BHP, Southwire announce first carbon neutral copper cathode delivery

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BHP and US copper cable and wire manufacturer, Southwire, have completed their first ‘carbon neutral’ copper transaction involving delivery from BHP’s mines in Chile to Southwire’s processing activities in Georgia, United States.

BHP said the pilot – part of a collaboration between the two companies under a Memorandum of Understanding signed on 1 March 2021 – reflects the company Climate Transition Action Plan commitment to support industry to develop technologies for improved traceability and the pursuit of carbon neutral production.

According to the company’s statement, the pilot involved tracing BHP copper cathodes and associated greenhouse gas emissions through Southwire’s rod production operations utilising supply chain traceability provider Circulor’s blockchain-based technology and BHP’s carbon offsetting capabilities.

“The pilot aims to leverage BHP’s carbon offsetting capabilities to offer Southwire a carbon neutral copper product during the transition period as we pursue operational decarbonisation and is achieved by the retirement of high-quality carbon offsets against emissions from the production, transportation and Southwire’s processing of the designated copper shipments,” reads the statement.

“The carbon offsets were sourced from a project in Peru that provides additional sustainability co-benefits, such as biodiversity conservation, improved water quality and support for local communities.”

BHP’s Minerals Americas President, Rag Udd, said the collaboration aims to enhance supply chain transparency and demonstrate the broader downstream demand potential for carbon neutral products across the copper value chain, underpinned by credible greenhouse gas emissions measurement, reporting and tracing.

“We are taking concrete action to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the copper value chain,” Mr Udd stated.

“Partnerships like the one with Southwire enable industry to collaboratively move forward in building a low-carbon world and to reduce emissions from existing products.

“We are committed to helping lead this change, to create social value through sustainable copper production practices, and to working together to support greenhouse gas emission reductions in the copper value chain.”

Southwire’s Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Sustainability Officer, Burt Fealing, added: “As Southwire explores the potential of low-carbon wire and cable products, we are pleased to work with key leaders in our supply chain to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain. We look forward to continuing to generate a broader impact on carbon reduction by collaborating with like-minded companies such as BHP.”

Image credit: https://www.southwire.com/blogs/bhp-copper-pilot