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Steel is durable, recyclable and increasingly less carbon-intensive.

Making steel more sustainable

Today’s steel has adapted itself to the needs of sustainable economies and is stronger, lighter and less carbon-intensive than ever before. Once produced, it is a genuinely renewable resource. With our innovations, steel is creating products that a sustainable world needs: lighter weight cars and packaging, low-carbon buildings and energy generation, water treatment plants, public transport systems and flood defences.

Nonetheless, steelmaking is a resource-intensive process. We are committed to improving the environmental impacts of this through process innovation, good management and investment. In this way we can create value not only for our customers, but for our communities and the world around us.

The sustainability of steel

The demands of a more sustainable world mean that steel must be sustainable. This is influenced by three levers: the environmental impacts steel has in production, the impacts it has in use, and the amount of steel products society consumes per head of population. ArcelorMittal’s response is focused first and foremost on directly influencing the first two of these levers, the impact of steelmaking and the functional efficiency of steel. The third concerns choices that society makes, something we are concerned with indirectly, through our contributions to society’s understanding of the true impact of steel. We think there are four ways in which we can create sustainable value through steel.

  1. Creating products that reduce sustainability impacts in use, such as advanced high strength steel for vehicles and solutions for low carbon buildings.
  2. Creating infrastructure for sustainable economies, such as water treatment facilities and flood defences.
  3. Improving the immediate impact of our production processes, such as innovating the steelmaking process, investing in de-dusting equipment and energy efficiency programmes.
  4. Promoting the lifecycle approach to evaluating the sustainability impact of materials, through modelling, environmental product labelling and research to improve scrap recovery rates.

You can read about how we are creating value in these ways in the relevant pages of this Making steel more sustainable section. Or you can click through to the relevant page as you read about our progress in 2013 in the table below.

2013 Progress at a glance

Recycling and lifecycle analysis   Ensuring steel’s recyclability is adequately valued in our product markets.   We worked on a standard to ensure Environmental Product Declarations for construction products require a lifecycle analysis perspective: EN15804 was adopted in 2013.     We will assess the lifecycle benefits of AHSS lightweight steel solutions for the automotive industry.

We will undertake two peer-reviewed Environmental Product Declarations for ArcelorMittal construction solutions.
    Enhancement of our capabilities in steel recycling.   Steel scrap we recycled in 2013: 31 million tonnes    
Tackling climate change     Reduction in our CO2 emissions from steel production by 8% per tonne of steel by 2020, compared with 2007.   2013 goal: to investigate how to accurately quantify methane emissions. Our methane data is included in this year’s greenhouse gas reporting.

KPI CO2 per tonne of steel: 2.14 tonnes (2012: 2.13)


We will continue to evaluate and work towards a long-term reduction in our emissions.
Product innovation   Development of products that support a low carbon and sustainable future.   2013 goal: to continue to develop new steel products that help customers and end users reduce their CO2 emissions. During the year we progressed 14 groups of green products to market, including Phoster, Solarwall®, Usibor® 1500 MPa door ring and  thin-walled food cans.     We will grow our pipeline of new products for sustainability.
Resource efficiency   Efficient use and conservation of energy.   2013 goal: Full deployment of key good practice in energy. We rolled out our Energise programme to Fos and Sestao in 2013.

Value of energy gains in 2013: $264 million

  We will roll out our Energise initiative to two further sites across Europe.
    Optimal reuse of by-products and other residues.   Through the use of our ROMEO modelling tool, we have made savings of some $40 million in our recycling of by-products since the tool was introduced in 2010.

KPI Steel plants with ISO 14001 certification: 98%

  We will continue to investigate new optimised recycling options with the application of ROMEO at two new sites in 2014.
Biodiversity   Support for local biodiversity.   2013 goal: to implement biodiversity action plans. We published the second biodiversity report for Liberia, as well as two practical guides for local community members.     We will publish our biodiversity management plan for Liberia.
Preventing pollution     Continued investment in air pollution control.

Responsible management of our water use.
  2013 goal: to review and update the group environment policy. A new policy was drafted and will be reviewed in 2014.

We completed construction of a new water treatment plant at our Berezovskaya mine in Russia.

KPI Environmental investment in 2013: $207 million

  We will publish a new environmental policy.

We will continue to invest to reduce air emissions.

We will complete the design of minewater treatment plants for two further mines in Kazakhstan.
Met target: Partially met target: Did not meet target: No target but progress made: