Vale reaches 100% renewable energy consumption target in Brazil two years ahead of schedule

Vale has officially announced that all the electricity used in its operations in Brazil in 2023 came from renewable sources, such as hydroelectric, wind and solar power plants. Thus, the company has achieved its goal of having 100% renewable electricity consumption in Brazil two years ahead of schedule, which was 2025. The information is highlighted in the 2023 edition of the Integrated Report, which includes more environmental, social and diversity advances made by the company.

Having reached the target, Vale has zeroed its indirect CO2 emissions in Brazil, which correspond to scope 2. The company still has the challenge of achieving 100% renewable energy consumption in its global operations by 2030. At the moment, this indicator stands at 88.5%.

“We are announcing an important milestone in Vale’s decarbonization strategy, which aims to reduce its scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions (direct and indirect) by 33% by 2030 and to become net-zero by 2050,” explains the director of Energy and Decarbonization, Ludmila Nascimento. “As we are progressing on our targets, we are helping to make Brazil’s energy matrix even cleaner, contributing to society’s fight against climate change.”

The start-up of the Sol do Cerrado solar complex in November 2022 was key to achieving the target two years ahead of schedule. Located in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, the solar complex represented an investment of US$ 590 million by Vale. It is one of the largest solar energy parks in Latin America, with an installed capacity of 766 Megawatts-peak, equivalent to the consumption of a city of 800,000 inhabitants. In July 2023, the complex reached its maximum capacity. It has the potential of contributing to around 16% of all the electricity consumed by Vale in Brazil.

The path towards 100% renewable consumption began to be traced by Vale back in the 1990s, when the company acquired its first hydroelectric plants. Vale is supplied by a renewable energy portfolio of 2.6 GW of installed capacity, equivalent to the consumption of more than 3 million inhabitants. There are 14 assets held through direct and indirect participation in consortia and companies (ten hydroelectric plants, three wind farms and Sol do Cerrado). If it were a power generator, Vale would be the 15th largest in the country.
In its global operations, Vale is also moving towards 100% renewable energy consumption by 2030. The company invests in joint venture partnerships, renewable generation certificates in contracts (PPAs) and innovation initiatives for better efficiency in the use of batteries.

Scope 1: alternative fuels and biocarbon

Vale is also working to reduce its direct Scope 1 emissions. In the mines and railroads, where diesel (a fossil fuel) is currently intensively consumed, the company is studying the adoption of alternative fuels, such as ethanol for trucks and green ammonia for locomotives. In the pelletizing furnaces, the strategy is to replace anthracite, a type of mineral coal, with zero-emission biocarbon, made from the carbonization of biomass.
Last year, Vale signed an agreement with Wabtec for the supply of three electric locomotives and the start of studies into the development of a green ammonia-powered locomotive engine. The company also produced pellets with 100% biocarbon for the first time in an industrial test.

Integrated Report 2023

The 2023 Integrated Report brought more environmental, social and diversity highlights, among other topics:

• We achieved 165,000 hectares of protected forests in partnership with public conservation units and in REDD+ projects (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). We supported the recovery of more than 5,000 hectares of land through positive impact businesses.

• Following our goal of doubling the representation of women in the workforce by 2025, we closed 2023 with an increase of more than 7,000 women in the workforce compared to the base year 2019. The number of women in senior leadership positions increased by 120% compared to 2019.

• The pilot of the methodology for the long-term goal of combating extreme poverty involved 30,000 people, mainly in the states of Pará and Maranhão, Brazil. Vale has a goal of lifting 500,000 people out of extreme poverty by 2030.