Barrick Gold CEO says plans to cut carbon emissions are good for business

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Barrick Gold CEO Mark Bristow told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Friday that the company’s plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will deliver financial benefits internally, in addition to the positive environmental impacts.

By 2030, the gold miner plans to reduce emissions by 30% compared with its 2018 baseline, according to Barrick’s most recent sustainability report. It has a net-zero goal by 2050.

“We’re not just investing to reduce our gas emissions just to be compliant. It’s good for business,” Bristow said in an interview on “Mad Money.”

Specifically, Bristow said that as part of Barrick’s roadmap to achieve its 30% reduction goal, the company is assuming a 15% internal rate of return. Known as IRR, it’s a financial metric companies can use to determine whether a project is a worthwhile investment.

By decreasing the use of fossil fuels in its operations, Barrick will be less exposed to the fluctuating prices of natural gas and oil, both of which have surged over the past 12 months.

“It’s giving us a return,” Bristow said of emissions-cutting initiatives. “It’ll drop the cost, make us less dependent on the hydrocarbons.”

For example, when Cramer asked Bristow whether investors should worry about whether elevated natural gas and oil prices would knock down the company’s total return, the CEO said: “Yes. In the short term, of course, there’s impact.”

At the same time, Bristow reminded investors that higher commodity prices also benefits the company in other ways. “Remember, the gold price is going up for the same reason,” he said.

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