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Responding to Climate Change 2011

Home | Biodiversity & Land Use | Vale Engaging business - evidence of success

Engaging business – evidence of success


Revegetation activities of degraded areas
Revegetation activities of degraded areas

VALE, a mining company, headquartered in Brazil, outlines how business can engage in the negotiations and develop the necessary commitment to make changes internally. With a mission to “transform mineral resources into prosperity and sustainable development”, they are ideally placed to show how companies across different sectors can step up to the table.

Vale is the world’s leading mining company in the ranking published by Goldman Sachs, analysing opportunities and challenges of climate change. It was rated as one of the five most sustainable companies in the sector of basic materials at GS-Sustain report. In 2009, the company was awarded the Época Climate Change Prize, as one of the Brazilian companies with most outstanding climate change policy.

It is the best positioned company in the Latin American Index, which assesses the degree of transparency of information on climate change, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project. Vale was considered the mining company with lowest greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity by gross revenue.

In June 2010 Vale´s GHG inventory received the gold stamp of the Brazilian GHG Protocol Programme. Vale was the only mining company to receive this at the initiative, coordinated by FGV (Fundação Getulio Vargas, Business and Public Administration School). It demonstrates the company’s GHG inventory is complete and verified by a third party. Among the 34 companies participating in the Programme, only seven were awarded the gold stamp.

A role in the negotiations

In 2009, the company launched the Open Letter to Brazil on Climate Change, with the Ethos Institute and the Sustainable Amazonia Forum. Signatory companies voluntarily committed to global efforts to reduce climate change impacts, as well as suggestions for the Brazilian government participation at COP15. These companies prepared an accountability document of their actions in the Open Letter to Brazil on Climate Change
for COP16.

Vale also supported the Copenhagen Communiqué initiative. Issued by world business leaders, including Vale’s CEO, Roger Agnelli, this calls for an ambitious, robust and equitable global deal. Signatory companies also meet to discuss strategies to drive the world economy to a new low-carbon economy.

The company monitors, and is engaged in, regional, national and international discussions over better solutions for greenhouse gas global management. In Brazil, Vale participates in discussions over the National Policy on Climate Change, which became federal law in December 2009. Its contribution was to show what is possible and how to develop business opportunities in a low-carbon economy that restricts GHG emissions.

Closer to home

One of the projects illustrating Vale’s efforts is the BioVale Consortium for biofuel generation. Its goal is to produce biodiesel from palm oil by 2014. This biodiesel will be used to power a fleet of 216 locomotives and the equipment used in the Carajás’ mines. Switching from diesel oil to biodiesel will result in an emission reduction of 12 million tons of CO2, equivalent to the CO2 from more than 200,000 cars over 25 years.

Furthermore, the Consortium will reforest a legal reserve area of 70,000 hectares and create around 6,000 jobs in the Amazonia region, improving the lives of 2,000 families.

In 2008, Vale established its Carbon Programme, a wide-ranging set of globally coordinated measures, aiming to achieve standards of excellence regarding climate change actions by 2012. Its fundamental principles are below.

  1. The strategic evaluation of climate change impacts on business, and the company’s capacity to operate in a new competitive environment;

  2. Fostering GHG emissions reduction and CO2 sequestration initiatives;

  3. Cooperation and partnership for R&D, and the implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures within business units;

  4. Engagement with governments and private sectors to monitor and contribute in the preparation of the regulatory milestones; and,

  5. Transparency and continuous improvement.

Vale logo


Vale’s main activities on carbon and climate change are:

Emission Inventory: annual inventories following GHG Protocol guidelines, audited by independent parties to support the GHG management and report through the Carbon Disclosure Project and the Global Reporting Initiative;

Carbon Projects: diagnostics performed for each business field to identify potential emissions reduction and credit generation;

Strategic Planning: evaluation of carbon costs and opportunities, and impacts on competitiveness;

Regulatory Analysis: regulatory analysis on key countries and business areas;

Adaptation Analysis: studies on vulnerabilities in regions where Vale operates. Investments in R&D to optimise the use of natural resources; and,

Sustainable Business Development: foster renewable energy, eco-efficiency and reforestation projects.


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