Global steel industry sharpens its environmental ambitions
December 03, 2015 0:00 CET 6 min read
Steel is essential to the development of a sustainable society and can be recycled over and over again without any detrimental effect to its characteristics.
Calculated per person and per year, 217 kg of steel are used in the world for new products. Nearly 30 percent of the world’s steel is produced from recycled scrap since steel can be recycled as many times as necessary without losing any of its characteristics. Despite steel being the most recycled material in the world, there is not enough scrap to cover needs, which is why more steel needs to be produced from iron ore.
At the end of September this year the United Nations (UN) presented new goals for the sustainable development of our planet and people. All 193 member nations support these goals. Using 17 different goals and 169 action points, countries will eradicate poverty, combat inequality and work with climate change over the next 15 years.
“As steel producers we strongly believe in sustainable development. Steel plays an important role for us to be able to meet today’s needs without jeopardizing future generations’ chances to meet theirs,” explained Maria Långberg Head of SSAB Group Sustainability.
Worldsteel is the international steel industry’s trade organization that represents more than 150 steel producers around the world. Nine out of ten of the world’s largest producers are represented, and members are responsible for about 85 percent of the world’s steel production. In connection with the UN’s new goals, worldsteel and its member companies have together launched a campaign to illustrate the ways in which the steel industry can contribute to the development of a sustainable society. Back in 2004, worldsteel launched seven principles for sustainability and they are now linking these together in the campaign with the UN’s new sustainability goals. SSAB is one of 75 member companies that undertakes to follow these principles of the steel industry which are based on - environmental protection, health & safety, ethical standards, interested party’s commitment, knowledge sharing and openness.
Member companies will, together with worldsteel, support society to achieve the overall sustainability goals that the UN has established for 2030. The steel industry can contribute to a more sustainable world thanks to its use of as environmentally-effective steel as possible.
“SSAB can show that our products contribute to sustainable development. It has been proven that products made from high-strength steel have a lower environmental impact than products made from ordinary steel, when you consider the whole life cycle of the product,” explained Långberg.