How can my steel choice make my company more sustainable?

Decarbonization is possible with forward-thinking companies that ecoupgrade today

Change steel to reduce carbon emissions

Pressure to be more sustainable is being exerted at both ends of the supply chain, according to Professor Fredrik N G Andersson from Lund University.

Upgrading to an advanced high strength steel for equipment reduces weight, fuel consumption and increases capacity for higher efficiency.

The global challenge of halting and reversing current rates of climate change continues. The steel industry is currently one of the highest carbon emitters, accounting for 7% of all emissions globally. While SSAB is already one of the world’s most efficient steelmakers, we know that the industry still has a long way to go. Our objective is to lead the steel industry to a decarbonized future.

SSAB is committed to creating sustainable products that are good for the planet and good for our customers' bottom line.

As an industry leader, SSAB knows that fossil-free steel is vital for a sustainable future. Revolutionizing steelmaking is a strategic goal for SSAB, both from a commercial perspective and a sustainability one. We believe commercial success goes hand in hand with meeting our sustainability targets.

Both SSAB Zero™ and SSAB Fossil-free™ steel, are steels with no carbon emissions. SSAB Zero is based on scrap. SSAB Fossil-free steel is based on iron-ore produced without fossil fuels, using HYBRIT® technology. Independent of the raw material, to our knowledge, SSAB will have the lowest emission steel offering. SSAB Zero™ and SSAB Fossil-free™ steel will have the quality and properties.

Meanwhile, advanced steels like abrasion resistant Hardox® wear steel and structural Strenx® performance steel already contribute toward equipment and product manufacturers to meet sustainability goals.

Ready to EcoUpgrade your steel?

SSAB EcoUpgraded saves CO2 both in steel production and during the full lifetime of the machine. From the CO2 payback time and beyond, every extra hour brings additional savings.

Take a load of mother earth with a steel upgrade

Take a load off Mother Earth and uncover potential savings when you change your steel choice.

What are some examples of how EcoUpgrading makes a difference?

When upgrading from standard steel to SSAB high-strength steel, you can cut the weight of the end product while maintaining the same strength and increasing durability and productivity. From a life cycle perspective, this is beneficial as most of the environmental impact comes from the end product’s use phase.

One customer upgraded their excavator bucket from AR 400 steel to SSAB's Hardox® 450. This reduced the bucket weight by 30% while increasing its load capacity by 20%. This upgrade generated 714 metric tons (787 US tons) in CO2 savings and reduced fuel by about 240,000 liters (63,401 gallons) over the bucket's useful life. These environmental savings will be even greater when fossil-free grades of Hardox® steel become available.

In the trailers and body builders industry, a customer replaced 7,500 kg of S700MC steel in a side tipper with 5,500 kg of Hardox® 450. In addition, 1,050 kg of Strenx® 960 replaced 1,500 kg of S500 steel in the chassis. The upgraded parts reduced weight by 30%. The weight reduction of 2,450 kg increased load capacity and resulted in higher fuel efficiency and transport efficiency.

Another customer EcoUpgraded a waste trailer made with Hardox 450. This upgrade saved tons of weight, which in turn saved 80 tons CO2 emissions. The customer also saved nearly 7000 gallons of fuel. It only takes nine months to save as much in emissions as when the steel was made for the truck. This is called the CO2 payback time.

In the end, this EcoUpgrade had the same impact as taking 37 cars off the road for a year.

Dump and trailer bodies in mining, transportation and construction vehicles can be made in thinner steel plate and still be more durable than those made in conventional AR steel. Using a thinner gauge, you can get a lighter truck that can carry more payload. This saves fuel per loaded ton and reduces CO2 emissions on every trip over the truck’s useful life.

A final example of EcoUpgrade benefits is a truck with a self loader crane that used high-strength steel to increase yield strength, which reduced the truck's weight by 800 lbs. The customer also used high-strength steel to replace standard steel in the chassis, which saved another 500 lbs. for a total reduction of 1,300 lbs. Over the truck's 12-year lifetime, this saved 3,100 gallons of fuel. The reduced emissions are the equivalent of taking 17 cars off the road for a year.

EcoUpgrading is key to decreasing weight, fuel and costs to ultimately increase revenues and sustainability.

How does Hardox® steel improve sustainability?

Thanks to its high wear resistance, Hardox® wear plate helps to make equipment last longer. For equipment that needs to fight abrasion, Hardox® wear steel can provide it with a lifetime twice that of conventional steel — in many cases, even more. This means less steel must be produced in the long run. Fewer resources are needed for repairs or maintenance. And fewer deliveries of new parts benefit the environment. It all adds up to improved sustainability. The bottom line is long equipment life saves resources.

Hardox® also leads to savings in processing. Its outstanding toughness means it can be bent to form larger structures instead of being welded. This saves resources during production and gives you a stronger product with a long lifespan, again minimizing the amount of steel used over time. And because it has tight tolerances and consistent guaranteed properties, Hardox makes fabrication more reliable and minimizes material waste in production.

And Hardox® wear steel is a sustainable steel choice you can make right now. When you choose Hardox® wear steel for your heavy equipment, you’re helping to reduce the environmental impact of steel and of the equipment. Its combination of high strength, hardness and toughness allows you to use less steel to build stronger yet lighter and more resource-efficient equipment that lasts longer.

Read more success stories from customers using Hardox® wear plate.

What is the financial impact of EcoUpgrading?

As you saw in the earlier examples, EcoUpgrading is good for the planet and good for your company. The financial impact comes from two directions: cost savings and increased revenue.


Operational savings


When you EcoUpgrade to create a lighter vehicle, it allows more cargo capacity. The same total load can be transported over a vehicle's lifetime with fewer trips. And fewer trips means less fuel used, less vehicle maintenance and a lower cost for the driver. Weight savings also lowers fuel consumption when the vehicle is not fully loaded.


Higher capacity, higher revenue


If you continue to run vehicles full time, with the same number of trips but with extra load capacity, you're transporting more cargo in the same time period—for increased revenues. You're gaining increased payload revenue for the additional cargo transported, with the same cost for vehicle maintenance, and the same cost for the driver.

And again, weight savings lowers fuel consumption when the vehicle is not fully loaded.

It all works together to boost your bottom line, reduce emissions, and improve sustainability.

How do I calculate the impact of sustainable practices?

SSAB makes it easy to accurately calculate cost savings of upgrading to high-strength steel with our EcoUpgraded app, available from the Apple App store or through Google Play.

Through the app, you enter machine type and operational parameters. The app presents a visual report on your estimated savings including:

  • Fuel savings over equipment lifetime
  • CO2 savings over equipment lifetime
  • CO2 payback time


The report is ready in seconds as a colorful, one-page PDF with estimations and infographics. After saving the results, you can share the calculated benefit of the products with your customer, demonstrate "what if" scenarios, and compare it to show your customer the life-cycle benefits.

Learn more

Dig deeper to find out more ways you can increase profits by watching our informative webinars presented by experts in the field.

You can also discover the many ways SSAB is revolutionizing the industry with fossil-free steel to create more sustainability and a brighter future for everyone.

Contact us today to get started on your path to increased profits through sustainable practices.


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