Our Copper Business to Adopt Environmental Traceability Technology

posted: 05/04/2022

Developing tools to better understand the global greenhouse gas (GHG) impact of copper across its lifecycle

Our Horne Smelter and CCR Refinery copper businesses in Canada are working with the federal government and external providers to develop a traceability solution that tracks emissions from end to end of the supply chain to provide visibility and transparency of the carbon footprint in real time.

The solution, being developed by OPTEL, will assess a product’s carbon footprint based on data captured throughout the product life cycle.

The approach will develop an existing platform to include real time lifecycle analysis (LCA) to understand and follow the carbon footprint and real time content of recycled inputs (such as electronic scrap or copper waste from construction).

Both the Horne Smelter and the CCR Refinery, where the technology will be developed and implemented, already implement carbon-controlling measures including the use of hydroelectric power supply and various projects completed over the years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I am certain this project will enable us to identify opportunities to further reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, which is in alignment with Glencore’s ambition to be a net-zero emissions company by 2050.

Claude Bélanger - Chief Operating Officer of Glencore’s North American Copper Assets

We are providing access to our copper production data and by products from our copper processes (tellurium, nickel sulphates, selenium, gold, platinum and palladium), to enable the implementation of a traceability platform. The main objective is to evaluate Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and build an active inventory by identifying and measuring infeed material (copper concentrate, recycled material and electronic waste) while tracing material through Glencore’s value chain from smelting at Horne Smelter to refining at CCR.

Tied with production data and enhanced by elements of the AI-LCA algorithm, this traceability platform module is expected to allow us to access real-time evaluation of GHG emission variations by providing tools to measure, monitor, pilot and assess sustainable changes through our value chain.

It is hoped that this three-year project can eventually be leveraged to develop a better understanding of the global GHG impact of copper across its lifecycle.

The result will be a more efficient, transparent and sustainable mineral supply upholding our Purpose to responsibly source the commodities that advance everyday life.

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