IUCN and Rio Tinto sign an agreement

12 July 2010 | News story

On July 12th, IUCN and Rio Tinto, a leading international mining group, will begin their collaboration to improve biodiversity and land use management in the company’s operations.

After two years of negotiations, IUCN and Rio Tinto will enter a formal collaboration agreement, which will be signed on the 12th of July and run initially for a period of three years. The focus of the relationship is primarily on Rio Tinto’s management of biodiversity conservation. Other opportunities for collaboration will also be explored including around carbon, water and ecosystem service. The key work programmes will include: 

  • Verification of Rio Tinto’s commitment to achieve a “net positive impact” (NPI) on biodiversity – a technical team, will be assembled to develop, test and implement an internal, independent NPI verification process that is rigorous and transparent.
  • Environmental economics capacity and Natural Capital projects – both organizations will work together to develop an understanding of ecosystem service valuations and identify opportunities that emerging green markets present to companies such as Rio Tinto.

Discussions with Rio Tinto began in 2007 followed by an extensive due diligence process. This was enhanced by four site visits to Rio Tinto operations in Australia, France, South Africa and the United States to get to know the company better and to see whether there was interest and commitment at operational levels. The site visits included a mix of IUCN Councilors, Commission Members and Secretariat staff. The due diligence process revealed Rio Tinto as a leader within the mining sector in terms of its approach to biodiversity conservation. It is the only mining company to pledge to have a Net Positive Impact on biodiversity.

For more information related to the Rio Tinto work please visit:

http://www.iucn.org/about/work/programmes/business/bbp_our_work/rio_tinto/updates/