Sustainability in Steelmaking
Steel is the EnviroMetalTM. Producing a ton of steel today in North America requires less than half the energy that was needed to produce a ton of steel 40 years ago, resulting in a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This means that a single ton of steel produced today, compared to 1980, would save the GHG emissions equivalent to driving a car for 2,000 miles.
Steel’s inherent characteristics make it an ideal fit for a sustainable circular economy. Steel is the most recycled material in the world. Once produced, steel can be continually recycled into new steel products — a steel beam can become another steel beam, or a refrigerator, car door or roof panel. Millions of tons of steel are diverted from waste streams to recycling streams every year due to steel’s magnetic properties that make it easy to separate from solid waste. Steel’s durability allows steel products to be reused or remanufactured at the end of their initial lives. The life cycle costs of stainless steel, due to its combination of corrosion resistance and durability, also increases the lifetime of many products.
A single wind tower may contain up to 200 or more tons of steel and, because a wind turbine generates essentially emission-free electricity, the emissions created from producing a steel tower are offset in only about six months.
Steel builds solutions. As the world’s most important engineering material, steel can be found in products that we use every day and make a sustainable world possible: buildings, cars, bridges, water distribution, energy transmission, trains, road infrastructure, home appliances, canned food, computers and more. Steel is enabling tomorrow’s renewable energy as a critical component in the structure of wind, solar and tidal renewable energy systems. Steel supports renewable energy systems, literally. A single wind tower may contain up to 200 or more tons of steel and, because a wind turbine generates essentially emission-free electricity, the emissions created from producing a steel tower are offset in only about six months.
Download the full Sustainability in Steelmaking Fact Sheet.