Exxaro Resources limited
Environmental, social and governance report 2021

Climate change resilience

Attracting and retaining the right employees with the necessary skills for now and into the future remains challenging in a competitive market. To ensure that we have the right people, we invest in, upskill and offer our employees an attractive value proposition. This investment extends to potential future employees and the communities who provide labour to our operations. We are also mindful of the safety and health of our employees and host communities, and strive to achieve zero harm through collective responsibility, commitment and risk awareness.

We uphold our statutory and non-statutory licence to operate through:

  • Carbon tax compliance, carbon budget, pollution prevention plans and our Climate Change Response strategy
  • Climate change position statement
  • TCFD analysis and disclosure
  • CDP disclosure
  • Our decarbonisation project

At Exxaro, we actively embrace climate change, mitigation and adaptation. The risks that climate change presents, both physical and transitional, will impact our business sustainability if not actively understood and managed. Conversely, we seek to identify and leverage the opportunities that our just transition will present.

  • Our TCFD disclosure is embedded throughout our reporting suite and our online publications. For details of our TCFD disclosure, refer to our index


Climate change is not a separate and siloed activity within Exxaro. The principles and mechanisms to respond to climate change is integrated into everything we do as a business. From governance to strategy, risk management and capital allocation, among others, climate change and its implications on our business and stakeholders are central to our thinking and doing.

To positively respond to the climate change agenda, we are pursuing a reduction in our carbon footprint with the goal of being carbon neutral by 2050 for scope 1 and 2. Delivering on this requires an institutional approach, with all aspects of our business involved in this transition. Carbon emission reductions are driven by our efforts in energy management and the implementation of cleaner energy sources at our operations. South Africa has revised its target range for 2025 to 398MtCO2e to 510MtCO2e and for 2030 to 350MtCO2e to 420MtCO2e. The revised nationally determined conditions (NDCs) requires us to do more to support the country's contribution to low carbon economy.

To ensure comparability, Exxaro measures, manages and reports energy and carbon data in terms of the GHG Protocol. Our scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions are monitored and reported annually. We use the operating control accounting approach in reporting emissions.

Scope 1

Direct GHG emissions (measured in tCO2e) from sources owned or controlled by Exxaro using diesel, petrol, gas, and anthracite combustion in day-to-day mining operations

Scope 2

GHG emissions from electricity generated by utility Eskom and purchased by Exxaro

Scope 3

Emissions outside our control but emanating from our products or activities such as customers burning coal sold by Exxaro

Our GHG emissions recorded over the past three financial years are shown below.

Internally, we report on energy and carbon data monthly, which enables us to closely monitor our performance. We report on carbon and energy data at all levels, including the executive level. Furthermore, Exxaro's 2022 short term incentive scheme will track carbon and energy reductions at group and BU levels to inform executive and all employees reward performance. We continue to investigate data solutions that will give us real-time feedback, which we believe will allow us to respond quickly to emerging issues and opportunities to reduce our emissions.

Externally, we participate in the CDP, UK-based non-profit organisation which oversees a global environmental disclosure system and receives data that provides valuable insights into corporate strategies and the journey towards environmental leadership. The system provides insights to investors on companies that adhere to sustainable carbon and emissions management.

We have participated in the CDP climate change programme since 2008, supporting our reporting with a central data repository that records our energy consumption and intensity, carbon emissions measurement and cost performance at BU and group levels. The database is audited and assured externally every year. We have also participated in the CDP Water programme since 2010 and supplier engagement 2019 to ensure that we align water security and supply chain risks to impacts of climate change. For the 2021 CDP report, Exxaro is ranked in the B list category, this is higher than the coal mining sector average of C. We also received an A- on engagement with our supply chain stakeholders with regards to climate change issues.

For more information on how we performed please refer to www.cdp.net.

Our CDP score

Average performance

Coal mining


Global average

Decarbonisation approach

To achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 for scope 1 and 2, Exxaro will need to actively reduce our emissions by at least 40% by 2030. Our strategy also ensures that opportunities to reduce scope 3 emissions, are actively investigated, as we intend to take our entire value chain along in our journey to decarbonisation the portfolio. We see three primary areas to address to meet this goal:

  1. Operational optimisation
  2. Value chain partnership
  3. Stakeholder engagement and inclusion

We established a decarbonisation portfolio management office and several interconnected workstreams that focus on the three areas highlighted above, with clear ownership at executive level to ensure accountability and delivery.

There are several exciting projects that will reduce our direct emissions, including a solar photovoltaic (PV) project at our flagship Grootegeluk mine, estimated to reduce our emissions by 208ktCO2e.

Further information on this project can be found under energy management.

Several operational efficiency programmes are ongoing to reduce both scope 1 and 2 emissions. However, these initiatives are primarily focused on reducing diesel consumption. It is estimated that these initiatives would reduce our emissions by 62ktCO2e.

We know that, while it is critical to reduce our direct emissions, the largest contributor to our emissions profile is from our scope 3 emissions. It is thus imperative for our stakeholders to understand the impact and importance of climate resilience. We have several ongoing education initiatives with stakeholders across our value chain. While the impact of these initiatives cannot be measured in terms of tCO2e saved, they are critical to ensuring that we take everyone along with us on our journey and that our transition is just. We have already seen changes in behaviour from our employees, with increasing interest in reducing their personal carbon footprints.

Scope 1

Scope 2

Scope 3
Carbon credits Enablers

Feasibility on green energy potential at operations

Energy and water efficiency programme (linked to performance incentives)

Compliance focus: pollution prevention plans for operations

Solar PV at Tshikondeni

Solar PV at Grootegeluk

Framework to address climate change mitigation and adaptation for Exxaro and our suppliers

Community waste management/SLP

Land management projects

Rehabilitation opportunities

Exxaro decarbonisation training and employee participation

Decarbonisation communication plan

driven process


Quick Wins


GHG consumption and efficiency

Exxaro conducted a carbon intensity baseline assessment in 2018, which we rebased in 2020. We have reduced our carbon intensity by more than 8% against the 2018 baseline as we focus on managing our electricity and diesel consumption. In 2021, the total carbon intensity was 5.51ktCO2e/TTM (scope 1 = 1.91ktCO2e/TTM and scope 2 = 3.6ktCO2e/TTM) compared to 4.9ktCO2e/TTM in 2020. This translates to a 13% increase in carbon intensity due to lower total tons of material moved. Electricity and diesel intensities increased in 2021, mainly due to production challenges at our operations. Based on production tonnages in 2021, electricity intensity increased by 10% to 14.18MWh/kt (13MWh/kt in 2020) and diesel intensity increased by 2.05% to 2 000L/kt (2 042L/kt in 2020). Whilst our intensity has increased, the absolute GHG emissions have reduced.

GHG emissions (ktCO2e) Targets Year-on-year change (%) 2021 2020 (baseline) 2019
Scope 1 Actual for previous year less 5% -11.6 345 385 412
Scope 21 -0.8 650 650 670
Total scope 1 and 2 -4 995 1 035 1 082
Year-on-year change (%) -4 -5 25
Scope 32 +2.5 70 931 69 220 70 947
Year-on-year change (%) +2.5% +2.5% +2.7%
Target 2050 Carbon neutral

Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions (ktCO2e)

Hazardous waste sent to landfill

Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions (ktCO2e)

Hazardous waste sent to landfill
1 Scope 2: Electricity-based emissions are derived from the grid emission factor for South Africa, which is 1.08tCO2e per MWh.
2 Scope 3: Reported emissions based on use of product sold by Exxaro (representing over 98% of Exxaro's scope 3 emissions).
Carbon emissions by source Year-on-year change (%) 2021 2020 2019
Electricity (ktCO2e) -0.8 650 670
Year-on-year change (%) -0.8 3 18
Source proportion (%) 65.3 63 62
Diesel (ktCO2e) -11.8 230 261 268
Year-on-year change (%) -11.8 3 19
Source proportion (%) 23.1 25 25
Fugitive emissions (ktCO2e) -2 115 117 136
Year-on-year change (%) -2 14 32
Source proportion (%) 11.6 11 13
Other sources (ktCO2e) -93.8 0.5 8 9
Year-on-year change (%) 93.8 11 96
Source proportion (%) 0.1 1 1
GHG emissions in 2021 (ktCO2e) Scope 1 Scope 2 Scope 3 Total
Mpumalanga 186.15 234.59 20 654.48 21 075.22
Belfast 44.68 16.63 1 098.39 1 159.70
Dorstfontein East 10.98 12.92 542.10 566
Dorstfontein West 7.41 14.41 1 069.72 1 091.54
Forzando North 1.34 32.05 0.00 33.39
Forzando South 1.22 0.00 1 077.26 1 078.48
Leeuwpan 60.04 23.68 3 033.27 3 116.99
Mafube 25.12 25.35 3 119.39 3 169.86
Matla 35.36 109.55 10 714.35 10 859.26
Limpopo 158.75 405.35 50 276.55 50 840.65
Reductants 0.00 0.00 62.79 62.79
Grootegeluk 158.73 404.51 50 213.76 50 777.00
Tshikondeni 0.02 0.84 0.00 0.86
Gauteng 0.12 9.79 0.00 9.91
Corporate Centre, the conneXXion 0.02 2.62 0.00 2.64
FerroAlloys 0.10 7.17 0.00 7.27
KwaZulu-Natal 0.21 0.12 0.00 0.33
Durnacol 0.06 0.10 0.00 0.16
Hlobane 0.15 0.02 0.00 0.17

Leading the way

Exxaro participated in COP26 climate change deliberations and sponsored the South African COP pavilion.

Supporting research and development

We prioritise innovation, research and development, and collaborations on sustainability issues with value chain stakeholders. Over the past decade, Exxaro has invested extensively in building long-term research to develop the body of knowledge in climate change, renewable energy, and sustainability through three university chairs:

Focus Research outputs
Wits Global Change Institute The chair undertakes research on adaptation pathways for a changing world, alignment of global climate change adaptation and mitigation with the SDGs, minimising the impact of extractive industries such as mining, and maximising post-extractive landscapes for sustainable communities. The research outputs are used by both industry and government to enhance our climate change adaptation and resilience.
Unisa Business and Climate Change The chair operates in key thematic areas: research, development, innovation and advocacy-oriented community engagement. The chair also undertakes research on climate governance, SDG domestication, climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as green buildings.
  • Published research articles on the coal mining sector's response to climate change
  • A decision-making framework for corporate climate change response
University of Pretoria Energy, Water and Food The chair undertakes research and development work on energy efficiency improvement in Exxaro's operations, providing high-quality services to our business on energy efficiency. To date, the chair has developed two toolkits on motor resizing and multi-drive conveyor belt design and simulation to save energy and has published technical reports on energy efficiency in South Africa.

This year, we invested R9.5 million in support of this research (2020: R10.99 million), with R54.14 million invested to date since 2015. All three chairs have made substantial contributions to our strategy.

Stakeholder engagements


  • The green procurement strategy prioritises sustainable supplier engagement and has critical objectives that include increasing the adoption of environmentally friendly, natural resource-efficient equipment, products and technology in Exxaro's operations
  • We encourage innovation to reduce climate impacts on products and services and have suppliers we can partner with for the achievement of our 2050 carbon neutrality objective. Furthermore, we have identified hot spots for collaborative action in our value chain and prioritised these based on criteria such as carbon impact and ease of implementation
  • Collaboration with our value chain partners has enabled the understanding of Exxaro's position regarding climate change, ie carbon emissions reduction with a view to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, energy efficiency, sustainable operations, our global and national contribution to meeting the Paris Agreement commitments and our journey in the implementation of the TCFD recommendations


  • Exxaro has engaged with downstream customers who have an impact on our carbon footprint, business strategy and our 2050 carbon neutrality objective. The objective was to share our Sustainable Growth and Impact strategy and divestment from some coal operations. Customer engagements will support our efforts to reduce our scope 3 emissions by exploring carbon capture and storage opportunities as well as carbon offsets.

Policy makers

  • Engagements with the national lead authority on climate change and carbon budgets (the DFFE and National Treasury (lead department on the Carbon Tax Act, which we support with minor exceptions). Engagements have been on the alignment of the carbon tax and carbon budget and how these instruments will be applied effectively to meet South Africa's international obligations on climate change, particularly the NDC
  • Although South Africa has draft legislation that addresses climate change (the Draft Climate Change Bill published in June 2018), we have raised several issues with policy makers on the Bill. It was proposed to policy makers, during the public consultation workshops, that critical comments on the shortcomings of the Bill be adequately considered and addressed, especially issues that relate to the NDC, Paris Agreement, the National Benchmark Trajectory, alignment of the carbon tax and carbon budgets, regulatory uncertainty and associated impacts
  • Discussions with the Department of Energy on renewable energy generation, given our renewable energy strategy and potential future investments in renewable energy

Trade and research associations

  • Exxaro is a member of the Industry Task Team on Climate Change (ITTCC), a non-profit organisation aimed at undertaking technical, fact-based studies to ensure that South Africa's policies on climate change are based on the best information and best practice, and prescribe real, achievable ends. The ITTCC works with various stakeholders such as government and business groups on critical matters such as climate change, South Africa's international climate change obligations, supporting the low-carbon transition, carbon price merits, collaboration and the just transition
  • Exxaro is a member of the NBI, a voluntary coalition of South African and multinational companies, working towards sustainable growth and development in South Africa. We participate and contribute to thought leadership on issues such as the just transition and businesses' roles in ensuring the transition to a low-carbon economy; preparation for COP meetings; and aligning to the achievement of the SDGs
  • The Minerals Council is a mining industry employers' organisation that supports and promotes the South African mining industry and provides strategic and advisory support. A key role of the organisation is to facilitate interaction among mining employers to examine policy issues and other matters of mutual concern for the definition of desirable industry standpoints. We are active participants in the Minerals Council environmental policy meetings, with contributions on the Minerals Council's work on the carbon tax and implications for the mining industry, waste and water management in a changing climate and implications for the mining sector. We have also participated, through the Minerals Council, on a number of discussions with National Treasury on the carbon tax and have influenced discussion points on the tax
  • Business Unity South Africa is a confederation of business organisations that represents South African business on macro-economic and high-level issues that affect it at the national and international levels
  • The Energy Intensive User Group is committed to working with government, power utilities, industry and other stakeholders to ensure South Africa has an energy supply industry that is financially viable, technically healthy and well managed. The Energy Intensive User Group recognises the impacts and implications of climate change on energy supply and security
  • Energy Efficiency Leadership Network, which recognises the linkages between climate change and energy efficiency, enables government and business to openly discuss energy efficiency as well as energy strategy and policy implementation
  • Business Leadership South Africa recognises the implications of climate change on businesses and focuses on securing energy supply


We will continue contributing to Exxaro's goals to build a resilient organisation through reducing emissions and extending our influence throughout our value chain and with our stakeholders.

We will continue to raise awareness about climate change and the just transition required to support South Africa's development.

We remain cognisant of the changing regulatory landscape and continue to be involved in and actively monitor related developments that may impact our business such as the carbon tax and carbon budget.

From a skills perspective, we continue to work with our human resources teams to understand our future skills needs, particularly with regard to climate change, to support our strategic objectives. We strive to attract talent through our reputation as a company known for our innovation, stewardship and proactive approach to global climate issues.


Helping our supply chain decarbonise

Our ESD decarbonisation programme is designed to facilitate a change in behaviour within SMMEs to reduce their emissions. This year, we held a decarbonisation and climate change awareness masterclass for our current and prospective enterprise development suppliers. With over 70 suppliers attending, the masterclass helped unpack the impact of climate change and highlighted how businesses need to enhance their resilience and decarbonise their operations.

The class was well received, and interest was expressed for additional classes. We are currently gathering emissions data from our enterprise development beneficiaries, and we will ultimately align with the broader goals of the supply chain management decarbonisation workstream.

Addressing climate change awareness

Climate change is a clear threat to the sustainability of our operations, communities and livelihoods. Stakeholders should appreciate its significance, aim to better understand it, how it will affect us and how we as Exxaro are adapting. To address this, in conjunction with the university chairs, we are working to develop tailored climate change and awareness training material for employees and communities.

We started decarbonisation awareness engagement with employees this year to enhance awareness and upskill employees to support a just transition. Three classes were delivered and two are scheduled for early 2022.

We continue to raise awareness of our strategic roadmap in a way that makes it clear to our employees that we are managing the risks and positioning ourselves for the future, and in that journey, we are committed to bringing our stakeholders with us.


The Global Change Institute (formerly known as the Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute) was established as an enabling research platform of global significance and local impact, fostering informed action for adaptation and innovation in the rapidly changing southern African region.

The Global Change Institute addresses problems related to global change, climate change and sustainability in a multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary manner. It wants to play a more prominent role in helping to co-create, understand and inform global change solutions at various levels of decision making (in business, industry and government – municipal, provincial, national); and to function as an enabling platform utilising research to support progressive change through collaborative efforts with stakeholders.

Understanding the impact of NDCs

NDC are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and embody each country's efforts to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Under the Paris Agreement, all parties must deposit NDCs every five years. South Africa deposited its first NDC with the UNFCCC in October 2015, committing to keep national GHG emissions between 398MtCO2e to 614MtCO2e for 2025 and 2030. The Paris Agreement also seeks to lower global temperatures to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to 1.5°C.

All parties were expected to update their 2015 targets in 2020 to ensure they are aligned to the latest science. The revised target range considers the latest reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change and aligns with the stakeholders that contribute to the country's efforts.

Impending regulation: Climate Change Bill

The Climate Change Bill has been approved by Cabinet and will soon be tabled in Parliament. It provides for a coordinated response to climate change and its impacts. The Bill gives effect to South Africa's international commitments and obligations to climate change, and defines the steps to be taken to protect and preserve the planet for the benefit of present and future generations.

We support government's efforts to manage and combat climate change and will continue to monitor this and consider the potential impacts on our operations.

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Appendix A: Criteria