The ASI has released the first dedicated publication on steel’s environmental credentials from an industry-wide perspective, launched in Perth on 15 September at the recent Steel Convention in Perth by Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology (SMaRT) of the University of NSW, best known as a judge on ABC TV’s The New Inventors.
The new ASI publication is part of current work by the ASI’s Sustainability Group to make sure the domestic steel industry at large stays at the forefront of the debate. ASI Chief Executive, Don McDonald said that with issues like carbon trading and energy loads becoming prominent, there’s never been more need for a publication that explains steel’s sustainability credentials in plain English.
“This new publication is the first real attempt to provide a steel industry-wide response to the sustainability issue aimed at lifting understanding of steel’s environmental value. Every attempt has been made to include local examples and figures where practicable and pertinent. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there on evaluating ‘green’ materials, such as points schemes, embodied energy and other measures. We recognise that a life cycle analysis is the only real way that steel’s recyclability gets properly accounted for and are currently working through the Building Products Innovation Council (representing major material suppliers) on this issue.”
The new publication also talks about a number of major programs here in Australia involving recycling water and waste heat to reduce the greenhouse gas and eco footprint of steelmaking. “The next phase is to conduct a seminar series in each State commencing in early 2009 to provide a forum on steel and sustainability and to discuss the impact of the proposed emissions trading scheme on individual businesses. Another initiative is for the ASI to recognise good environmental practice and to establish an awards program similar to the ASI steel awards and safety awards.”
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