Sustainability Action Map (above): selected initiatives and actions taken by forward-thinking worldsteel members to address our global industry and societal challenges.

The World Steel Association’s (worldsteel) new report, Sustainable Steel – Indicators and Industry Initiatives, highlights the role of steel in a sustainable society and the concerted efforts being made by the steel industry in response to challenges faced.

Among the areas covered by the report are industry-level challenges, commitments and actions relating to climate action, responsible sourcing and co-products; what steel companies are doing individually to address our global industry and societal challenges; and how steel is being applied in versatile and innovative ways to provide sustainable solutions for our everyday lives.

Edwin Basson, Director General, worldsteel, said, “the global steel industry shares society’s challenges and concerns – from climate change and urbanisation to ensuring long-term economic growth and responsible management and sourcing of resources, we as an industry and as individual steel companies are being proactive in addressing these challenges on many different fronts. We do not yet have all the answers, but we are committed to engaging and collaborating with our stakeholders to find the right solutions to help meet society’s needs in a sustainable way.”

Steel companies from around the world have been voluntarily reporting on up to eight sustainability indicators every year since 2004. These indicators provide a systematic way of measuring key aspects of the industry’s economic, environmental and social performance on a yearly basis. In 2018, a total of 97 steel organisations worldwide participated in the 2018 data collection, representing 960.8 Mt or 56.9% of global crude steel production in 2017.

Results for the industry’s global economic, social and environmental indicators for the 2017 fiscal year are as follows:

Environmental sustainability

  1. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: An average of 1.83 tonnes of CO2 were emitted for every tonne of crude steel cast
  2. Energy intensity: 20.0 GJ of energy was used per tonne of crude steel cast
  3. Material efficiency: 96.3% of materials used to make crude steel were converted to products and co-products.
  4. Environmental Management System (EMS): 96.8% of employees and contractors worked in EMS-registered production facilities.

Social sustainability

  1. The industry’s Lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) was 0.97 injuries per million hours worked.
  2. Employees (at both production and non-production facilities) received an average of 6.1 training days per year.

Economic sustainability

  1. In new processes and products (capital expenditure and R&D) was 5.9% of revenue
  2. Economic value distributed (EVD) was 97% of industry revenue

worldsteel members represent approximately 85% of the world’s steel production, including over 160 steel producers with nine of the 10 largest steel companies, national and regional steel industry associations, and steel research institutes.

To read more about the Sustainable Steel – Indicators and Industry Initiatives report, click here.