We are committed to operating and producing metals with the least possible environmental footprint

The Group's environmental ambition is reflected in its corporate purpose; to always act in a responsible manner, leave the smallest environmental footprint possible and contribute to a better world.

How We Measure Our Performance

GHG

per Au Eq Oz produced

Fresh water

volume used per Au Eq Oz produced

Recycled water

% per Au Eq Oz produced

Recycled waste

% of total waste

Domestic waste

generated (kg/person/day)

Potable water

consumption (lt/person/day)

Our approach  TO PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT

Our Commitments

We adhere to six fundamental environmental commitments:

  • To act and take decisions considering the impact on wildlife
  • To act and take decisions considering the impact on water quality
  • To only discharge authorised effluents
  • To seek the prior approval of mine management prior to construction
  • To report all environmental incidents to mine management
  • To report transparently on our environmental performance

Cultural Transformation

This plan is critical to our long-term environmental strategy. Our ongoing objective is to embed an environmentally conscious culture across all departments within the business.

This plan ensures that our leadership team understands our environmental culture and leads by example when implementing it.

Recently launched initiatives focussed on three areas to drive continuous environmental improvement: People, Technical Operations and Technical innovation.

Management Systems

Our environmental management systems (EMS) ensures that appropriate environmental practices are in place and that we comply with all relevant requirements.

A handbook and corporate procedures manual have been developed as a starting point to renew the EMS, taking into account the context of the operating units, the environmental settings, international environmental management standards and the Company’s current position.

Our objectives for 2022 is to review and define the new EMS structure, ensure its alignment with International Standards and our risk management system.

Environmental focus areas

Climate Change

A climate risk assessment for our existing operations has been completed and we are developing a carbon roadmap to become net-zero by 2050. The best practice for target setting is to ensure that our GHG reduction target aligns with the criteria of the Science Based Targets initiative.

Hochschild is targeting achieving net zero by 2050, with plans to publish interim targets in a standalone climate change report later in 2022.

Achieving net zero using today’s technologies can only be achieved through numerous ways:

  • the procurement of green electricity
  • operational changes in existing mines and operations (process changes, asset upgrades and the implementation of new technologies)
  • the use of Renewable Energy Certificates where electricity is not from renewable sources
  • adapting our procurement process and supplier contracts
  • the use of offset or neutralisation schemes

Access copies of our TCFD reports here

 

Energy Use

Our carbon emissions primarily result from electricity use in our mining and processing operations.

Our operations in both Peru and Argentina have a lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity compared to other gold and silver mines globally due to the underground nature of our mining operations which generally have lower GHG emissions than larger open pit mines and our low-carbon, grid-based electricity supply.

Underground mines consist of narrow high-grade veins in both Peru and Argentina allowing us to have a GHG intensity that is lower than the average of the World Gold Council members.

  Total in 2021 Inmaculada Pallancata Selene San Jose All other sites3

Fuel consumption from non-renewable sources1

594,411 300,666 125,896 15,634 125,277 26,938
Diesel 555,646 290,353 122,583 13,253 103,981 25,475
Gasoline 5,381 4,830 0 385 0 166
GLP 33,384 5,483 3,313 1,996 21,296 1,297

Electricity consumption2

1,079,687 575,187 150,892 87,161 231,251 35,196
Non-renewable sources 241,244 113,925 29,887 17,264 44,972 35,196
Renewable sources 838,443 461,262 121,006 69,897 186,278 0
Total energy consumption (gigajoules) 1,674,098 875,852 276,788 102,795 356,527 62,134
  1. All onsite fuel use. Other fuel types are not applicable. Diesel and gasoline include a mandatory percentage of biodiesel and ethanol in Peru and Argentina, which has been included in fuel consumption from non-renewable sources as it is not used on its own. Fuel consumption in gallons has been converted to gigajoules using net calorific values obtained from the Peruvian Ministry of Environment. This data was used to calculate part of the scope 1 GHG emissions.
  2. Purchased energy. This data was used to calculate scope 2 of the GHG emissions. Other uses not applicable. No energy was sold.
  3. Includes data for Peru and Argentina (former operating assets, Azuca, Crespo, warehouses and office locations).
  2021 2020 2019 2018
Scope 1 46,339 40,647 39,341 38,939
Scope 2 (Location-based) 58,133 41,254 82,833 85,084
Scope 2 (Market-based) 12,820 6,591
Scope 3 43,182
Total - Scopes 1 and 2 (Location-based) 104,472 81,901 122,174 124023
Total - Scopes 1, 2 and 3 (Market-based) 102,341
Scope 1 and 2 emissions intensity, per thousand ounces of total silver equivalent produced (tCO2e/koz Ag eq) 1.59 1.59
  • Method used based on ISO 14064-1 Standard and GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard using IPCC, Peruvian and Argentinian emission factors.
  • Gases included in the calculation of all three scopes: CO2, CH4, N2O.
  • Includes data for the whole year for Peru and Argentina (former and current operating assets, Azuca, Crespo, warehouses and office locations). Verification of 2020 and 2021 emissions by SGS is carried out for operating mines in Peru and Argentina which account for 95% of emissions.
  • Total production includes 100% of all production, including that attributable to the joint venture partner at San Jose.
  • The Group’s UK operations consist of a single office with an occupancy of three. Its total Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and energy consumption represent less than 0.01% of the Group’s reported totals.

Our greenhouse emissions from our Peruvian and Argentinian operations have been certified by SGS. See copies of the certificates here.

Water management

Water is a shared, vital and increasingly scarce resource. According to UNFCCC projections, water is one of the resources most affected by climate change. Mines rely hugely on water to operate, making water recovery, reuse and consumption key focus areas for us.

Another key consideration is the importance of the water supply to local communities which cannot be affected in any adverse way by the extraction process.

Hochschild has a responsible water management strategy in place to address these factors and use water resources as efficiently as possible.

 

Land use and biodiversity

Peru sits within the top ten of the most biodiverse countries on the planet. Several of our sites are located inside the buffer zone of the  Sub Cuenca del Cotahuasi, a legally recognised national protected area in the Arequipa region. Through managing our operations responsibly, our goal is to preserve this valuable natural asset for future generations.

The topic of biodiversity is critical in our monitoring and planning of activities within our operations reflected by its explicit inclusion in the revised 2022 Environmental Policy. For example, we conduct detailed baseline studies which allow us to implement appropriate monitoring plans. At each mining unit we have consultants conducting specialist research, bi-annually, during rainy and dry seasons to monitor and maintain the biodiversity of our surroundings. 

Hochschild will never operate within any core national park.

Waste

Hochschild recognises the damage that hazardous and non-hazardous waste can cause if not managed correctly. To minimise the associated risks, we have extensive waste management plans and strategies in place.

The percentage of marketable waste is calculated based on the total volume of recyclable and industrial waste generated in each mining  unit. The objective is to market or donate more than 75% of the  collected volume, this objective was met and surpassed.

In 2021, there were 3,769 tons of waste sent to recycling or reuse facilities off site (metal used oil, plastic, etc. out of 5196 tons generated). This represents a 16% increase compared with 2020.

 

Tailings Management

Hochschild has 11 Tailings Storage Facilities (TSF) in total, nine of  which are downstream with rock buttresses. The two TSFs in Argentina were built with a central berm with impoundments on both sides. Hochschild discloses full details on each of its TSFs and how they are managed.

We have updated our Church of England report based on the outcome of a risk assessment in 2021, following the ICMM Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management. This Standard strives to achieve the ultimate goal of zero harm to people and the environment. 

Access a copy of our updated CoE Disclosure on TSFs

Environmental Management

ECO Score: A Hochschild Innovation 

To support our environmental commitments, Hochschild designed an innovative programme that allows the distillation of our environmental performance in a single number, expressing otherwise intangible aspects of performance in a way that is universally understood.

The ECO Score is calculated by monitoring performance both at each mining operation and the Group overall using a range of KPIs which reflect, among other things, compliance with discharge limits and zero-tolerance to environmental incidents, regulatory findings, and sound environmental management (relating to water consumption and waste generation).

The ECO Score won the 2019 Mines and Money award for Innovation in Sustainability and the 2020 Sustainable Development Award from the Peruvian National Oil and Energy Mining Society.

Details of our 2021 ECO Score performance can be found in English here and in Spanish here.