Bettercoal Code

Since the Bettercoal Code was launched in 2013, it has become the internationally recognised Standard for assessing, assuring and sustaining stringent ethical, environmental and social performance in the coal mining supply chain. 

Bettercoal Members use the 12 Principle Bettercoal Code, Assessment Process and Continuous Improvement Plans to understand, manage and mitigate the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks in their coal supply chain, striving to increase year-on-year the percentage of coal purchased from Bettercoal Suppliers. Bettercoal Suppliers use the Bettercoal Code to further improve their ESG performance, maximise their positive contribution to workers and local communities, and minimise any negative impacts on the environment.

Bettercoal Principles

The Bettercoal Code is composed of 12 principles, which can be divided into three main areas: governance, social and environment. Within the Code, there are 144 numbered provisions that Bettercoal assesses its Supplier companies against. The Code is accompanied by the Bettercoal Code 2.0 Guidance, developed to help Bettercoal Suppliers and Bettercoal Assessors better understand and interpret the requirements of the Code and the steps needed to implement it, also enabling a consistent approach from one Site-Assessment to another. 


Business Integrity

Companies will conduct their business to a high level of integrity and compliance.

Policy and Management

Companies will develop, document and implement management systems that cover the Principles of the Bettercoal Code, and will support continuous improvement throughout their operations and with business partners.


Companies will commit to being transparent in alignment with internationally recognised reporting and disclosure standards.

Mine Rehabilitation
and Closure

Companies will implement a process of integrated mine closure and rehabilitation incorporating environmental, social, economic and governance aspects into operations from the earliest stage of mine development.


Human Rights

Companies will respect human rights affected by their operations and take appropriate action to assess, prevent and remedy potential adverse impacts on human rights in a manner that is consistent with international instruments on human rights.

Labour Rights

Companies will uphold the rights of workers and ensure dignified and respectful working conditions in line with the ILO eight fundamental Conventions and other relevant ILO Conventions.

Occupational Health
and Safety (OHS)

Companies will provide safe and healthy working conditions for all workers, both employees and contractors.

Communities and Stakeholders

Companies will identify and engage potentially affected stakeholders and contribute to the long-term social, cultural, environmental, economic and institutional development of the communities in which they operate.


Water Stewardship

Companies will have systems in place that enable the efficient and responsible withdrawal, use and management of water in their operations to contribute to good water stewardship in the area of operation.

Management of Emissions and Waste

Companies will have systems in place to avoid and minimise potentially harmful emissions and to manage waste in line with the mitigation hierarchy.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Companies will have systems in place to measure, avoid and minimise greenhouse gas emissions at all stages of the mine lifecycle.

Biodiversity and Land Use

Companies will identify their impacts on biodiversity, protected areas and land use and apply the mitigation hierarchy to the management of their impacts throughout the lifecycle of the mine.

Development of the Bettercoal Code has been underpinned by formal and transparent stakeholder consultation processes and public comment periods, with consensus on the last revision of the Code 2.0 overseen by the Bettercoal Technical Advisory Committee between 2019 and 2020. The Code 2.0 supersedes the previous Code 1.1.

The 2019-2020 Bettercoal Code Review followed the Bettercoal’s Code Review Procedure, with full details on the process found in the Bettercoal Code Review Public Summary document. A full register of the comments received during the consultation periods, and reviewed and addressed after, can be found here.

Review and Planning

Sep-Dec 2019

Internal Consultation

Oct 2019-Jan 2020

External Consultation

April-May 2020

Update and Finalisation

June 2020-March 2021

If you have any questions or comments relating to the Bettercoal Code 2.0, please contact us at