SUSTAINABILITY TOPIC: CLIMATE

Boliden’s vision is to be the most climate friendly and respected metal provider in the world

Boliden is working to reduce its climate impact and to constantly maintain and improve low-carbon metal production. There is a growing global demand for metals to meet societal challenges, such as climate change, as the greater use of renewable energy and the electrification of society both require more metals. Several of Boliden’s metals are identified as being of special strategic interest for the development of the fossil free society.

Hence, Boliden is well positioned to help limit Europe’s heavy dependence on metal imports, and to enhance sustainability throughout the metal value chain. Naturally, Boliden’s operations also face challenges. Mining and smelting activities can generate significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. However, as a sustainability leader in the metals and mining sector, Boliden clearly has a role to play in significantly reducing its climate impact – and in driving positive change throughout the industry.

The Climate Program presents how Boliden manages and measures Climate-related risks and opportunities with three chapters covering the perspectives of the Boliden Group, Business Area Mines and Business Area Smelters.

Boliden’s Climate Program includes disclosure sections on:

  • Governance – how climate-related risks and opportunities are governed.
  • Risk management – how climate-related risks are identified, assessed and managed.
  • Strategy – our status on the actual and potential impacts of climate-related risks and opportunities on the business, strategy and financial planning so far.
  • Metrics and targets – the metrics and targets used to assess and manage relevant climate-related risks and opportunities.
  • Performance – the current performance and progress made by Boliden toward its climate targets.

 

Governance

Proactive climate governance

The Boliden Environmental Board, which consists of the Boliden Group Management team, has the overall responsibility for the company’s climate program and long-term targets. The CEO reports on progress to the Boliden Board, which monitors and oversees progress against goals and targets for addressing climate-related issues.

Group Management is supported by an Environmental council. The Environmental council has an expert group, the Boliden Climate Committee, which co-ordinates Boliden’s climate program. The committee consists of business area representatives and experts from the organization. The committee’s assignment is to follow up, suggest improvements and coordinate the climate work within Boliden. The committee reports quarterly to the Environmental Council. Each business area is responsible for implementing Boliden’s climate strategy and long-term targets.

 

Strategy: Boliden’s climate-related risks and opportunities

Decarbonization presents opportunities and will enhance competitiveness and drive long-term profitability. A scenario analysis of Boliden’s portfolio showed that there will be an increased need for our metals to make the transition to a low carbon society.

The decarbonization of Boliden’s business will help it to mitigate the risks associated with fossil fuel and process reduction agents dependency, such as those related to rising fuel costs and more stringent future regulations connected to CO2-emissons.

Risks

The need for mines & the issue of carbon leakage

Boliden’s greatest risk is the perception in society that mines are not needed – particularly in Europe. Authorities make permits difficult to obtain, using increasingly stringent environmental criteria. However, such policies have significant negative global climate implications as the metals produced in China, for example, can have a much larger carbon footprint compared with metals produced in Europe. Moving mining and metal produc- tion activities out of Europe might reduce Europe’s emissions, but can at the same time significantly increase global emissions. This is known as carbon leakage and must be avoided.

Balancing circular economy & climate obligations

The creation of circular systems that gain maximum value from resources by recovering and reusing materials is an essential part of Boliden’s sustainability agenda. However, recovering valuable metals from societal waste can sometimes cause more carbon emissions than sourcing new metal ore. It is essential to find a balance between promoting a circular resource use and climate emissions.

Boliden is a member of several organizations aiming to make the European non-ferrous industry more sustainable, for example Eurometaux. Such cooperation promotes the circular economy and helps avoid carbon leakage while keeping industry and jobs within the EU. It also helps Boliden reduce risk by engaging with, and influencing, the EU agenda to support economically sustainable development.

Regulation change risks

Changes to regulations and taxes, such as the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), may result in cost increases that jeopardize Boliden’s competitiveness in the international market. Decar- bonizing more quickly than competitors is Boliden’s strategy to mitigate the company’s exposure to such future risks. An efficient and reliable permitting process from the authorities is crucial to ensure that new, necessary and climate-smart invest- ments are made possible.

Extreme weather-related risks

There are a wide range of natural weather events that have the potential to impact a target asset and climate change can increase the risk of more extreme weather events in the future. For example, changes in precipitation might lead to heavier snowfall or flooding that can affect open pit mining operations, or localized flooding and changes in groundwater levels could impact on Boliden’s operations. Higher temperatures and storms in the future might also have negative implications on Boliden’s business in general.

Various weather related risk assessments and scenario analysis have since long been carried out on different occasions, develop- ment projects and permit application processes within Boliden operations.

Opportunities

Resilience - metals for a sustainable society

As one of the leading sustainability metals and mining company, Boliden is well positioned to supply the metals needed for a sustainable society. Copper and zinc, for example, are essential for society’s transition from fossil fuels to electrification by enabling solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles. Boliden’s proactive stance on climate-related issues can differentiate it from its competitors as there will be strong demand for low-carbon metals in a fossil-free society. Boliden is also one of the leaders in recovering valuable metals from societal waste, such as e-scrap, lead car batteries and existing process waste.

Boliden is actively working to reduce the climate footprint of its own operations. This includes working toward the electrification of its mines and the development of low-carbon production processes for its smelters. These areas both require significant R&D innovation and investment, and working proactively with them is essential to enable the supply of low-carbon metals to the market. Establishing itself as a low-carbon metals producer is a major opportunity for Boliden to enhance its reputation and brand.

Potential for more sustainable metals to command a higher premium

Boliden has identified potential customers that will be interested in paying a premium for low-carbon metals. Boliden has opportunities to tap into this market – to enhance profitability while also contributing toward a more sustainable society.

Financial planning

Boliden has a strategic investment program, including investments to mitigate climate-related risks and capitalize on opportunities. The program involves evaluating different actions based on their long-term environmental impact, CO₂ emissions and financial cost.

Risk Management

Risk and opportunities

Boliden pursues a business that is exposed to fluctuations in metal prices and foreign exchange rates as well as social and environmental demands and expectations. Operations affect the surrounding environment and many processes are associated with occupational health and safety risks. Boliden seeks to mitigate these risks, through scenario analysis and risk management. Operational risks are managed by the operating units in compliance with the guidelines and instructions established for each Business Area and unit.

Roles and responsibility

The CEO has ultimate responsibility for Boliden’s strategic orientation and for ensuring compliance with and implementation of the Board’s decisions, and for ensuring that risk management, control, systems, organization and processes are all of a satisfactory standard. The CEO is supported in his work by the Group’s management team which also includes the presidents of Boliden’s two Business Areas Mines and Smelters, the CFO, and the Director, Corporate Responsibility.

Risk and opportunities analysis

Boliden’s two Business Areas conduct opportunity and risk analyses as an integrated part of their management systems. This includes for example various climate-related risk and opportunities assessments, as part of site permits and ISO 14001 certified environmental management systems. Opportunities and risks are compiled per Business Area. The most significant opportunities and risks are presented to Group management and are compiled annually for the Board.

Boliden is working with risk assessments based on the TCFD framework, the EU Green deal and stakeholder input – at all levels of the business.

Control activities

Various types of control activities are carried out in the Group. The control activities are carried out in order to manage known risks and to detect new risks For every risk identified, the controls used to manage the risk are documented.

Information and communication

Information on policies, guidelines and manuals is available in Boliden’s Management System BMS. External communication is conducted in accordance with the Group communications policy. All information must be communicated openly, judiciously and clearly.

More systematic approach to risk

Boliden is gradually improving its systematic approach to Risk Management. One on-going project is to identify various risk assessments, including climate-related risks, that are being carried out around the business. To investigate how the process to consolidate the results of the various risk, assessments can be clarified at different organizational levels.

Annual Sustainability workshop

An annual sustainability workshop is held, with the participation of all levels of the business, to identify the most important topics to address on a Group level. This workshop involves key people throughout the business and provides an outside-in perspective by gathering input from important external stakeholders, such as investors and the media.

Climate-related risk management in 2021 and beyond

Boliden will continue to improve its systematic approach to risk management. This work will ultimately enable Boliden to better identify and capture risks, and further develop its risk management processes.

The next step of Boliden’s work will involve assessing scope 3 CO2 emissions and the company’s supply chain from a physical climate risk perspective to identify potential hazards.

Assessing opportunities

In 2020, a third party conducted a climate risk competitive analysis for Boliden that looked at carbon pricing, water stress and future commodity alignment. All Boliden’s metals are aligned with future need as demand for metals for solar panels, wind generation and batteries for example will remain high when building a more sustainable society.

Boliden ranked favorably compared with competitors in the climate competitiveness score.

 

 

Case Story:

Physical risk workshop and
scenario analysis at Bergsöe

In 2020, based on Boliden overall physical risk screening, IPCC scenario analyses, current processes and site specific information, the Bergsöe Business Unit Management Team conducted a climate change risk workshop with the theme ’Climate scenarios and physical risks affecting our business strategy’ led by a third-party consultant with expertise on climate science and risk management specific to climate change.

Key climate hazards assessed

  • Extreme heat.
  • Extreme cold, including snow, ice.
  • Storms
  • Flooding – pluvial, fluvial, coastal, groundwater.
  • Drought and water stress
  • Wildfires
  • Landslides

Boliden’s model for assessing physical climate risks

Relevant risks have been plotted onto Boliden’s risk matrix for present day (Dark blue) and 2030 (light blue)

 

1) 2030 risk level is only shown for risks where there is a change in the risk level.

 

The objectives of the workshop were:
1. To provide an overview of identified climate-related risks and their importance for Boliden Bergsöe.
2. To jointly discuss existing and emerging risks at the site and to identify the specific site operations and/or resources that are most exposed to climate hazards.
3. To prepare a route to assess the potential materiality of risks to align with Boliden’s internal risk thresholds.

 

The output of the workshop was an assessment and dashboard with identified risk items per selected climate hazard evaluated and presented in Boliden Risk Matrix for further handling in existing risk register and risk management processes.

 

Risk

Relevant Hazard

Risk Item

A

Sustained high temperatures

Unsafe working conditions for personnel working in close proximity to the furnace area in high temperature conditions as a result of extreme temperatures.

B

Intense rainfall events

Severe rainfall events can lead to the water treatment plant storage capacity being reached, resulting in outflow of untreated water into water supplies.

C

Intense rainfall events

Flooding events have the potential to physical damage operational site infra- structure, as well as damaging transport infrastructure.

D

Coastal flooding and storm surges

Coastal flooding and storm surges have the potential to physically damage asset infrastructure – the site is located on filled land and is located only 2 m above sea level. The water treatment plant is particularly exposed to this risk.

E

Storms

Severe high-wind events have the poten- tial to damage vital operating equipment, including electrical infrastructure, and create dangerous working conditions for personnel working outside.

Assessing physical climate risks

The conclusions of the assessment of physical climate risks show that Boliden sites do not face severe physical risks due to climate change compared with other parts of the world. This is due to the reduced risk for locations in northern Europe to be severely affected by climate change.

During 2020, a collective grip was taken on the exposure of physical climate hazards for all Boliden assets projected in different climate-change scenarios and time frames. Two of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Repre- sentative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) were used as scenarios to assess projections of likely global changes in key Climate- related parameters for 2030 and 2050.

This overall physical risk screening provides an initial under- standing of the potential exposures to Boliden physical climate hazards in general and is a hotspot analysis that identifies climate hazards that could be of material significance for each site and Business Unit to integrate into further risk management practices and decision-making.

The risk screening indicates that Boliden overall has few poten- tial high-risk climate hazard exposures to mitigate thanks to its location of current assets.

Targets and plans

Boliden’s objective is to provide metals with a low-carbon foot- print, by decarbonizing its operations and supplying low-carbon metals. Boliden has set the objective to reduce its CO2 intensity by 40% by 2030. This will enable Boliden to contribute toward the EU aspirations to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 and the Paris Agreement objective to limit the global tempera- ture increase to below 2°C. Boliden’s roadmap for competitive low-carbon metal production is relevant to the entire Group. The Business Areas decide on what actions to take to support the roadmap, and which of their units and projects to improve. Improvements typically involve increasing energy efficiency and decreasing the use of fossil fuels.

INCREASE METALS AND MINERALS REQUIRED GLOBALLY IN CLIMATE TECHNOLOGIES BY 2050

 

Data based on The World Bank "Minerals for Climate Action: The mineral intensity of the clean energy transition" (2020), UBS electric vehicle projections (2017).

 

Boliden aims to:

  • have low CO 2 emissions per metric ton of metal
  • ensure an efficient production process and use renewable energy sources
  • have efficient and safe waste management
  • recover valuable metals from societal waste
  • promote the circular use of newly produced metals

Decarbonization presents opportunities to establish cleaner operations in Boliden’s mines and smelters that enhance competitiveness and drive long-term profitability.
By increasing production at its mines and smelters, Boliden helps Europe to meet existing challenges in relation to raw materials supply in a world that is demanding more and more metals. Several of Boliden’s metals have, furthermore, been identified as being of special strategic interest for the continent as a whole. However, increasing production and boosting efficiency will require time and capital. In addition, political decisions that promote the industry’s global competitiveness will be central to achieving success, as will an effective and reliable approval processes for new investments. Politicians have a clear responsibility to maintain a long-term and holistic perspective. Areas where politics can make a difference include promoting:

  • permitting processes that promotes climate-smart investments.
  • a holistic view in political decisions that avoids (for example) policies that sub-optimize and harm the industry’s competitiveness and ability to invest in fossil-free production.
  • investment in research and development within fossil-free production processes.
  • access to fossil-free electricity with a low total system cost and high reliability.
  • the strategic allocation of biomass and access to biofuels at competitive prices.

Industry, the public sector and other actors need to work together to bear the cost of the transition, drive technological development and support the achievement of global and national climate goals.

Boliden has a comprehensive system to collect and report climate-related data. Key metrics are the aggregated scope 1 and 2 emissions per source and greenhouse gas emissions intensity.

305–1 Direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions

305–2 Indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions

305–4 GHG emission intensity

305–5 Reduction of GHG emissions