Environmental Education Centre raises awareness and reinforces ESG agenda
AngloGold Ashanti’s Brazil Environmental Education Centre (CEA), located in Nova Lima, was established in 2000 to increase awareness of socio-environmental matters and reinforce our commitment to sustainable development.
The centre is situated within the Mata Samuel de Paula’s Private Natural Heritage Reserve, which is owned by AngloGold Ashanti. The reserve is fundamental for the preservation of 147 hectares of tropical forest and is rich in natural attractions, such as trails, diversified fauna and flora, and water courses. It receives around 10,000 visitors every year from groups of educational institutions and social entities to people from the surrounding communities and our own employees.
The CEA promotes workshops, lectures and recreational activities that reinforce our ESG agenda and support contributions to UN SDGs 15 and 17. Some of these initiatives include:
- From school to the world: Students in municipal schools are encouraged to develop sustainable practices through environmental education, focusing on addressing issues such as climate change, clean energy, water reuse, and healthy eating
- Eco trails: Guided tours engage visitors in an immersive experience set in the Atlantic Forest, where they talk about the importance of biodiversity, ecology, and local fauna and flora
- Environmental Education Program (PEA): Developed in the municipalities where the Company operates in Minas Gerais and Goiás States, the PEA aims to engage employees and residents of neighbouring communities on socio-environmental issues. The environmental conservation actions are specifically designed for each location and have the support of the community, which ensures that the PEA meets the socio-environmental potential of the region.
In 2020, AngloGold Ashanti Brazil initiated a project to transform the CEA into a completely self-sustainable space. Since partnering with several start-ups and investing BRL500,000, the unit has become a laboratory for innovation projects that use technology for sustainable solutions. After partnering in 2020 with start-up Even, the CEA self-generated 95% of its energy in 2022 through photovoltaic panels, with the other 5% coming from hydropower plants with green generation certificates. It also has a biodigester, which is used to condition organic waste. The biodigester generates gas and biofertilizer after undergoing a decomposition process, reducing the volume of solid waste that would otherwise be sent to landfill. In addition, a hybrid energy generation tower with photovoltaic panels and an aerogenerator captures wind force to generate electricity that enables visitors to charge cell phones and other devices.
Working with start-up Probiomas from 2021 has helped reduce usage of new water. In addition to improving the rational management of water resources, the CEA now has a system for collecting rainwater for reuse in gardening, bathrooms, and firefighting systems. It is estimated that this measure will reduce consumption of new water by up to 70%. At the end of 2022, a 60% reduction in water consumption was achieved.
In 2022, we partnered with start-up Tracel, investing in electric tricycles that are powered by clean energy to help staff and visitors move around the centre. The tricycles have a recharging station and a monitoring application. Also, during 2022, AngloGold Ashanti started a project to explore generation of carbon credits through the preservation of its natural and protected areas. This project is aligned to our net zero initiative.
An educational platform was also launched to help raise environmental awareness amongst people from surrounding communities, as well as visitors to and students of our environmental education programmes.
These initiatives are ongoing and continue to generate environmental and social benefits for the surrounding areas.