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Climate Change

We aim to be a market leader in the diamond mining industry with innovative concepts for addressing climate change, both by tackling the risks and maximising the opportunities associated with this global challenge.

Diamond mining is less energy intensive than other types of mining, as evidenced by the fact that energy consumption (specifically electricity) only represented 15% of total cash on-mine costs in FY 2021 (FY 2020: 13%). However, it is recognised that non-renewable energy sources are finite and therefore likely to become increasingly scarce over time, as confirmed in the first round of our Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment in FY 2021.

Our short-term strategy is therefore to minimise overall energy usage wherever possible, while our long-term strategy is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuel energy resources. We do this by continuously evaluating opportunities to implement initiatives to reduce energy consumption, by designing all new projects to be as efficient as possible and by continuing to evaluate the strategic case for renewable power sources.

In addition, Petra recently developed an Energy Management Plan, based on the principles of the international ISO 50001 standard. Accordingly, each operation has its own specific management plan – focusing at this stage on electricity – and Energy Management Policy.

We recognise the growing importance of climate change, both to our Company and to our stakeholders. By better evaluating and understanding the risks and uncertainties that climate change represents to our business, we will be able to manage our assets in the most economically and environmentally sustainable manner possible.

As driven by the unprecedented Paris Agreement and the global call to action from the UN’s SDG on ‘Climate Change’, we are supportive of the onus on industry to be actively involved in projects and programmes to reduce the effects of global warming and climate change, as caused by human activities. We believe that amidst present policy uncertainty and future carbon constraints, the development and implementation of a comprehensive climate change adaptation framework is not only crucial to our Company’s competitive position but is also an essential component of our commitment to a sustainable environment.

FY 2012 was the first year that we reported on our carbon emissions, and since this time we have aimed to continue to improve on the way that we gather the necessary information to determine our carbon footprint.

Limiting our carbon emissions is one of the core aims of driving energy efficiency across all our operations. Petra experienced a 47% decline in direct carbon emissions (scope 1 emissions) in FY 2021.

Read more in our FY 2020 Annual GHG Emissions Report 

Download Petra’s 2021 TCFD Report 

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Petra’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

The Petra Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (“PCCAS”) is an important step into the future as it:

  • provides a position statement to our internal and external stakeholders who are concerned with climate change vulnerability and its impact on the Company;
  • supports Petra in meeting international obligations and investor expectations by defining the Company’s process to identify its vulnerabilities and its plans to reduce the vulnerabilities and maximise opportunities; and
  • acts as a common reference point for climate change adaptation efforts within Petra, providing guidance across all levels and disciplines.

The strategic framework for Petra’s Climate Change Adaptation consists of 11 steps:

  1. climate change scenario analysis;
  2. identification of climate change exposure (relevance);
  3. identification of climate change receptors;
  4. identification of potential climate change impacts;
  5. vulnerability assessment;
  6. identification of climate change adaptive capacity/capability;
  7. prioritise adaptive needs;
  8. identify appropriate action;
  9. prioritise climate change adaptation action plans;
  10. implementation of climate change adaptation action plans; and
  11. monitor the effectiveness of adaptation action plans.

The climate change scenario analysis for each operation has now been completed. The scenarios used are RCP 8.51 and RCP 2.6, which cater for both the worst-case and best-case emissions future.

Implementation of the PCCAS will span over five years with Phases 1 and 2 completed in FY 2020. Phase 3 (completion of operational vulnerability assessments) is now underway and will be followed by Phase 4 (implementation) and Phase 5 (ongoing monitoring) thereafter.

FY 2021 Climate Change Vulnerability Assesment

The Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment of FY 2021 identified 80 potential impacts at an operational and corporate level. Of these, none were rated as ‘high’ vulnerabilities but 17 were rated to be of ‘moderate’ significance. The top ten vulnerabilities are listed below:

  1. additional financial burden on operations due to changed legislation aimed at water use efficiency or the redistribution of natural resources;
  2. changing legislation to regulate emissions, such as the Carbon Tax in South Africa may affect revenue;
  3. the cost of energy will rise;
  4. natural resources such as water will become scarcer which will impact production;
  5. unreliable and expensive electricity from national providers;
  6. high cost to construct additional water storage infrastructure at the South African operations or impoundments capable of holding added rain water in wetter areas at the Williamson mine;
  7. changing emissions reporting obligations may increase costs due to potential fines and judgments;
  8. reduced demand for our product if the market views our business as not doing enough to mitigate the risk of climate change;
  9. financial implications to safeguard the community against the possibility of emergency events such as dam failure (Emergency Preparedness and Response); and
  10. the clean-up and rehabilitation after storm events and the potential breach of dam walls have a direct financial implication and indirect negative impact on insurance premiums.

The Vulnerability Assessment process also identified a number of opportunities for Petra, with the most significant being:

  • reduced operational cost due to more efficient machines and equipment, including modes of transport;
  • increased production capacity due to effective processes;
  • reduced operational cost due to increased resource effectiveness and recycling initiatives;
  • reduced waste disposal due to increased recycling initiatives;
  • reduced operational cost due to the use of lower emission sources of energy and more energy efficient buildings;
  • reduced exposure to GHG emissions and therefore less sensitive to changes in the cost of carbon;
  • return on investment in low-emission technology;
  • increased consumer demand for a more responsible / ethical product.

Carbon emissions

In 2013, Petra started tracking Scope 1, 2 and 3 (limited) emissions at all operations and used this information as the ‘base year’ from which to calculate the Company’s carbon footprint. In FY 2016, the base year was then reset on the basis of material changes in the Company, with an intensity value of 0.20 tCO2-e/ct. Further changes in the Group structure at the end of FY 2018 necessitated a further recalculation of the base year; thus FY 2019 is now regarded as our base year.

The scope of our carbon footprint covers all of Petra’s mines, as well as our offices situated in Johannesburg and London.

The following activities are included into the carbon footprint calculation:

Scope 1:

  • Fuel consumed for electricity generation
  • Fuel consumed by trackless mobile machines
  • LPG
  • Business travel (Company jet)
  • Fugitive emissions (R22 gas is separately reported on)
  • Process emissions: water treatment (domestic effluent)

Scope 2:

  • Electricity purchased from Eskom (South Africa)
  • Electricity purchased from Tanesco (Tanzania)
  • Electricity consumption of the London office (UK)

Scope 3:

  • Waste disposal
  • Water pumping (potable)
  • Paper consumption
  • Business travel:
  • Commercial airlines
  • Charted flights
  • Car rental
  • Employee commute
  • Scrap metal for recycling

Petra uses the GHG Protocol on the reporting of greenhouse gas as well as IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories of 2001 to calculate and report on our carbon footprint. This provides us with confidence that the correct information is portrayed to our stakeholders and enables us to be held accountable for the figures presented. .Read Petra’s inaugural GHG Emissions Report here.

Carbon sequestration at Petra is implemented through the maximisation of indigenous vegetated areas. According to research, each hectare of natural vegetation is responsible for the sequestration of 300kg of carbon per annum; thus, the approximate 6,981 ha of protected area under Petra’s control results in the sequestration of 2,094 tonnes CO2 per year.

In addition, Petra is participating in projects in collaboration with other major diamond producers and academic institutions that focus on the potential of carbon sequestration through mineralisation.

Significant air emissions

Petra has no significant sources of air emissions. Non-point sources of dust and particulates (i.e. environmental drop-out dust and particulate matter measures as pm10) as a result of surface activities are strictly regulated and annual results are submitted to the authorities for evaluation. Two of our operations (Finsch and Cullinan) reported dust levels above the allowable limit of 1,200 mg/m2/day, on 22 separate occasions (monitoring is done on a monthly basis). Samples of the collected dust were analysed to determine the origin. In all instances it was determined that the collected dust came from surrounding agricultural areas, adjacent lime mines or dirt roads. Therefore, no additional dust suppressing mitigation was initiated. See page 86 for detail on expected gases and other air emissions as they relate to the Company.

Petra does not produce, import or export any ozone-depleting substances.

Reporting to the CDP

Petra has participated in voluntary reporting to the CDP since 2013, with year-on-year improvement of disclosure scores on every report. During 2016 and 2017, Petra scored a ‘C’ (the ‘awareness’ band), which is in line with industry and region scores. In 2018 and 2019, we improved our score to ‘B’ (the ‘management’ band) and in 2020 we achieved our highest score yet: A- (‘leadership’ band), which places Petra within the top 11% of companies reporting to the CDP. This is above average for the industry and region alike.

As previously noted, the CDP questionnaire on Climate Change has been significantly revised to incorporate both the recommendations of the TCFD and improved alignment with other reporting frameworks such as the SDGs. Petra completed and submitted the questionnaires on Climate Change, Water Stewardship and Forestry in July 2021.

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”)

Petra considers that for the first time it has met all the requirements of the TCFD, which aims to develop voluntary, consistent climate-related financial risk disclosures for use by companies in providing information to the financial markets and other stakeholders. The PCCAS has been compiled with reference to the TCFD to ensure that Petra can meet these recommendations. In terms of the disclosure requirements, Petra has included the requisite information on pages 212 and 213 of its 2021 Annual Report. It should also be noted that during FY 2021 the Company completed submissions of the CDP climate change questionnaire, which has been updated to include the recommendations of the TCFD. Therefore, Petra considers that its 2020 and 2021 CDP submissions also provide all the disclosures required in relation to TCFD recommendations.

Download our 2021 TCFD Report