Rio Tinto, Schneider Electric to create circular ecosystem

Rio Tinto is partnering with Schneider Electric to create a circular, sustainable market ecosystem. Image: iStock.
Rio Tinto is partnering with Schneider Electric to create a circular, sustainable market ecosystem. Image: iStock.

Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO; LSE: RIO) and Schneider Electric have teamed up for a first-of-its-kind collaboration to develop a circular and sustainable market ecosystem for both companies and their customers.

This is a multi-product partnership that will Schneider use responsibly sourced materials supplied by Rio Tinto. These include low-carbon aluminium and copper produced with renewable power, iron ore, and borates.

Rio Tinto will use energy and industrial services from Schneider, as the companies work together to develop digital platforms, technologies and solutions to be deployed across the metals and mining supply chain to drive further decarbonisation.

“Working together will allow Rio Tinto and Schneider Electric to pursue opportunities beyond what is possible for either company on its own,” Rio Tinto chief commercial officer Alf Barrios said. “This collaboration also opens doors to consider strategic initiatives such as expanding the use of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to reduce downtime in our plants, digitization of our supply chains, and a host of other transformative technologies.”

The partnership will draw on Schneider Electric’s Energy as a Service expertise to evaluate the use of innovative solutions, including microgrids, to supply energy from low-carbon sources, and artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to help meet sustainability goals at Rio Tinto sites and throughout its supply chain.

Rio Tinto’s START traceability and transparency initiative, the first sustainability label for aluminium using blockchain technology, will be deployed with Schneider Electric to unlock value for customers, suppliers and partners. The companies will work to expand this transparency, offering START in combination with Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure platform, an IoT system architecture that connects everything in an enterprise, from the shop floor to the top floor, to deliver enhanced safety, reliability, efficiency, and sustainability.

The companies will also partner to evaluate emerging innovation opportunities, such as the efficient production of critical materials for renewable technologies and advances in low carbon, green steel manufacturing, both of which will play a significant long-term role in industrial decarbonisation.

Read more about Rio Tinto’s approach to climate change here.

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