Rio Tinto announced this week that it would be increasing its commitment to green energy by joining The First Movers Coalition as a way of bringing its sizeable buying power to the task of creating sustainable supply chains for green technologies. This global initiative was launched at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) as a way for ‘companies to harness their purchasing power and supply chains to create early markets for clean energy innovations.

One of Rio Tinto’s first steps is to work towards fuelling its shipping fleet and heavy haul trucks with emission-free energy sources, as well as giving per suppliers who do the same. The company has set a target of a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030, heading towards net zero by 2050. 

The First Movers Coalition was formed to bring private companies together to move emission-free technology to the fore. The International Energy Agency believes that new technology is necessary for the world to reach its net zero targets by 20250. 

Rio Tinto Chief Commercial Officer Alf Barrios said:

“The low-carbon transition is at the heart of our business strategy and success will require large scale of change throughout the value chain, which our pledges to the First Movers Coalition are aimed at supporting.”

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“As a member of the First Movers Coalition, we also look forward to building on our existing network of partnerships to support the development of new technologies to help power our way to a net-zero future,” he added. 

Rio’s major competitor in the iron ore market, BHP, is meanwhile expecting to halve emissions from electricity generation at its Port Hedland port facilities in Western Australia by the end of 2024. 

The company has signed a solar energy and battery storage agreement with Alinta Energy committing to a Power Purchase Agreement. The agreement supports the construction of a 45Mw solar farm and 35Mw battery energy storage system which will feed into Alinta’s exiting power station at Port Hedland which is expected to power 100 per cent of BHP’s energy needs. 

BHP and Alinta have also signed a memorandum of understanding to go ahead with a 45Mw wind farm that is forecast to begin generating electricity in 2027. 

BHP’s WA Iron Ore Asset President, Brandon Craig, said: 

“We are delighted to expand our partnership with Alinta Energy as we seek to lower emissions from our WA iron ore business.” 

Alinta Energy MD and CEO Jeff Dimery was happy to see BHP demonstrate strong leadership in the transition to net zero. 

“This is exactly the kind of leadership, progress and smart use of renewables and storage that we need from companies like BHP to show the way forward for Australia,” he said.  


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Author – Troy Adams, Global Road Technology