Peabody Energy: Best ESG-Responsible Mining Company Global 2016


It takes a fair bit of gumption to mine coal in this world enthralled by apocalyptical visions of climate change. Coal may no longer be king, it is still a vital energy resource that helps sustain economic growth and prosperity. Peabody Energy is widely recognised as a pioneer in land restoration and reducing the footprint and impact of its mining operations.

Long before land restoration became mandatory, Peabody Energy was already cleaning up. The 1954 Operation Green Earth, the company’s first land reclamation initiative, set the tone. Peabody Energy, founded in 1883 and with 26 open pit and underground mines in the US and Australia totalling over seven billion tonnes of reserves, essentially wrote the book on environmental stewardship for the coal industry.

Even under today’s trying market conditions, Peabody Energy remains fully committed to the highest ESG (environmental, social, and governance) standards. By improving efficiencies, the company managed to significantly reduce its CO2 emissions even though the energy required to extract a tonne of coal has increased markedly. Water use has also been reduced.

Last year, Peabody Energy restored close to 2,000 hectares of mined land into wildlife habitats, forests, wetlands, and farmland. The company also funds research into high efficiency, low emissions power plants in the US, Australia, and – crucially – China.

The judging panel recognises Peabody Energy as a pioneer in the move towards sustainable business practices and grants the company its 2016 Best ESG-Responsible Mining Company Global Award.