Energy efficiency is an important way to manage our carbon emissions, particularly in our steelmaking plants. We have a number of programmes that are making a real difference here.
Our approach to date
Steel: Managing energy
Our energy policy is implemented across the business through a framework of good practice which is compatible with ISO50001. We have an energy manager at every site, supported by a network of technical energy professionals, energy procurement experts, and R&D specialists. We share knowledge and good ideas, including quick-win success stories, with an annual event where all our energy managers can network and learn about new and existing approaches. One opportunity in some plants is to re-use the waste gases from our steelmaking processes as fuel instead of burning natural gas: for example, through new technology which re-uses high-pressure gases (known as flue gases) from the blast furnaces to drive electricity generators.
Steel: Energy ambitions
Our steelmaking business aims to achieve energy savings of $200 million every year by 2020, compared with 2007. There are many different ways to achieve this: for example, our US sites have committed to reducing the energy intensity of 17 plants by 10%, through an energy efficiency training programme in partnership with the US Department of Energy. At our European sites producing ‘flat steel’ products like car doors, we have run the ‘Energize’ initiative. This aims to cut energy costs without major capital investment, by reducing energy losses, strengthening energy management, and better monitoring the energy we use. One example is the use of camera technology to inspect parts of steel plants that are difficult to access, enabling us to detect leaks and spills which aren’t usually visible.
Mining: managing fuel consumption
Our mining operations are responsible for less than five per cent of our carbon footprint and the energy consumed makes up half of that. Our mining division is rolling out fuel management programmes across our sites, which include tighter controls on fuel use, efficiency initiatives for equipment and fuel economy improvements.