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SD Updates

Jean-Sebastien Thomas: a personal contribution


In 2014 we lost a highly valued colleague, Jean-Sebastien Thomas, who had been central to the development of a sustainability discipline within our global R&D division since the company’s formation, and was a recognized leader worldwide in the field of lifecycle analysis (LCA). Jean-Sebastien died unexpectedly in December 2014, and this was a great loss to the company, his colleagues and the wider world of sustainability. LCA is one of the leading tools for measuring the complete environmental impact of products on society and Jean-Sebastien’s contribution to our work on LCA was pioneering, and he published numerous studies and papers on the subject. He also chaired the Worldsteel Association’s expert LCA group, working to ensure the value LCA brings is recognised in regulatory standards. And he was instrumental in driving the annual SAM (Society and Materials) conference since it began in 2006, an international event which has focused the attention of practitioners in industry, public bodies and academia on the relationship between society and materials in a future post-carbon society. In 2014, Jean-Sebastien masterminded a new project to develop a tool to measure how our own R&D projects contribute to sustainability. We will continue with this project, so we can track the progress of our sustainability research and evaluate its contribution to the business and society more accurately in the future.