Climate change is a global issue that requires global solutions. worldsteel acts as a focal point both for steel industry knowledge exchange and a shared global approach. It also works with the International Energy Agency, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and, through its members, the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.
The reduction of CO2 from steel production is an established priority, as is the reduction of GHG emissions during the life cycle of products that use steel. Companies incorporate strategies into their businesses to improve processes and drive product innovation in this direction.
Research and investment in innovative new technologies have taken place in:
- the EU (ULCOS: 48 companies and 15 governments),
- the US (AISI), Canada (CSF),
- South America (ArcelorMittal Brasil),
- China (Baosteel), and
- Australia (BlueScope Steel and OneSteel with CSIRO).
Although some breakthrough programmes listed above may have been reduced for lack of funding, the technology researched is still valid and useful for future generations.
In Europe, HIsarna has been shown to be successful at pilot plant scale. HIsarna is funded via a combination of public bodies and European steelmaking consortium partners.
In Japan, another R&D programme “COURSE50”, supported by the government, is currently proceeding from a laboratory to a pilot phase.
In North America, work is continuing under the American Iron and Steel Institute’s CO2 breakthrough programme with co-funding support from the US Department of Energy to develop an innovative flash ironmaking process.
Elsewhere, other initiatives (notably the POSCO programme in Korea and the China Steel Corporation programme in Taiwan) continue to make progress.
Carbon capture, utilisation and storage technologies, are not yet mature for the steel industry and will require government and public support to become viable options.
Climate Action programme
In line with its priority to reduce CO2 emissions and to set a baseline to benchmark improvements, the industry established a CO2 data collection programme in 2008. It is open to all steel-producing companies in the world.
The measurement framework covers all key points that infl uence CO2 emissions and energy use. worldsteel analyses the data and prepares a report for the participating companies. The report enables a company to see how each of its plants compares to others worldwide.
The database now holds CO2 and energy intensity data for 30% of global steel production capacity. The Climate Action programme, which was started in 2009, recognises participating steel producers.
In the steel industry, two indicators are used to measure environmental sustainability. These indicators are the Greenhouse gas emissions indicator and the energy intensity indicator.
For more information on these indicators, go to the Sustainability indicators section.