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Vale Carbon Target

In 2012, Vale established a global target for reducing its 2020 forecast of greenhouse gases (GHG) by 5%. One projection calculated 33 million metric tons of carbon (CO2e) for 2020, but with the new reduction target it would be lowered to 1.7 million metric tons of CO2e.

The greenhouse effect

is the process through which gases in the atmosphere absorb and emit infrared radiation (heat), warming the earth's surface. Water vapor and carbon dioxide (CO2) have a property that allows the sun’s electromagnetic waves to penetrate the atmosphere and warm the surface. This same atmospheric layer hinders the emission of the infrared radiation re-emitted by the Earth, preventing heat from being completely lost to space. The greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon that has been happening for millions of years, and is responsible for creating and maintaining the conditions necessary to support life on earth: without the greenhouse effect, life on Earth would not be possible.

Greenhouse gases

make up the gas mixture which forms the atmosphere. The Earth’s atmosphere – a thin layer of gases surrounding the planet– is composed 99% of nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2). Like N2 and O2, the other gases are essential for maintaining the stability of Earth’s ecosystems and weather. Greenhouse gases include: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), water vapor (H2O), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Human activity since the Industrial Revolution has increased the amount of these gases in the atmosphere. They are called “greenhouse” gases because they have the ability to trap heat in the atmosphere, in the same way that the glass barrier of a greenhouse functions for growing plants. An increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causes excessive heat retention.