Sustainability Report

Climate Change and Energy

Vale is committed to reducing its projected 2020 global greenhouse gas emissions by 5% (Carbon Target). To achieve this target, our operational areas are pursuing innovative energy efficiency solutions, as a large share of our emissions derives from burning fuels to generate electricity for our operations.

Consequently, we are investing in research to diversify our energy mix by expanding our use of renewable sources. We have a goal to use a blend of 20% biodiesel (of renewable origin) and 80% fossil diesel in our operations in Brazil. Through our subsidiary Biopalma, we are planting palm trees to produce oil, a raw material for this biodiesel.

We also know that we need to engage our value chain in this challenge. In 2012, 55% of Vale’s strategic suppliers received training on producing carbon emissions inventories. Our contracts with suppliers now contain a voluntary clause concerning the production of such inventories.


System reduces emissions in coal mines

System reduces emissions in coal mines

In our Australian underground coal mines, fans make the air circulate and dilute methane concentrations down to safe levels. The methane gas is then used to generate power or flared off in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2012, at Integra mine, this process generated enough power to supply around 55,000 Australian families for a year, avoiding emissions of 207,000 metric tons of CO2. Elsewhere in Australia, at Carborough Downs mine, a drainage well system extracts gases from mine workings and transfers them to be burned, transforming them into oxygen. In 2012, this initiative prevented total emissions of 502,000 metric tons of CO2, the same amount emitted by approximately 140,000 cars in a year.

Beyond the Sustainability Report

  • Open Letter on Climate Change

    Issued in 2009, the Open Letter on Climate Change is a public document that sets out major companies’ voluntary commitments to contribute to reducing carbon emissions. Since the letter was issued, we have disclosed our greenhouse gas emissions every year, through initiatives such as the Carbon Disclosure Project – an organization that rates Vale the most transparent Latin American company at reporting its greenhouse gas emissions.

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  • Vale Carbon Program

    Created in 2008, this program encompasses a set of new technologies and processes that are less emissions-intensive. Take a look at this infographic to find out more.

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  • Climate change policy

    Balancing economic development and environmental protection is the principle that underpins management of climate change risks and impacts in our businesses. We have established commitments through our Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Policy, and we have instituted the Vale Carbon Program as a strategic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions management plan.

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  • Clean AER

    Purer air, greener landscapes, more jobs: with benefits like these, the Clean AER project in Canada will contribute to improving the quality of life in the city of Sudbury, where we have a number of operations.

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2012 Sustainability Report