Contributing to enhanced biodiversity
The maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystems for future generations is paramount in the way we think about the environment and sustainability. We acknowledge that the very nature of our operations means we will have impacts on the environment.
At every operation, regardless of location, it’s a core business requirement to implement controls to prevent, minimise, rehabilitate and offset, as appropriate, impacts to biodiversity. In addition, supporting conservation efforts of the highest quality is a targeted way of creating value for society and upholds Our BHP Billiton Charter value of sustainability.
In FY2013, we introduced new biodiversity and conservation targets.
The first target focuses on a core business requirement to develop Land and Biodiversity Management Plans that include controls to prevent, minimise, rehabilitate and offset impacts to biodiversity and ecosystems services, and this has been achieved by all of our operations. Where actual or potential impacts exceed what is acceptable, we then look to implement compensatory actions.
The second target is at a wider Group level, and is a voluntary commitment to financing the conservation and ongoing management of areas of high biodiversity and ecosystem value that are of national or international conservation significance. We established an alliance with Conservation International in FY2012 to support the delivery of this target and improve our approach to biodiversity management more broadly. Since FY2013, we have contributed more than US$35 million to conservation, in addition to the environmental management activities at our operations.
This has resulted in more than 60,000 hectares being conserved, protecting 16 globally threatened species and generating more than 900,000 megalitres of fresh water. Building on the establishment of the Five Rivers Conservation Area in Tasmania, Australia, during FY2015, the Valdivian Coastal Reserve achieved formal conservation status as Chile’s largest private conservation easement.