What is green steel?
The good news is that both from steel companies themselves and steel customers have a generally positive attitude towards a change in the steel industry. There are many good initiatives, but the challenge is that there isn’t really a clear definition of sustainably produced steel.
Today, the term “green steel” is commonly used to describe more sustainably produced steel. But what really is green steel?
Green steel refers to the strategy aimed at making the steelmaking process greener and more sustainable. But the trend towards increased sustainability within the steelmaking process is not without its difficulties. Many companies have begun to promote their steel as “green” when, in practice, giving this production process green accreditation presents as many problems as it does opportunities. The term “green steel” is often used to describe a product that does not meet any pre-defined criteria.
Why is it important to find out what green steel means?
Today, companies can claim their steel is green even if the contribution to CO2 reduction is negligible, or offers no benefits whatsoever. The promise of green steel can remain if, for example, a mere 10 percent of the total process output is green while the remaining 90 percent of production output is as dirty as ever. Uncomfortable facts can be omitted at a time when there’s an urgent need to combat climate change.
“Everyone buying and using products containing steel has the right to see the facts behind climate change promises. Green statements are not enough,” says Johan Anderson, Market Development at SSAB. The responsibility of the steel industry is not just to remove the carbon footprint, but also to show exactly how it’s done.”
On a positive note, customers and end-users have started to request numbers and facts to a much higher extent, putting higher pressure on steelmakers.
“Customer demand for zero-emission products is real. It encourages and pushes us as steelmakers to go all the way, virtually eliminating the product’s carbon footprint,” says Johan Anderson, Market Development at SSAB.