Sustainability at Vulcan

For a better tomorrow Sustainability.

Vulcan is on the Sustainalytics’ 2024 Top-Rated ESG Companies List. Sustainalytics’ ESG Risk Ratings covers more than 14,000 companies across 42 industries and identifies the top companies in their industry. See details below.

At Vulcan we enable a Net zero carbon future.

Sustainability is the cornerstone upon which Vulcan was founded and we are committed to being a leader in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives and reporting. Proudly disruptive, Vulcan’s diverse team comes from all over the globe, united by a passion for environmentalism and science. We aim to help decarbonise the electric vehicle industry and below are just some of the things we are proud to share with you.

Vulcan is a true ESG Champion.  

Vulcan is on the Sustainalytics’ 2024 Top-Rated ESG Companies List! Sustainalytics’ ESG Risk Ratings covers more than 14,000 companies across 42 industries and identifies the top companies in their industry.

Another step as we move towards securing a domestic, European supply chain for lithium and providing affordable, baseload renewable energy for local communities.

World-leading Environmental metrics.

infographic of Vulcan's footprint

Conventional methods for lithium extraction are a burden on the environment. Depending on the process, the CO₂ footprint and water consumption are immense. The large amount of land required is also a burden on the environment and raises social issues in the mining countries.

Unlike conventional lithium mining, Vulcan’s Zero Carbon Lithium™ Project aims to not burn fossil fuels in the lithium production and processing exercise and is environmentally and socially responsible due to very low water consumption and land use.

Vulcan empowers a Sustainable tomorrow.

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We are driven by The Vulcan Compass.

The Vulcan Compass guides our sustainable decision making – binding our purpose, mission, strategy, and values together. The Vulcan Compass incorporates our 3 sustainability themes: Quality of Life – improving the quality of life for people, land, and sea Balance – maximising shareholder returns without compromising the needs of future generations Positive disruption – sustainable innovation and excellence in execution
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Vulcan is committed to Sustainable materiality.

In line with international good practice, we completed a materiality assessment in 2022 which focused on identifying the issue that has the biggest impact on our business, communities, and the environment. The materiality assessment process was conducted in accordance with GRI Standards and involved reviewing global industry trends, benchmarking peers and leaders, as well as several interviews with our key external and internal stakeholders. 17 material topics were identified, with climate change and energy, environmental impact, community engagement, and governance scoring highest for importance to both stakeholders and Vulcan. We will continue to utilise feedback from materiality assessments, prioritise what we focus and report on, and see our Vulcan Compass as helping our strategy for sustainable success.

What do we mean by “Zero Carbon”?

Given Vulcan’s trademarked logo includes the wording ‘Zero Carbon Lithium’ it is important the Company clarifies the usage of the term. Vulcan defines ‘Zero Carbon’ as “net zero carbon equivalent emissions”, the legal definition of which states that net zero emissions refer to achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas equivalent emissions produced and the amount removed or reduced. This is specifically related to the activities undertaken to extract and process the final lithium hydroxide monohydrate product from its combined lithium and geothermal energy brine resource located in the Upper Rhine Valley. Unlike existing lithium operations, Vulcan aims to not burn fossil fuels in the lithium production and processing exercise. Instead, it will use its renewable energy source to drive the lithium production process, whilst also selling its own geothermal heat and power to the grid, displacing fossil fuel generated energy. The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions avoided as a result of the displaced fossil fuel-generated energy allows Vulcan to define the project as net zero, or “Zero Carbon” per the Project’s trademarked nomenclature, the ‘Zero Carbon Lithium™ Project’.

Vulcan commissioned Minviro Ltd, an independent consultancy, to undertake an ISO-aligned Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the integrated geothermal renewable energy, lithium production and processing impacts to prove the validity of the carbon neutral nature of the Zero Carbon Lithium™ Project. Minviro’s LCA assessments are a cradle-to-gate study and include the extraction of the raw lithium product, the geothermal plant, the brine handling, the purification, electrolysis and crystallisation and the transport of the product from well sites through to the final processing plant. Minviro’s first ISO aligned LCA was conducted in 2021, one of the first such studies conducted on the lithium hydroxide supply chain globally, with the latest LCA update undertaken in 2023.

In addition, Vulcan engages Climate Active to verify the GHG emissions of Vulcan’s Australian organisation annually, which began in calendar year 2020. The latest carbon neutral certification covers the corporate team’s day-to-day emissions from 2022 across Scopes 1, 2 and 3, as defined by the GHG Protocol. Because Climate Active is an Australian based carbon neutral certification in partnership with the Australian Government and does not cover other jurisdictions, Vulcan certifies its German subsidiaries against European carbon neutral certifications.

For baseline calendar year 2021, Vulcan certified against South Pole’s carbon neutral organisation label. For 2022, Vulcan used Climate Impact Partner’s carbon neutral label, which covered business as usual emissions, in line with the Australian Climate Active certification, for Vulcan Energie Ressourcen GmbH, its engineering subsidiaries Vulcan Energy Engineering GmbH, Vulcan Energy Subsurface Solutions GmbH, the geothermal renewable energy operator Natürlich Insheim, and Vercana, Vulcan’s electric geothermal drilling subsidiary. Emissions associated with scale up and construction of the Zero Carbon Lithium™ Project are not included in the carbon neutral certifications because they are not part of the day-to-day operations. Instead, these emissions will be disclosed to the market on an annual basis and will be included in future LCA calculations.

As part of the carbon neutral certifications, and to bring the minimal GHG emissions balance associated with the Australian and German operations to net zero, Vulcan purchased good quality carbon credits through reputable suppliers, covered under the VERRA Verified Carbon Standard. Mitigation measures as part of the carbon neutral certificates include implementing energy efficiency measures within the offices and purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs) to increase the mix of renewable energy in the electricity grid. Details of the Company’s estimated future carbon emissions associated with the life cycle of the planned Zero Carbon Lithium™ Project were disclosed to the market in 2021 (Minviro LCA announcement 4 August 2021), a breakdown of the GHG emissions categories associated with Vulcan’s operations and how they were calculated as well as information about the carbon credits purchased for 2021 were reported in the FY22 Sustainability Report.

The GHG emissions associated with Vulcan’s operations for 2022 will be reported in full in the 2023 Sustainability Report. Updated Minviro LCA data was announced as part of Vulcan’s Phase One Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) on 13 February 2023 and will continue to be reviewed at key Project milestones such as completion of the Bridging Study, and the start of commercial production.

We are all in agreement that Sustainability is our purpose.

We believe that our purpose, to empower a net zero carbon future, clearly and succinctly represents Vulcan’s identity. It showcases why we exist, what problems we are working to solve and what we aspire to do. Our mission is how we will help, we are aiming to become Europe’s leading Zero Carbon Lithium™ Business while also enabling energy security through geothermal energy and heat production.

Francis Wedin giving a speech
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“The Vulcan team’s enthusiasm for making a global impact through decarbonisation across borders makes my role as Head of ESG incredibly fulfilling”.

Storm Taylor
Storm Taylor
Head of ESG

Join our OneVulcan culture Vulcan Values. 

We know our purpose and will make this a fun journey and one to be proud of!

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Climate champion

WE will pioneer a carbon-free future WE stand up for what truly matters
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Determined

WE are hungry for success and determined to shape tomorrow WE tackle any challenge in front of us
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Inspiring

WE are united in our passion for a better world WE rise and inspire ourselves and others

Third party "green" validated Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA).

The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) is a prerequisite to the raising of sustainable or “green” debt finance and is an important third-party validation of the Project’s sustainability credentials. Vulcan’s ESIA for Phase One of the Zero Carbon Lithium™ Project has been successfully completed.

Downloads.

Vulcan uses prospective life cycle assessments (LCA) as part of our geothermal lithium process development in oder to reduce environmental impacts of our process for making lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LiOH•H2O) before capital expenditures are incurred. This allows us to quantify our environmental impacts, understand drivers of our impacts, and make decisions about our supply chains an energy use to minimise those impacts.

Please click on the button below to access our LCA announcement

LCA Announcement (PDF)

Please click the link below to access Vulcan’s latest communication on progress

United Nations Global Compact

Please click the link below to access Vulcans 2022 Taskforce for Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Report

31 Dec 22 Tcfd Report (PDF)

Please click the links below to access Vulcan’s Sustainability Reports
31 Dec 22 Annual & Sustainability Report (PDF)
FY22 Sustainability Report (PDF)
FY21 Sustainability Report (PDF)

Please click the link below to access our Sustainability and ESG Framework presentation
Sustainability & ESG Framework (PDF)

Please click the link below to access Sustainalytics latest ESG risk rating for Vulcan
Sustainalytics ESG Risk Rating

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