Approach to climate change and carbon emissions


Direct GHG emissions (Scope 1)
Energy indirect GHG emissions (Scope 2)
Other indirect GHG emissions (Scope 3)
GHG emissions intensity
Reduction of GHG emissions
NOx, SOx, and other significant air emissions

Sibanye’s Carbon Management Strategy (CMS) is integrated with its approach to energy management, given that its carbon footprint is dominated by its energy use and, in particular, the use of fossil-based electricity sourced from Eskom.

In terms of Sibanye’s Integrated Energy and Carbon Management Strategy (IECMS), the Group seeks to:

  • understand its consumption and emissions by measuring, monitoring and managing its energy and carbon footprints – using energy-management and information systems;
  • embed energy and carbon issues in all planning and stage-gate processes;
  • ensure operations optimise long-term asset performance and incentivise good asset management, including waste reduction;
  • focus on replacing carbon-intense energy with renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, or switching to less-intense energy sources by, for instance, moving from coal to gas;
  • invest in energy savings by using more-efficient equipment and implementing the latest energy-saving measures; and
  • focus support systems on enabling the creation of an effective organisation and incentives by sharing knowledge and best practice, raising awareness, managing change and empowering employees.

See Sibanye’s Carbon Management Policy.

While energy-consumption targets are set and measured at an operational level, translations from energy consumption into carbon intensities are conducted as part of the ongoing carbon-footprinting exercise. Depth of mining and ore yields are taken into consideration when setting carbon-intensity ratios.

  2011 2012 2013
Total CO2 emissions (CO2e t) 4,094,187 4,423,287 4,407,937
Scope 1* 64,753 56,038 61,620
Scope 2 4,029,795 3,812,182 3,773,919
Scope 3 Not reported 555,066 572,398
NOx (t) 193,63 190.26 219.74
SOx (t) 9.54 9.38 10.85
  1. *Scope 1 emissions as stated in the table above exclude fugitive and flaring mine methane. When included, the emissions amounted to 633,752 CO2e t in 2013.

The Beatrix methane project, which captures and utilises methane for electricity generation as well as the ventilation fans projects at Beatrix, Driefontein and Kloof have contributed to the optimisation and reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Another carbon-reduction project at Beatrix was registered under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in late 2013. It involves the installation of energy-efficient 45kW axial ventilation fans in the mine’s underground operations. These fans are more energy-efficient than their older equivalents. The project is expected to earn approximately 7,685 certified emission reductions (CERs) per annum. CERs (also known as carbon credits) are emission units issued by the CDM to help organisations offset their emissions and comply with their targets. Local financial institution Nedbank provided the funding for this CDM project at Beatrix, and will purchase the CERs generated by the project.

The CDM registration of two other ventilation-fan projects – one at Driefontein and the other at Kloof – that were reported to the UNFCCC in December 2012 will be further explored in 2014.

Sibanye is also involved in a number of projects in collaboration with Eskom, supporting the use of renewable energy such as solar power, and climate-change adaptation initiatives such as the optimal TSF Cover Design Study.

The CSP plant currently being built at Driefontein will use concentrated solar energy in the process of elution. It is due to be completed towards the end of 2014.

Identifying risks and opportunities relating to climate change

Sibanye’s Corporate Risk Management Strategy is informed by the risk management section of its CMS, as well as the IECMS, which was developed in 2012.

The Group’s comprehensive CMS was drafted in 2009 and updated at the beginning of 2011. It incorporates the identification of risks and opportunities presented by climate change and related changes to the global economy. This includes physical, regulatory, market, customer-behaviour changes, perception and other risks and opportunities.

The IECMS recognises the importance of energy and emission reductions, and mainly builds on the Risks and Opportunities Identification System of the CMS. The IECMS provides detailed guidance on energy- and emission-reducing potential and management strategies.

Sibanye participates in the climate-change debate nationally and internationally. Through the Chamber of Mines, it has provided input and comment on climate change and climate-change management. One of its initiatives is undertaken in collaboration with the DEA. Under the Kyoto Protocol, South Africa is committed to contributing its fair share to global GHG mitigation efforts in order to keep the temperature increase well below 2°C. In order to fulfil this obligation and in developing a comprehensive policy framework for responding to climate change, the South African government has developed the National Climate Change Response Policy (NCCRP).

The NCCRP states that it is a strategic priority to find cost-effective and beneficial mitigation policies, measures and interventions that lead to a reduction in emissions below the country’s business-as-usual trajectory as measured against a benchmark peak, plateau and decline GHG emission trajectory. One of the key elements in the overall approach to mitigation is identifying desired sectoral mitigation contributions. This involves defining desired emission-reduction outcomes for each significant sector and sub-sector of the economy based on an in-depth assessment of the mitigation potential, best available mitigation options, science, evidence, and a full assessment of the costs and benefits. The mining industry, through representation by the EPC of the Chamber of Mines is involved in these processes. The final draft South African GHG Mitigation Potential Analysis has been issued for comment.

Sibanye fully understands the financial implications of climate change, such as carbon tax, the introduction and switch-over to renewable energy, among others. The effect on the profitability of the Group has been incorporated into budgeting and other planning processes.

See Sibanye’s Risk Management Policy.