts.

Our sustainability disclosures including both our Annual Report and online content have been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards comprehensive-level option.

GRI Content Index


SASB logo




SASB standards enable businesses around the world to identify and manage financially material sustainability risks (both threats and opportunities), and communicate them to investors.

In FY2020, we aligned our sustainability disclosures with the SASB Metals & Mining Standard.

SASB Index






ICMM is an international organisation dedicated to a safe, fair and sustainable mining and metals industry. Every ICMM company member adheres to ICMM’s Mining Principles.

In FY2020, we aligned our sustainability disclosures with the new ICMM Performance Expectations and confirmed our commitment to the ICMM 10 Principles.

Our water related Performance Data is disclosed by operated asset in accordance with the ICMM Standard: A Practical Guide to Consistent Water Reporting.

ICMM Index


TCFD logo



The TCFD recommendations are designed to solicit consistent, decision-useful, forward-looking information on the material financial impacts of climate-related threats and opportunities, including those related to the global transition to a lower-carbon economy.

We address the TCFD recommendations within our Climate Change Report 2020 and with select content in our Annual Report 2020.

TCFD Index


UN global compact logo



The UN Global Compact provides a universal language for corporate responsibility and provides a framework to guide all businesses regardless of size, complexity or location.

As signatories to the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), our sustainability disclosures serve as our UNGC Communication on Progress on implementation of the principles and support for the UNGC’s broader development objectives.

UNGC Index


CEO Water mandate logo



The CEO Water Mandate is a UN Global Compact initiative that mobilises business leaders on water, sanitation, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

BHP is a CEO Water Mandate endorsing company for demonstrating its ongoing commitment to the initiative and its six commitment areas. Since 2019, BHP has included a description of action and investments undertaken in relation to the CEO Water Mandate in its annual Communication on Progress, available at this link.

UNGC Index


Sustainabile development goals logo



The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership.

Refer to our GRI Index to understand how we contribute towards the achievement of the SDGs.

SDGs linked to our GRI Index


EITI logo



The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is the global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources.

BHP has been a supporter of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) since its inception in 2002.


CDP logo



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.

BHP has been recognised as a global leader on corporate climate disclosure by environmental non-profit CDP, achieving a place on the CDP Climate Change A List in 2018 and a grade of 'A-' in 2019.

2020 CDP Submission - not scored

2019 CDP Submission

2018 CDP Submission


Paris Pledge for Action logo



The Paris Agreement sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. It also aims to strengthen countries’ ability to deal with the impacts of climate change and support them in their efforts.

The Paris Agreement is a landmark global climate change agreement, adopted at the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2015.

BHP joined the Paris Pledge for Action.


voluntary principles on security and human rights logo


The Voluntary Principles Initiative (VPI) was created to promote implementation of the Principles. BHP is a member of the Initiative since 2004.

The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights are an internationally recognised set of principles that guide companies on how to conduct their security operations while ensuring respect for human rights.

We are committed to respecting internationally recognised human rights as set out in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights



UN Guiding Principles on Business an Human Rights

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are a set of guidelines for States and companies to prevent, address and remedy human rights abuses or adverse impacts in business operations.

We are committed to operating in a manner consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.


For further details on how our sustainability disclosures meet these frameworks, standards and initiatives, please see our Sustainability Navigator and ESG Databook.

Our material sustainability issues

Each year we identify the sustainability issues most material to our business and stakeholders. We also assess the impact of our activities on the economy, the environment and society. We look at financial materiality, as well as environmental and social materiality.

We review a wide variety of internal and external sources and consult with stakeholders using surveys, investor round tables and advisory groups to identify the issues of most concern to them and critical to our business. The Board’s Sustainability Committee and the BHP Forum on Corporate Responsibility review our approach.

This assessment informs our sustainability strategies and helps to guide the depth of transparent coverage of key topics in line with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) principles.

Our sustainability disclosures in FY2020 respond to the material issues identified, which are: 

 Our Material Issues

Our sustainability approach 
  • Board competency, succession and accountability
  • Product stewardship and value chain sustainability
  • Governance and management of non-operated joint ventures
Health & Safety
  • Elimination of fatalities
  • Safety, health and wellbeing of our people and the community 
Ethics and Business Conduct
  • Anti-corruption and bribery
  • Transparency and disclosure
  • Biodiversity and land management
  • Environmental impacts of our operations
  • Managing air emissions
  • Water management and access
Climate Change
  • Portfolio resilience
  • Physical risks of climate change
  • Minimising greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from our operations and from the use of our products
  • Global response to climate change
  • Community relationships
  • Respecting human rights
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Economic support for communities and social investment
Tailings Dams
  • Dams and tailings management
  • Response to Samarco
  • Inclusion and diversity
  • Training and development of our people
  • Technology
Economic Contribution
  • Tax and royalty payments


Our Stakeholders

As a global company, we interact with a range of stakeholders. Our methods and frequency of engaging with and listening to stakeholders are diverse:

  • Globally, we communicate with external stakeholders via our Annual General Meetings, company publications (including the Annual Report, the sustainability content of our website and other topic-specific reports), our website ( more broadly, releases to the market and media, analyst briefings, speeches and interviews with senior executives.
  • At a regional and local level, each operated asset is required to plan, implement and document stakeholder engagement activities. This includes community forums, newsletters and reports; community perception surveys and consultation groups; implementing community complaints and grievance mechanisms; representation on specific industry association committees and initiatives; and engagement to develop community programs. We also engage on sustainability issues with a broader range of stakeholders including local governments, NGOs, schools, and universities, among others.
  • As a key stakeholder group, we also engage with our people (employees and contractors) via tailored internal channels. These channels include our intranet; email and newsletters; town halls; and by inviting feedback and comment through employee perception surveys. Key internal announcements and videos are made available in English and Spanish.

The following table provides an overview of our stakeholder groups, their range of interests and how we engage with them. 



How we engage

Industry peers and associations


Commodity-specific associations, as well as sector-specific associations, at national and international levels.


Diverse range of issues associated with the sector or commodity, including environmental legislation; health and safety standards; human rights; risk management and promotion of best practice.


Representation on specific committees and engagement on specific projects with industry associations, both nationally and internationally, to develop guidelines, standards and programs, and share best practice.




A diverse group who have invested in our business, with significant representation in Australasia, UK, Europe, South Africa and North America.


Creation of long-term shareholder value through consistent financial returns and good governance. Ensuring high-quality governance and maintaining focus on continuous improvement and understanding shareholder concerns.


Annual General Meetings; publicly available information (Annual Report, sustainability content of our website, other topic-specific reports, more broadly); regular meetings with institutional shareholders and investor representatives; investment community presentations.


Investment community


Debt and equity analysts, socially responsible. investment analysts and corporate governance analysts.


Alignment of our performance with shareholder interests, including good financial returns; strong governance and expectations of strong performance; and consideration of financial and non-financial risk.


Regular communication through analyst briefings of key issues, exchange releases, sharing Group publications such as Annual Reports and Operational Reviews; participation in external benchmarking initiatives.




Our global workforce of more than 80,000 employees and contractors.


Group financial and sustainability performance; health and safety; our work with communities; working conditions; mental health and wellbeing; inclusion and diversity; external factors such as COVID-19; development opportunities; proposed changes to our operated assets or practices.


Regular communication through tailored internal channels which include our Digital Workspace, email and newsletters; town halls; toolbox talks; field leadership activities; ongoing dialogue between leaders and teams; HSEC Awards; and through our employee perception survey and pulse surveys.


Labour unions


Labour unions represented at many of our operated assets.


Workers’ rights and interests; freedom of association and collective bargaining; health and safety; remuneration; working hours; roster arrangements; risk management.



Direct communication as required; respecting the rights of employees to freely join (or refrain from joining) labour unions.

Local communities


A broad spectrum of local communities with interests and concerns.


Environmental, economic and social impacts associated with our operated assets; opportunities for social investment; interests and concerns as identified through stakeholder perception surveys, including local employment, local suppliers and business creation; support for social infrastructure and programs; improved community engagement mechanisms; and environmental performance.



Community consultation, engagement and participation in BHP activities; work and local supply opportunities; social investment; targeted communications.

Indigenous peoples


A broad spectrum of Indigenous communities including Traditional Owner groups in Australia.


Environmental and social or cultural impacts associated with our operated assets; cultural heritage; opportunities for social investment; interests and concerns as identified through stakeholder perception surveys, including local employment, local suppliers and business creation; improved community engagement mechanisms; and environmental performance.



Community engagement and participation in BHP activities; consultation and consent processes; work and local supply opportunities; social investment; preserving cultural heritage; agreement making processes and negotiations; targeted communications.



Representatives from print, online, broadcast and social media.


Broad range of issues reflecting all stakeholder interests.


Media releases, briefings, presentations and interviews; publicly available information (Annual Report, sustainability content of our website, other topic-specific reports, more broadly,,,


Non-government organisations (NGOs) & Civil Society


Environmental, social and human rights organisations at local, national and international levels.


Ethical, social and environmental performance of our operated assets, proposed operated assets, or closed operated assets; governance mechanisms, risk management; complaint and grievance mechanisms and remedy; transparency; practices to respect human rights; social investment; non-operated joint ventures; social and environmental impacts.



Local engagement through each operated asset’s stakeholder engagement plan; regular engagement at the Group level with relevant national and international organisations, various multi-stakeholder initiatives and partnerships, and through the BHP Forum for Corporate Responsibility.

Host Governments


National, regional or state level and local governments in the countries where we have a presence.



Fiscal and tax arrangements; global trade systems; labour relations and employment practices; supplier payment arrangements; environmental laws, regulations and project approvals; mineral and petroleum royalties; local infrastructure; and community well-being.


Direct Group engagement at all levels of government, as well as participation in industry associations where relevant to national (or international), regional / state or local issues..

Society partners


Public or private organisations who we partner with on specific projects to benefit society, our host communities or the environment.


Ethical, social and environmental performance of our operated assets, proposed operated assets, or closed operated assets; governance mechanisms; risk management and mitigation.


Partnership boards and operating committees; publicly available information (Annual Report, sustainability content of our website, other topic-specific reports, more broadly); regular engagement at both the Group and local / regional levels.



Businesses local to our operated assets, as well as large international suppliers, including maritime vessel charterers.


Supply and charter party agreements, payments and minimum supplier requirements, safety standards.


Appropriate engagement throughout supplier life cycle determined according to supplier segmentation including on health, safety, environment, community, inclusion and diversity and business conduct.




Broad customer base, geographically dispersed across multiple commodities.


Sales agreements; product quality; performance and price; environmental laws and regulations.


Regular engagement according to commodity, sector and geography to understand our customers’ needs and determine optimal product placement, as well as participation in relevant industry associations and conferences, and through collaboration on areas of mutual interest such as supply chain innovation and sustainability.


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