Sustainable Steel – Indicators 2017 and the future

09 October 2017 Brussels, Belgium

Today the World Steel Association (worldsteel) launched the 2017 report Sustainable Steel – Indicators 2017 and the future. This report highlights three aspects: steel as a critical enabler and partner for other industries in a sustainable society; steel as an industry which takes its commitments and responsibilities seriously; and the challenges facing the industry along with initiatives that are in place to address them.

Edwin Basson, Director General, worldsteel, said, “Reporting our sustainability performance with the 8 indicators is one aspect that demonstrates our commitment to sustainability. Our intention is to monitor progress and foster improvement from a social, economic and environmental sustainability perspective. In addition to reporting, we, together with our members, have been taking action through a range of initiatives to address the challenges the steel industry faces to ensure the sustainable development of the industry”.

“This year we wanted to go beyond the 8 indicators in our reporting of the industry’s sustainability performance and commitment, and discuss the material issues which matter most to the industry and its stakeholders. We perform materiality assessments on a regular basis to ensure that the industry’s reporting is relevant and meaningful. In addition to our 8 sustainability indicators, our most recent assessment identified 7 further areas which we plan to address extensively in our communications over the coming years. These areas are air quality, water, by-products, recycling, supply chain, environmental investment and product applications.”

Reporting is voluntary and open to both members and non-members of worldsteel. Our industry is one of the few that reports at a global level and has done so since 2004. Coverage and representativeness has steadily improved since then, with a total of 125 companies and 6 associations worldwide participating in the 2017 data collection. Crude steel produced by companies who reported on one or more indicators for the 2016 fiscal year was 875Mt, representing 54% of global crude steel production, up from 33% in 2004.

Results for our 8 steel industry indicators for the 2016 fiscal year are as follows:

Environmental sustainability

  1. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: An average of 1.9 tonnes of CO2 was emitted for every tonne of crude steel cast.
  2. Energy intensity: 19.1 GJ of energy was used per tonne of crude steel cast
  3. Material efficiency: 97.6% of materials used to make crude steel were converted to products and by-products.
  4. Environmental Management Systems (EMS): 97.1% of employees and contractors worked in EMS-registered production facilities.

Social sustainability

  1. Lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) was 1.0 injuries per million hours worked.
  2. Employees (at both production and non-production facilities) received an average of 7.0 training days per year.

Economic sustainability

  1. Investment in new processes and products was 13.0% of revenue
  2. Economic value distributed (EVD) was 98.8% of industry revenue

The 2017 Sustainability report can be downloaded from along with further information on historical data, indicator definitions, and contributing organisations.

# Ends #

Notes to Editors:

  • The World Steel Association (worldsteel) is one of the largest and most dynamic industry associations in the world. worldsteel members represent approximately 85% of the world's steel production, including over 160 steel producers with 9 of the 10 largest steel companies, national and regional steel industry associations, and steel research institutes.


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