Nickel Asia first PH mining firm to aim for net zero

MANILA, Philippines —Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) bared its ambition of reaching net-zero emissions across its business operations by 2050 through the application of new technologies, making it the first mining company in the Philippines to make such a commitment.

In a statement, NAC said it was reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 42 percent by 2030 and eventually achieving the net zero target by 2050.

The listed natural resources development company said this involved heavily investing in new technologies and prioritizing the use of market-available hybrid models in all its mining operations.

NAC said it was the first Philippine company with mining assets to submit its emissions reduction targets to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a global body that promotes best practices in reducing emissions anchored on climate science.

SBTi keeps track of company targets to make sure they deliver on their commitments and timelines.

It is a collaboration among international nonprofit organization CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature. It is also part of the We Mean Business Coalition, a nonprofit global group that promises to limit global warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Fully committed

The respective net zero commitment of entities that are part of the SBTi will be traced and validated based on worldwide scientific standards. NAC chief sustainability and risk officer Jose Bayani Baylon said their inclusion in the SBTi signified the company “crossing the Rubicon.”

“It’s a first in the Philippine mining industry which is largely considered hard to abate and we are presenting ourselves to scrutiny and high-level peer pressure, it’s a huge undertaking and we are proud and fully committed,” Baylon said.

“Reaching net zero is a huge challenge but also a unique opportunity for NAC to be on the front line of responsible and sustainable mining in the country,” he added.

The firm had earmarked P1.7 billion to set up a conveyor belt system in its Taganito mine site in Claver town in Surigao del Norte back in 2016, significantly reducing its fossil fuel usage by 96 percent per wet metric ton.

In 2023, NAC acquired for piloting two units of hybrid excavators, which capture energy wasted during operations for reuse in the future, worth P12.34 million each. It ordered nine more for standardized usage this year, for a total of P125.82 million.

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