Fortescue Metal Group Ltd has exposed its target to achieve net zero scope-3 emissions by 2040 across its global value chain including crude steel manufacturing, which accounts for 98% of scope-3 emissions.

Plans are in place to develop projects and technologies with a focus on reducing emissions from iron and steel making and to work with customers on the application of clean technology, as well as the supply of green hydrogen and ammonia from Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), the company said.

Scope-3 emissions are defined by Australia’s clean energy regulator as “consequence of the activities of a facility, but from sources not owned or controlled by that facility’s business”.

Examples include transportation of purchased fuels and the use of sold products and services by customers.

In addition to its long-term goal to achieve net zero scope-3 emissions by 2040, the following medium-term targets have been set:

  • Enable a reduction in emissions intensity levels from the shipping of Fortescue’s (ASX:FMG) ores by 50 per cent by 2030 from FY21 levels; and
  • Enable a reduction in emissions intensity levels from steel making by Fortescue’s customers of 7.5 per cent by 2030 from FY21 levels, to 100 per cent by 2040.

Fortescue is also prioritising the decarbonisation of its own fleet of eight ore carriers and engage with shipping partners to reduce (and aiming to eliminate) emissions from shipping

FFI is also targeting the production of 15 million tonnes of green hydrogen annually by 2030, which it hopes will underpin opportunities to work with customers and shipping partners on emissions reduction and elimination projects.

Transitioning from pure play iron ore to green renewables company

Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said: “Climate change is the most pressing issue of our generation and at Fortescue, setting stretch targets is at the core of our culture and values and we are proud to set this goal to tackle emissions across our value chain.”

“Fortescue has commenced its transition from a pure play iron ore producer to a green renewables and resources company, underpinned by the world’s first major carbon emission heavy industry operation to set a target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.”

“This Scope 3 target is consistent with this transition and complements our targets for Scope 1 and 2 emissions reductions.”

Gaines said the company remains committed to actively engaging with key industry participants to facilitate the reduction of emissions including the development of technologies and supply of green hydrogen and ammonia through FFI, which aims to provide opportunities for the steel, cement and land and sea transport industries to decarbonise.

Accelerating key initiatives across global value chain

To achieve its target, Fortescue and FFI are focused on accelerating a number of key initiatives:

  • Conversion of existing maritime vessels, including Fortescue’s fleet of ore carriers, to be fuelled by green ammonia;
  • Supporting the adoption of green ammonia in new vessel construction;
  • Pursuing opportunities for emissions reduction and elimination in iron and steel making facilitated by the use of renewable energy and green hydrogen; and
  • Research and development work to produce green iron and cement from Fortescue ores at low temperatures without coal.