Sustainability approach

We want to become the first fossil-free steel company in the world, therefore, our vision is at the core of our entire operation. In everything we do, we strive to create a stronger, lighter and more sustainable world. Sustainability is a key business driver for both us and our customers. Consequently, we put much effort into ensuring that we act in an ethical and environmentally sound way in all our operations and markets.

Sustainability strategy

Managing business in a sustainable way strengthens the ability to deliver strong financial and operational results. We renewed our sustainability strategy during 2020. The new strategy has its basis in SSAB’s “Taking the lead” strategy, while it is also building on The SSAB Way, SSAB’s core values and the First in fossil-free steel ambition. The strategy is called “With the future in mind” and it has two main themes: First in fossil-free steel and Leading sustainability performance.

First in fossil-free steel

Use better steel

SSAB is committed to minimizing any adverse environmental impacts from our operations. Therefore, SSAB focuses on continuous improvement to minimize emissions and improve productivity, as well as material and energy efficiency. SSAB’s blast furnace-based production is among the most CO2 efficient in the world. This gives a competitive advantage to SSAB and its customers. For example, our cold-rolled steel production emits approximately 6% less CO2e than the European average and as much as 17% less than the Chinese average.

Sustainability objectives

Use steel better

The core of SSAB’s business is to develop and produce Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS) and Quenched & Tempered (Q&T) steels that are stronger than ordinary steels. This in turn enables our customers to produce lighter and stronger products, thereby reducing their environmental footprint.

By using SSAB’s high-strength steels, which result in lower weight and improved fuel economy, customers can achieve significant CO2 savings during their end products’ use-phase. The objective is that, by the end of 2021 (earlier 2020, pushed back due to Covid-19 impacts), these annual customer CO2 savings will reach 10 million tonnes, which equals SSAB´s own direct CO2 emissions.

Go fossil free

SSAB works toward a fossil-free steelmaking process through the HYBRIT initiative and by eliminating other fossil related emissions, with a goal to offer fossil-free steel to the market in 2026. In cooperation with LKAB, our iron ore supplier, and Vattenfall our energy provider, we form a fossil-free value chain. In 2020, we started discussions to partner with key customers and stakeholders for future fossil-free steel shipments.

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SSAB Sustainability Strategy 2020 presentation

Leading sustainability performance

Safety first

SSAB is determined to be the world’s safest steel company, with the objective of achieving zero accidents, work-related injuries and illnesses. Everyone has the right to a healthy, accident-free work environment in SSAB. Our goal is to prevent all injuries and work-related illnesses. We will minimize, as far as possible, health and safety risks everywhere we operate.

Efficiency and responsibility

Resource efficient operations

For SSAB, circularity is a key factor in increasing efficiency to help mitigate environmental impact. We continuously work to optimize the value of our by-products, scrap and waste, with a focus on sustainability and value creation. SSAB is committed to the efficient use of raw materials and energy. To further improve energy efficiency, energy flows are recycled in the production process.

Responsible sourcing

SSAB has approximately 20,000 active suppliers in more than 60 different countries. Suppliers must comply both with SSAB’s standards and with international ethical, social and environmental guidelines in order to remain qualified suppliers for SSAB.

Respect and integrity

Zero tolerance for bribery and corruption

The Code of Conduct is the way we act. It forms the basis for our ethical, environmental and social responsibility. The tone from the top is clearly communicated and all employees must take an e-learning course in business ethics.

Anti-corruption compliance in business is important. SSAB has implemented clear instructions for our employees in order to guide us through our daily operations and how we act in relation to business partners. These instructions will help our people to stay on sound ethical and legal ground when doing business. SSAB has implemented a whistle-blower system called the Ethics Line. Employees can file a report anonymously online or by calling a global hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Inclusion & diversity

A key element of SSAB’s business strategy is to build a high-performing organization with strong employee engagement globally. SSAB will continue to work with leadership and competence development, and strive to enhance inclusion and diversity in the workforce.