Business and Biodiversity

Rio Tinto

IUCN is helping Rio Tinto evaluate and improve its impact on the environment.

The IUCN and Rio Tinto collaboration began in 2010, and their shared work programme has included raising understanding in the areas of natural capital and ecosystem services, the mitigation hierarchy and protected areas, among others.  

Rio Tinto and IUCN are committed to developing a relationship that recognises the synergies gained from working together in areas of mutual interest; a better understanding that comes from working in cross-sector relationships; and, opportunities for reciprocal learning, as well as the sharing of these lessons with other stakeholders. 

The overall objectives of the IUCN-Rio Tinto collaboration agreement are to build a business-focused relationship that enables Rio Tinto to improve its environmental management and delivery of conservation outcomes; increase awareness and understanding throughout IUCN of the conservation and business challenges facing the resources sector; and jointly contribute to sector-wide improvements in the mining and closely-related sectors.

Following the company’s earlier corporate-wide commitment to a Net Positive Impact (NPI) on biodiversity in 2004, IUCN and Rio Tinto worked to develop an NPI Protocol -- or assurance tool – to help guide progress towards the NPI goal at several pilot sites.  In addition, IUCN worked with Rio Tinto, Royal Dutch Shell Ltd and The Nature Conservancy  under the auspices of the NPI Alliance, which confirmed that companies adopting NPI need to take a systematic and scientific approach to evaluate their biodiversity impacts, establish biodiversity conservation goals and implement actions to achieve a net gain for biodiversity over time.  

Rio Tinto participated in the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress, where the company presented the lessons learned from applying NPI at select sites and its strategy going forward.  More recently, an IUCN Review Protocol for Biodiversity Net Gain was published, which draws on this experience; and further lessons learned by IUCN and Rio Tinto on NPI implementation will be published in late 2017.   

Why Rio Tinto?

Rio Tinto is a global mining group, combining Rio Tinto plc. and Rio Tinto Limited. The company is involved in every stage of the mining business. Products include aluminium, copper, iron ore, coal, and uranium. Activities span the world, however are concentrated in Australia and North America.

The agreement reflects IUCN’s strategy to influence large-footprint industries in places where we can effect change, as well as Rio Tinto’s strategy to collaborate with biodiversity experts in order to achieve its biodiversity commitments.

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