On February 3, Teck Resources announced a lofty goal of becoming carbon neutral in all of their operations and activities by 2050. The announcement came out of Teck’s Vancouver office and is stated as part of the company’s “commitment to climate action and responsible resource development.”
In a press release from the company, Teck noted that this transition to carbon neutrality is part of their transition to a low-carbon economy and also an effort to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The agreement, according to the United Nations, strives to “strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below two degrees…and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees.”
Teck noted that their new initiative aligns with the goals of the Paris Agreement as well as with different climate agreements made by Chile and Canada, where the majority of Teck’s operations are found.
“Setting the objective to be carbon neutral by 2050 is an important step forward in our commitment to reducing emissions and taking action on climate change,” said Don Lindsay, president and chief executive officer of Teck Resources.
Teck plans to use a variety of tactics to reach their goal. First, they’ll attempt to avoid creating carbon emissions and then will attempt to eliminate or minimize emissions. In order to do this, Teck will look at alternative ways of moving materials at their mines, invest in using cleaner power sources, and implement efficiency procedures throughout their entire company operations.
Currently, the most significant source of emissions for Teck is from power supply and mobile equipment, such as haul trucks. Teck noted that to “decarbonize these emission sources and ultimately achieve our goal of carbon neutrality,” they will advance with several options.
This includes exploring solar power as a source of electricity, replacing internal combustion engines with zero emission alternatives, replacing diesel trucks with electric trucks and assessing the potential for using emerging, eco-friendly mining technologies. Teck also said they would be setting interim goals in 2025 and 2030 in order to track their progress.
Although this new goal is certainly an ambitious one, especially for a mining company, Teck has already made several moves towards being more eco-friendly. As of February 2020, 81 per cent of all the electricity used in Teck operations is sourced from renewable power sources. They also boast a 289,000 tonne reduction in green house gas emissions since 2011. In a press release, Teck noted that they have also paid over $500 million in carbon taxes in Canada since 2008.
“Climate change is a global challenge that our company and our industry need to contribute to solving,” said Lindsay. “We will pursue the technologies and measures necessary to reduce carbon emissions across our business, while continuing to responsibly provide the metals and minerals necessary for the world’s transition to a low-carbon economy.”
One move towards reducing emissions is evident in the Elk Valley.
In October of 2019, Teck announced the roll out of two new electric passenger buses to transport employees to and from its Fording River and Greenhills operations. The electric buses replaced older diesel buses and are supposed to be more environmentally beneficial, as well as cost effective and comfortable for employees. Teck noted that each bus is the equivalent of taking 10 combustion engine cars off the road and is a step in the right direction for their overall climate goals.