IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining (Draft 2.0)
Chapter 3.6 Greenhouse Gas Emissions


Mining is a major energy consumer and emitter of carbon.  The mining industry therefore has an opportunity and responsibility to manage its energy use and carbon emissions, but it also shows the potential for mines to consume less energy, emit less carbon, and improve the company’s bottom line.

According to the International Council on Mining and Metals, the mining industry’s greenhouse gas emissions come from two major categories. The first half is direct emissions as a result from fossil fuel use in mining and processing operations; transportation of ore and electricity generation at remote sites; and fugitive emissions.  The second half is indirect emissions from electricity use, primarily in refining and smelting operations. Mining companies can reduce consumption in both of these groupings and thereby cut costs and improve competitiveness by adopting best practices regarding energy efficiency and emissions reduction.

Objectives/Intent of this Chapter

To minimize climate change impacts through increased energy efficiency, reduced energy consumption, and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases.

Scope of Application

Chapter Relevance:  This chapter is relevant for all mines applying for IRMA certification.


  • Removed the previous numeric corporate target of 10% greenhouse gas reduction per year, and replaced with a mine-specific target set by the company.
  • Emissions quantification and reporting is now based on the publicly available Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard, rather than ISO requirements, which are not publicly available.
  • 3.6.2 now requires companies to demonstrate that they have investigated emissions reductions opportunities, but does not prescribe specific types of reductions, as the ones previously listed may not be the most cost-effective methods in all cases.
  • The means of verification (MOV) have been removed from this version of the draft IRMA Standard. If you would prefer to review and comment on a version of the draft Standard that has the means of verification, you can download a pdf version of the Standard with MOV.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Requirements

3.6.1.  Greenhouse Gas Policy  The operating company shall develop and maintain a greenhouse gas or equivalent policy that commits the company to:

a. Identifying, measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions from the mining project and mining-related activities;

b. Identifying energy efficiency and carbon savings opportunities across the operation;

c. Setting meaningful and achievable greenhouse gas reduction targets; and

d. Reviewing and revising the policy at least every five years and as needed, such as if there are significant changes to mining-related activities.

3.6.2.  Emissions Quantification and Reporting  The operating company shall comply with the methods described in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard. [1]

3.6.3.  Emissions Reduction Strategies  The greenhouse gas policy shall be underpinned by a plan that details the actions that will be taken to achieve the targets set out in the policy.  The operating company shall demonstrate that it has investigated greenhouse gas reduction strategies, and shall document the results of its investigations.

3.6.4.  Reporting  The greenhouse gas policy shall be publicly available.  On an annual basis, the operating company shall make publicly available an accounting of its greenhouse gas emissions; the results of any investigations into means of reducing emissions; and actual efforts taken to reduce emissions from the mining project and mining-related activities.


In the future, the IRMA Steering Committee may consider the development of numeric criteria to further guide mining GHG emissions as appropriate.

Cross Reference to Other Chapters



1.1—Legal Compliance As per Chapter 1.1, if there are host country laws governing the reporting or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the company is required to abide by those laws. If IRMA requirements are more stringent than host country law, the company is required to also meet the IRMA requirements, as long as complying with them would not require the operating company to break the host country law.
2.8—Community and Stakeholder Engagement Reporting to stakeholders shall conform with the Communications and Access to Information requirements in Chapter 2.8.
4.1—Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Potential impacts from greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., environmental and social impacts related to climate change) may be identified in the ESIA. The assessment may result in the development of mitigation and/or greenhouse gas reduction strategies.



1. Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative. Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard.