Strategy - Taking the Lead

SSAB has continued to develop our Taking the Lead business strategy during 2021 to adjust it to the changing business environment. Our strategy continues to emphasize our commitment to being first in fossil-free steel and having a leading sustainability performance.


First in fossil-free steel

SSAB began its journey to revolutionize the steel industry 5 years ago. This idea has since then become a core priority for SSAB, and we aim to be the world’s first steel company to deliver, in 2026, iron ore-based fossil-free steel to the market. This includes an active leadership role in the HYBRIT joint venture initiative together with LKAB and Vattenfall.

There is a growing interest from customers to lower the carbon footprint in their value chain, which opens up great potential for fossil-free steel as a premium product. During 2021, SSAB signed multiple partnerships in fossil-free steel with customers such as Volvo Group, Volvo Cars, Cargotec, Daimler/Mercedes-Benz and Peab. In January 2022, SSAB’s Board took a policy decision to fundamentally transform Nordic strip production and so accelerate the company’s green transition. The decision was taken against a background of strongly growing demand for fossil-free steel. The plan is to replace the existing system with so-called mini-mills, which will result in a broader product program and improved cost position. The ambition is to largely eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from our own operations in around 2030, 15 years earlier than previously announced.

Global leadership in high-strength steels

SSAB has a global leadership position in high strength steels, both in Quenched and Tempered (Q&T) steels, and premium automotive grades (AHSS). Our ambition is to build on this success and continue to grow within these segments, for example through customer upgrading, i.e. moving customers from standard grades to high-strength grades. We are introducing new innovative products and services to support this growth.

In recent years, SSAB has consolidated its position as an automotive supplier of premium AHSS products. Contrary to most automotive suppliers, SSAB’s volumes held flat during the Covid-19 pandemic, and we will strive to further develop our position within the segment.

Leading value-added services

SSAB will continue with downstream initiatives to increase customer value and loyalty, for example by developing our market channels.

We have further strengthened our position within value-added services, through the acquisition of Astralloy in the US during 2021. Tibnor has successfully been restructured, enabling a new phase of profitable growth. Now the group has expanded its footprint with new local outlets in Sweden – branded as Handelsstålsgruppen – to increase penetration of local markets. Ruukki Construction will continue to grow in its current market areas.

Most flexible operations

SSAB aims to develop global production in order to ensure long-term competitiveness, not least by converting to fossil-free steelmaking.

In the short-term, SSAB will continue running its Group-wide continuous improvements and working capital efficiency programs.

High-performing organization

SSAB’s strategy entails building a high-performing organization with strong employee engagement. SSAB will continue to work with leadership and competence development, and strive to enhance diversity in the workforce.

Being able to attract, develop and retain key talent is a constant battle. In this context, succession planning and performance management will be in focus, along with new learning and development programs. In addition, we are deepening and broadening our collaboration with target universities, schools and stakeholders to play an active role in developing the education system and thus further strengthen the SSAB employer brand.

Superior customer experience

SSAB’s strategy is to offer a superior customer experience compared to its competitors. We do this by striving for competitive lead-times, and by introducing new digital services as well as knowledge services and brand programs.

SSAB will continue to focus on quality, lead times, delivery performance and sales responsiveness. We will also continue to develop and grow our digital sales channels.

Leading sustainability performance

SSAB’s business strategy includes industry-leading sustainability performance in all areas. SSAB wants to offer a safe work environment, adhere to high environmental standards, be a responsible partner to all of the company’s stakeholders and to offer an inclusive and diverse workplace.