Approach to climate change

Fortescue is committed to taking a leadership position on climate change.

Climate change is the most pressing challenge of our generation, however, it is also a once in a lifetime opportunity for economic growth and value creation that generates a better, cleaner, more sustainable world. 

 Our approach

We accept the scientific consensus as assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and are taking steps to realise the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

Fortescue is transitioning to a global green energy and resources company by:

  • Reducing emissions across our value chain and setting industry leading targets to achieve carbon neutrality within our operations by 2030 and net zero Scope 3 emissions by 2040. 
  • Establishing our decarbonisation pathway, through applying renewable energy and battery storage to meet our stationary energy requirements, and green hydrogen, green ammonia and battery electric solutions to decarbonise our mobile fleet.
  • Diversifying through our green energy, technology and development company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) by developing a portfolio of renewable energy and green hydrogen projects that will accelerate the decarbonisation of hard-to-abate sectors including heavy haulage, shipping, aviation and industry.
  • Expanding our research, development, engagement and collaboration to reduce emissions across our downstream value chain, focusing on shipping and iron and steel production.

 Further details can be found in our annual Climate Change Reports and our Climate Change Policy

Reducing emissions

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Fortescue has set industry-leading targets to achieve carbon neutrality within our operations by 2030 and net zero Scope 3 emissions by 2040.

Scope 1 and 2 emissions

We recognise the urgency needed to reduce emissions during this critical decade and despite our continued growth and expansion, we will reduce our net operational emissions from our FY20 baseline by at least three per cent annually and achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

The first half of the decade will see emission reductions achieved predominantly through the increased use of renewable energy to power our sites. We will use offsets to address residual emissions where economically viable decarbonisation opportunities and technologies are unavailable. Their use will be consistent with the mitigation hierarchy to avoid, reduce and offset emissions.

Where the technology required to decarbonise our mining fleet is not readily available, we are making significant investments in research and development and partnering with others to develop the technology needed to advance in these areas. Fortescue publishes details of its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions in its annual Climate Change Reports.

Scope 3 emissions

Scope 3 emissions are those emissions that fall within a company’s value chain but are outside its operational control. Our approach to reducing Scope 3 emissions is to develop projects and technologies with a focus on reducing emissions from iron and steel making and to work with current and prospective customers on the application of the technology and the supply of green hydrogen and ammonia from FFI.

Fortescue will also prioritise the decarbonisation of its own fleet of eight ore carriers and engage with shipping partners to reduce, and eventually eliminate, emissions from shipping.

Fortescue publishes details of its Scope 3 emissions in its annual Climate Change Reports. Details of the methodology used to estimate Scope 3 emissions can be found here.

Decarbonisation pathway

Our pathway to decarbonisation is focused on addressing our largest sources of emissions: stationary power and our mining fleet.

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Key elements of our decarbonisation pathway include:

  • Significant investment in renewable power generation that is supported by battery storage, to replace existing stationary diesel and gas-fired power generating facilities.
  • Building transmission links between our mining operations in the Pilbara to integrate stationary energy facilities and provide a secure and reliable network to which additional renewable generation, storage facilities and electrolysers can be added.
  • Developing and trialling electric battery and green hydrogen powered haul trucks to remove our reliance on diesel fuel.
  • Developing and trialling hybrid locomotives that run on green ammonia and battery storage to replace diesel fuels.
  • Replacing diesel engines in other heavy mining equipment (HME), such as excavators and diggers, with electric motors and trialling hydrogen fuel cells as their power source.
  • Pursuing options to reduce emissions from other sources, which include dewatering, ammonia nitrate and port operations.

We have also established a Sustainability Financing Framework which will enable us to raise Green and Social debt to fund our decarbonisation initiatives. 

Learn more

Stationary power

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Fortescue’s Chichester Hub operations are now being powered by solar energy following the completion of the 60-megawatt Alinta Energy Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid Project.

The solar farm will power up to 100 per cent of daytime operations at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak sites, displacing around 100 million litres of diesel every year. The remaining power requirements will be met through battery storage and gas generation at Alinta Energy’s Newman Power Station.

We have committed and invested over US$700 million in renewable energy initiatives into the Pilbara Energy Connect project (PEC), which consists of:

  • the construction of a high voltage transmission line linking our Solomon Hub, Iron Bridge and Herb Elliott Port.
  • a 150MW of gas-fired generation, a 150MW solar photovoltaic (PV) array, and large-scale battery storage facilities.

PEC integrates Fortescue’s stationary energy facilities in the Pilbara into an efficient, secure and resilient network. It reduces emissions and provides the basis to integrate additional renewable generation necessary to decarbonise our operations.

Green mobility

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Decarbonising the mining fleet is one of the biggest challenges facing our industry. While electric light vehicles are readily available for the passenger and domestic market, there are currently no large-scale economic or technologically viable vehicles available for our haulage operations.

Fortescue Future Industries’ (FFI) Green Team are successfully trialling hydrogen, ammonia and battery technology to power trains, ship engines, haul trucks and drill rigs into the future.

Working closely with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), we have commenced development of a regenerating battery electric iron ore train (Infinity Train) to support the delivery of Fortescue’s industry-leading decarbonisation targets. In a world first development, the Infinity Train will utilise the gravitational energy generated on the downhill loaded sections of Fortescue’s rail network to recharge its battery electric systems, without any additional charging requirements for the return trip to reload.

This builds on work already underway to decarbonise our locomotive fleet, following the purchase of two new Battery Electric Locomotives to transport iron ore to our port facilities. We are expected to take delivery of our first battery-powered locomotive in 2023.

Fortescue Future Industries

Fortescue established its green energy, technology and development company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) to lead the green industrial revolution, developing technology solutions for hard-to-decarbonise industries, while building a global portfolio of renewable green hydrogen and green ammonia projects.

FFI’s vision is to supply over 15 million tonnes of green hydrogen annually by 2030. Fortescue will be a source of demand for FFI products, given its target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

Learn more

Acquisition of UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering 

Leading provider of high-performance battery and electrification technologies 

In 2022, Fortescue acquired Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), setting the pace for ground-breaking innovation in the green energy space.

WAE, is a world-leading technology and engineering business renowned for its ground-breaking projects in high performance battery systems and electrification. The acquisition of WAE brings together leading thinkers and engineers under one brand to drive progress and combat climate change.

Fortescue has worked with WAE since early 2021 to design and build a prototype battery system to power an electric mining haul truck.

Together, Fortescue and WAE will:

  • develop battery electric solutions for Fortescue’s rail, mobile haul fleet and other heavy mining equipment, to accelerate the decarbonisation of Fortescue’s mining operations by 2030; and
  • grow WAE’s world-leading green technology and engineering business.

One of the first major projects to be developed will be a world leading battery electric train concept, called the Infinity Train.

The full ASX announcement is available here