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Centre for Environmental Rights

Gold FieldsMining

One of the world’s largest gold-mining groups. Also produces and markets copper. Gold Fields does not fall within the top ten emitters of greenhouse gases in South Africa.


Gold Fields recognises climate change as a material risk to its business and provides some disclosure of its climate-related risks in its annual reports. The company sets out the resilience of its strategy including efforts such as mitigation, adaptation, resource efficiency, pollution reduction and transition plans. However, Gold Fields does not take into consideration a transition to a lower-carbon economy consistent with a 2°C or lower scenario, in its reports.

Gold Fields reports on its direct and indirect emissions (including scope 3) and provides a short term target for reducing its emissions. The company could improve by implementing a long-term reduction target and linking incentives to executives remuneration.

We note that Gold Fields has included disclosures relating to its risks and opportunities and the climate change scenarios used to inform its strategy in a TCFD Report which was released in October 2019, after our assessment was completed.

Emissions Score Card

0.5 MtCO2e
Total Scope 1 and 2 Emissions (South Africa, 2018)
Contribution to South Africa’s total emissions (estimated)
Ranking out of 10 emitters assessed (1 = highest)
1.47 MtCO2e
Total Scope 1 and 2 Emissions (Worldwide)



Is the company a supporter of the TCFD?

Nov 18

Who has oversight of climate-related risks and opportunities?

Disclosure explicitly mentions that the board is responsible for overseeing climate risk. Board responsibility for “sustainability”, “environmental issues”, or “ESG” is not sufficient.

“the Board’s Safety, Health and Sustainable Development (SHSD) Committee reviews the performance of energy and climate change programmes on a quarterly basis.” – IAR 2018, p 97

Does the remuneration policy include performance metrics used to measure and manage climate-related risks?

Remuneration policy does not include climate-related performance metrics.


Does the company identify climate change as a material business risk?

Climate risks are explicitly mentioned as a material or principal risk in the annual or integrated report.

Failure to implement climate adaptation measures’ is no 12 of the Top 20 risks. – IAR 2018, p 11

Has the company outlined the risks and opportunities from climate change?

Detailed disclosure in CDP with some disclosure in mainstream reports, but limited detail on timeframes and/or impacts provided.

In addition to identifying physical risks, regulatory risks and financial risks, Gold Fields highlights risks by region. Little detail on timeframes is provided. – IAR 2018, p 98-100

Does the company describe how its strategy might change to address climate change risks and opportunities?

Disclosure of how climate risks and opportunities are incorporated into strategy through efforts such as mitigation, adaptation, resource efficiency, pollution reduction and transition plans.

Energy and climate change’ are one of five key elements of the sustainable development strategy. Priorities are maintaining security of supply; stabilising energy costs; driving renewable and a lower carbon energy mix; and managing climate change adaptation risks. – IAR 2018, p 94

Strategic responses to the key risks in each region are provided. – IAR 2018, p 98-100.

“The Group climate change strategy is to identify and assess risks related to climate change, and develop action plans. Our objectives are to minimise our contribution to climate change and to build resilience to the physical impacts of climate change at our operations and growth projects” – CC policy 2017

Does the company describe the climate change scenarios used to inform strategy and financial planning?

No disclosure of scenarios in mainstream reports.

Risk Management

Does the company have a process to manage climate-related risks?

Climate-related risks form part of company-wide risk management programme or specific climate-related risk management process.

“Every five years we review our vulnerability to climate change and develop Group-wide strategies and programmes in response to these.” – IAR 2018, p 97

Metrics and Targets

Has the company set GHG emission reduction targets?

The company has set an absolute emission reduction target.

“Our aspirational target is to reduce cumulative carbon emissions by 800kt CO2-e between 2017 and 2020.” – IAR2018, p 97

“Achieve 17% carbon emission reductions each year up to 2020, equivalent to 800,000t CO2-e of cumulative carbon emission reductions over the two years” – IAR 2018, p 70

Is there a long-term GHG emission reduction target?

There is not an absolute or intensity reduction target over five years in duration.

CDP 2018 disclosure includes a target to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 62% by 2035 compared to a 2016 base year. Gold Fields consider this to be a science-based target but it has not been approved by the SBI. There does not appear to be an acknowledgement of this target in mainstream reports.

Does the company disclose its GHG emissions?
Scope 1, 2 and 3

Companies report on their Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions for the current year and at least the previous year.

Scope 3 emissions disclosed include purchased goods, transport, waste, business travel, and end-of-life treatment of sold products – Carbon Footprint

Does the company provide their internal carbon price?

No internal carbon price is disclosed.

Additional Information

Does the company disclose the extent of liability under the carbon tax?

Liability is only disclosed in CDP submissions.

“A carbon tax levy of R0.10/l was announced by the Finance Minister in early 2019, which amounts to an exposure of around R197,000 (US$15,000) for South Deep. However, should Eskom, the state utility, be allowed to pass on the cost of the tax on diesel usage to customers, their electricity tariffs could rise significantly.” – IAR 2018, p 99

“South Deep’s exposure to the tax is expected to amount to around R500,000 (USD37,000), after discounts (also known as allowances).” – CDP 2018, p 66

As such, its exposure is expected to be initially calculated (in the first year of carbon tax exposure) on 20 per cent. of the mine’s Scope 1 emissions which have been estimated to be 5,504 tonnes of CO2e in fiscal 2018 (95.8 per cent. from diesel, 3.6 per cent. from blasting agents and 0.6 per cent. from petrol). Based on these emissions, the potential tax liability in 2019 is estimated at approximately U.S.$9,713. – 20F-2018

Does the company disclose its participation in the DEA's voluntary carbon budget programme?

Not disclosed.

“Carbon budgets have yet to be set or negotiated for mining companies, other than coal mining companies.” – 20F-2018

Disclosures Considered

  • Integrated Annual Report 2018
  • Climate Change Policy 2017
  • Carbon Footprint 2018
  • Form 20-F
  • Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) 2018 Climate Change submission

This report is accurate as at 01 August 2019.

Company Profile


Australia, Ghana, Peru, South Africa

Key Shareholders

  • Public Investment Corporation (6.93%)
  • The Vanguard Group (3.43%)
  • Van Eck Associates (3.32%)
  • Fidelity Management and Research Co (2.13%)
  • BlackRock Fund Advisors (2.07%)