The world needs steel. Our world is built using steel. Steel has many advantages and that's why it is used in every aspect of our lives. It's fully recyclable, strong, durable and, compared to other materials, requires relatively low amounts of energy to make.
SSAB has been in the steel business for more than 140 years. We’re proud of our strong Nordic roots, but we’re even more proud today of our strong global presence. We have production sites in our home markets – the Nordics and North America.
As a relatively small player in the global market, we’ve decided to specialize in defined segments and areas. We’re global leaders in value-added high-strength steels, we offer globally-recognized brands, and we lead our home markets in the Nordics and US. We aim to achieve industry-leading profitability through our vision of a stronger, lighter and more sustainable world.
The key to SSAB’s success has always been our continuous ambition to develop, improve and innovate our steels and related services. We are actively pushing for new and better solutions for our customers. We’ve always had a long-term interest in our customers’ business and constantly listen to their needs – creating solutions that deliver higher performance, energy and resource efficiency as well as better process and product performance. We’re also committed to safety and sustainability. We lead the European industry in blast furnace CO2 efficiency and in the US, we use electric arc furnace technology to make our steel, utilizing more than 95% recovered scrap metal in the production process.
However, the steel industry remains a significant source of CO2 emissions and our planet needs more action to continue to reduce emissions. Resource scarcity, continuing urbanization and climate change, combined with the increasing need for new infrastructure, create a growing need for more sustainable solutions. How can we help? We believe that SSAB and steel are part of the solution. That’s why SSAB is beginning our journey on a Sustainability Expedition.
SSAB has been at the forefront of sustainability in many ways. With confidence deriving from our traditions, we now strive to do even more. SSAB’s plan is to offer fossil-free steel to the market in 2026 and to eliminate all of our CO2 emissions by 2045.
To do this, we will need to revolutionize the entire steelmaking process. We are on an unprecedented sustainability expedition. That’s why we’ve joined forces with LKAB (Europe’s largest iron ore producer) and Vattenfall (one of Europe’s largest electricity producers) to launch HYBRIT. The joint-venture HYBRIT project aims to replace coking coal, traditionally needed for ore-based steelmaking, with hydrogen.
The technology is possible and, if successful, the results will be unique: We’ll create the world’s first fossil-free steelmaking technology, with virtually no carbon footprint. CO2 emissions would be eliminated, and the process would emit only water as a by-product. Of course, we anticipate many challenges on our expedition to bring this vision to life.
We’ve started building a pilot plant in Northern Sweden. A larger-scale demonstration phase is planned for 2025-2035 and the technology is planned to be ready by 2035. The goal would be to transform all of our steel production by 2045.
We’ve already been working to reduce our direct emissions in Sweden through continuous improvement and changes in process technology. We’re on track to reduce our emissions by approximately 25% by 2025.
We think our production process can change, but our products can be part of the solution, too. We already encourage our customers to use high-strength steels, which can make their products lighter, improving fuel efficiency and loading capacity. For example, more than 90% of the total adverse environmental impact caused by a heavy vehicle originates from the energy used and CO2 emitted during its operation. We have many customer segments – heavy transport, automotive, material handling, construction machinery, energy, construction, etc. – all of which can benefit from our high-strength steels. Our steel solutions work everywhere.
By using SSAB’s high-strength steels, customers can achieve significant CO2 savings during their end products’ use-phase. SSAB has set a target for these customer CO2 savings to reach 10 million tonnes each year by 2020, which is slightly more than SSAB’s annual direct emissions. This can be achieved with the help of two key initiatives – SSAB EcoUpgraded and Automotive Premium upgrades. While we will continue to focus on our own emissions, we believe working with customers to reduce their emissions helps everyone contribute to solving the global problem.
All of us at SSAB – approximately 14,500 professionals in 50 countries – strive to uphold our three core values:
We want to earn our customers’ trust by being their innovation partner. We keep our promises and build strong long-lasting relationships, working safely and responsibly. We are proud of what we do, and above all, we always challenge ourselves. Join us on our Sustainability Expedition.