Investing in new technologies to increase energy efficiency
Environmental aspects of climate change
The Venture’s production of significant
quantities of indirect and direct greenhouse
gas emissions (GHG)
Investing in new technologies to reduce
Health and safety
Safety of employees
Health of employees
Use and availability
Incidents and compliance
Natural capital includes the natural
resources and processes needed
by an organisation to produce its
This includes renewable (timber and water) and
non-renewable (fossil fuels and minerals and metals)
resources and processes such as energy consumption,
waste creation, emissions, etc. Without access to the
natural capital contained in our mineral reserves and
resources our business would not exist.
We maintain and enhance natural capital by:
reducing our dependence on fossil fuels;
reducing waste by reusing or recycling it
protecting biodiversity and ecosystems;
wherever possible, using renewable resources from
well-managed and restorative ecosystems; and
managing resources and reserves efficiently.
Natural capital: climate change and energy
KEY POINTS – 2019
The CO2e generated per tonne of
ferrochrome produced was 5.46tCO2e (2018: 5.37tCO2e)
The energy use per tonne of
ferrochrome produced was 15.08GJ (2018: 14.67GJ)
The Venture’s stakeholders benefit from its energy efficiencies, which have made it one of the lowest-cost ferrochrome producers in the world and the lowest-cost producer in South Africa.
Managing climate change and carbon emissions
The Venture focuses on understanding the current and future impact of climate change on its operations. Climate change risks are included in each operation’s risk assessment. It measures and interprets energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) data to identify areas of opportunity. The Venture continuously researches and identifies potential energy and GHG reduction opportunities and evaluates the feasibility of implementing these opportunities. It also actively participates in discussions on climate change legislation via various industry organisations.
The Venture’s efforts to continually evaluate and better its energy efficiency are in line with the societal demand to reduce the emissions of GHGs. It uses the Greenhouse Gas Protocol as an accounting and reporting standard for our emissions, which uses the emission factor of 0.945CO2e/kWh. This protocol was developed in partnership with the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. It divides GHG emissions into different types, categorising them as either direct or indirect emissions.
A representative of the Venture served on the council of the Energy Intensive User Group (EIUG) during 2019. The Venture, which participates in the Ferro Alloys Producers Association (FAPA) environmental forum, represents the ferroalloys industry at Business Unity of South Africa (BUSA). The Venture’s representatives play a leading role in these forums and they comment on climate change and carbon tax legislation. The Venture also engages with government via these forums to ensure that the potential impact that the proposed legislation will have on our industry and Company is understood.
During 2019, the Venture again played an important role in the engagement process, which took place between business and the National Treasury on drafting carbon tax legislation. It also continued engaging with all members of FAPA to gain a common understanding of GHG emission factors for our sector and the calculation of the GHG emission footprint.
Climate change performance is included in the health, safety, environment and community performance indicators that the Venture uses as part of its performance appraisals.
The Glencore Alloys Group Environmental Manager is responsible for climate change-related issues in the Venture.
The Venture’s focus for 2020
The Venture will continue with its engagement processes and with identifying and further evaluating potential GHG mitigation projects.
While the Venture has not set any specific climate change targets for 2020, it will in future use the targets set as part of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries ("DEFF") carbon process to guide its target setting processes.
Understanding the Venture’s carbon footprint
The Venture generates GHG emissions from its smelting processes and from its energy use. The use of fossil fuels in the form of diesel and petrol in vehicles contributes directly to the creation of GHGs, and the electricity supplied from coal-fired power stations contributes indirectly to the creation of GHGs.
The Venture and Merafe are committed to minimising GHG emissions and improving our energy efficiency, and recognises the magnitude and importance of this challenge. The Venture also actively engages in public policy, specifically through collaboration with the DEFF on a carbon process aimed at estimating the country’s annual carbon emission.
The risks associated with climate change
Climate change remains a key longer-term risk for the Venture. The potential risks are complex in that they include operational risks such as business continuity, health and safety, environmental aspects and regulatory aspects. Risks are both physical and financial, for example, should the Venture’s operations be damaged by flooding and extreme storms, this could cause business interruptions. The reduced availability of water could also interrupt its business and could have health impacts.
There have been minor restatement of numbers for 2016 to 2018 due to reporting improvements. None of these restatements are material or impact prior statements, representations or trends.
See the Stakeholder engagement section on our website for more information
on our stakeholder impact and engagement with government, our investors and
The Venture’s energy consumption
Total energy consumption in the Venture’s operations decreased in 2019. The energy use per tonne of ferrochrome produced increased from 14.67GJ/tonne to 15.08GJ/tonne. The energy consumption and performance of the Company in any year is dependent on the production performance in that year of the most energy-efficient plants in the Venture.
The Venture’s energy usage
Energy use per tonne of ferrochrome produced
The Venture’s emissions
The Venture’s total Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (indirect) emissions decreased in 2019. The CO2e generated per tonne of ferrochrome produced increased slightly in 2019. The emissions performance of the Company in any year is dependent on the production performance in that year of the most energy-efficient plants in the Venture.
CO2e generated per tonne of ferrochrome produced
KEY POINTS – 2019
The Venture’s total water usage decreased.
The Venture’s total water reused/recycled
Water conservation plans are in place at all
the operations of the Venture
There were no high-potential environmental
risk incidents in the Venture
The Venture had no environmental fines,
penalties or prosecutions
Environment includes the natural resources and processes needed by an organisation to produce its products.
Biodiversity and land use
As Merafe’s corporate office has a limited impact on the environment this
section of our report focuses on the Venture’s environmental approach,
impact and performance. We rely on the Venture’s effective environmental
policies and procedures to ensure our investment is managed responsibly.
An integrated approach to environmental
The Venture’s long-term success depends on prioritising environmental
issues and integrating environmental responsibility into its strategic
planning, management systems and day-to-day operations. Management
accountability is central to Glencore’s integrated approach, which reviews
its environmental risks and opportunities annually as part of its business
strategy and planning process. Each site has a comprehensive environmental
management system in place. The system provides access to aspects
and the impact of all activities, from pre-feasibility to the operational phase,
including closure and rehabilitation. The Venture’s objective is to ensure
environmental legal compliance, optimise its monitoring and measurement
practices and to minimise and manage any waste and emission generation
in an environmentally responsible manner. Environmental responsibilities are
clearly included into legal appointments and job descriptions.
Water is a finite and precious natural resource essential to the sustainability
of the communities in which the Venture works. It is also necessary for its
mining and metallurgical processes.
Water use and availability
The Venture’s operations work with the Department of Water and Sanitation
("DWS"), local communities, local authorities, the farming community and
other industry users to ensure the sustainability of water resources and
equitable access to water resources for stakeholders.
The availability of water is a key consideration when the Venture plans
the expansion or construction of an operation. It uses the results of the
environmental and social impact assessments ("ESIAs") it undertakes to
guide its decision-making and to ensure it has the least possible impact
on local water resources during the various phases of its projects.
All the Venture’s operations have water conservation plans. They have
previously set water intensity targets and have measures in place to
help them be as water efficient as possible. In addition, its operations
are identifying possible water reduction projects.
The Venture’s water usage
The water use in the Venture decreased in 2019 due mainly to the Venture’s
use of reused/recycled water increasing.
Waste management and effluent and biodiversity management
The mineral waste produced by the Venture in 2019 was 4.7 million tonnes.
Mineral waste – produced
4 690 652
4 364 269
4 289 911
4 177 546
Non-mineral waste – disposed
Non-mineral waste – recycled
Incidents and compliance
It is always the Venture’s aim to have no environmental incidents at its
operations. It monitors, reports, investigates and remediates any incidents
that occur and applies lessons learnt to prevent similar incidents in the
future. Its operations are required to report any environmental high potential
risk incidents (“HPRIs”), including near-misses, that could have resulted in a
category 4 or 5 incident, even when the actual impact was less significant.
Environmental incidents recorded at the Venture’s operations also include
incidents that occur as the result of contractor activity.
The Venture has had no environmental fines, penalties or prosecutions
at its operations for the past nine years. The Venture achieved its goal of
no category 4 or 5 incidents recorded in its operations in 2019 and no
category 4 or 5 incidents have been recorded in the Venture’s operations
for the past nine years.
Category 1 – negligible (causing negligible, reversible environmental impact,
requiring very minor or no remediation)
Category 2 – minor (causing minor, reversible environmental impact,
requiring minor remediation)
Category 4 – major (causing serious environmental impact,
with medium-term effect, requiring significant remediation)
Category 5 – disastrous (causing disastrous environmental impact,
with long-term effect, requiring major remediation)
NOx and SOx performance
The Venture's emissions
NOx (oxides of nitrogen)
Stack emissions (total mass)
SOx (oxides of sulphur)
Stack emissions (total mass)
Stack emissions (total mass)
The emission data is based on quarterly emission data which is used to calculate emission factors and then applied to the year.
The nature of the operations at the Ventures semi-closed furnaces means that dilution air enters the air pollution control equipment. NOx is formed as a secondary emission through the
air pollution control equipment due to the presence of nitrogen in the air. Small process changes in terms of gas volume and temperature can result in step changes in NOx emissions.
The emissions at the Venture do not exceed any ambient standards for NOx or SOx.
The Venture monitors and addresses the impacts and risks associated with
the use of its products throughout their life cycles, including during stages
outside of its control, such as use, recovery, recycling and disposal.
It works with national and international industry associations, its customers
and suppliers to understand the environmental health and safety risks of its
products and to find ways to mitigate these risks.
In terms of Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation and Restriction
of Chemicals ("REACH"), all the products that the Venture exports to
countries in the European Union have been pre-registered, with the
relevant pre-registration certificates and numbers available. The Venture
is also actively involved in REACH.
For further information on land use, see the Resources and Reserves
Statement in our online Integrated Annual Report for 2019 and Appendix 1 to this report.
No products produced by the Venture, or their packaging materials,
were reclaimed during 2019.
To ensure the quality of its products, the Venture aligns its systems with
the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 and some of its smelters are certified.
Its laboratories are ISO 17025 accredited, which ensures that the methods
and equipment it uses are accurate.