Steel is the world’s most important engineering and construction material that underpins almost every aspect of our lives – buildings, transport, infrastructure, home appliances and lifestyle goods. It can be recycled again and again.
Australian steelmaking companies produce in excess of 4.5 million tonnes of steel per annum. The rate of steel use in Australia is 290kg per capita (worldsteel, 2016). The steel industry has made immense efforts to limit environmental pollution in the last decades. Producing one tonne of steel today requires just 40% of the energy it did in 1960 (worldsteel, 2018).
Sustainable futures are predicated on innovation. Flexibility, innovation, collaboration and communication are fundamental to an environmentally sustainable future for steel manufacturing specifically and the steel supply chain in general. Australian industry understands that it must invest in more productive and efficient practices and embrace innovation.
There are three primary focus areas that can help us move towards a true circular economy:
We have the clear mandate from our community and the opportunity to promote a cleaner and healthier environment by working together towards improving the environmental sustainability of the entire steel supply chain, from steelmaking and construction to recycling and reuse, implementing innovative technology and best practice sustainable design.
We have the responsibility to ours and future generations to set in place the solutions and tools that enable improved performance and reduced environmental impact, moving towards a life cycle perspective and what we think of as a circular economy.
Our industry and the ASI have taken responsibility to create and provide the solutions and tools to help action the circular economy for steel and the fundamental principles of reduce, reuse, remanufacture and recycle.
Steel’s natural characteristics make it a great sustainable choice in terms of its almost endless recyclability, the ability to futureproof structures to be modified or extended later, the reuse of steel sections and the option to design in high-strength steel to reduce mass, to name a few.
The ASI believes that innovation is of key importance and that we must learn and share ideas with our peers both locally and internationally. To enable sharing and cooperation among all sectors of the industry and with universities and research hubs, the ASI has underwritten the development of the new ASI Steel Innovation Portal. Head to the portal and explore the many innovative steel solutions under current development that will help us move towards a more sustainable future.
Find out more about the ESC Fabricator Award Winner 2017: GFC (Video).
Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (formerly AGIC)
Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society (ALCAS)
BlueScope Steel – Sustainability
BPIC – Building Products Innovation Council
Green Building Council of Australia
Liberty Steel – Sustainable development
Steel Construction Institute (UK)
Steel Recycling Institute
World Steel Association (worldsteel) – Climate Action
World Steel Association (worldsteel) – Sustainability