Gold Fields' approach
Gold Fields believes that those companies that wish to thrive in the new carbon-constrained economy appreciate the importance of having an integrated carbon management strategy; without one, the ability to operate effectively and profitably in the future will undoubtedly be compromised.
The intention is to make low carbon behaviour and related business decisions the norm within the Gold Fields group. Through the implementation of a stable, long-term framework in the form of a carbon management strategy, Gold Fields aims to deliver significant reductions in carbon emissions. In addition, this sustainable approach to doing business into the future should also result in reduced risk for all stakeholders.
As part of its response to climate change, Gold Fields has already done much work to establish itself as a credible, responsible corporate: during 2007 and 2008, the company determined its carbon footprint; it then disclosed its footprint and plans for emissions reduction to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in 2008 and 2009. As a result of the quality of its submissions, Gold Fields came second in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) in 2008 for the carbon-intensive sector of the South African JSE Top 100. In 2009 the company came fifth and in 2010 it was ranked joined first on the CDLI. In addition, the company has most recently been selected as the winner of Energy Risk’s Deal of the Year* award for the innovative deal whereby Gold Fields has become the world’s first gold mining company to sell Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs), the financial securities used to trade carbon emissions.
Through the implementation of a progressive carbon management strategy, Gold Fields would seek to:
- Limit liabilities in light of impending emissions regulation;
- Enhance its reputation by being an industry leader;
- Increase perceived company valuation and access to capital;
- Improve employee wellbeing and pride;
- Reduce the impact of volatile weather through planning and action;
- Decrease energy costs through improved energy efficiency and lower emissions; and
- Increase revenues through opportunities such as carbon trading.
At present, the strategy has been distilled into 15 initiatives. The implementation of these initiatives will result in the comprehensive rollout of the Gold Fields Carbon Management Strategy. Although the development of the carbon management strategy has, until now, been focused on the company’s South African operations, it is envisaged that the strategy will be rolled out across all regions in the foreseeable future.
*Energy Risk is a London-based premium magazine covering the international financial risk management sector.