Essen, 22 June 2022 - Energy company RWE and steel producer ArcelorMittal have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to develop, build and operate offshore wind farms and hydrogen facilities that will supply the renewable energy and green hydrogen required to produce low-emissions steel in Germany.

ResponsibleSteel™ is the steel industry’s first, multi-stakeholder certification initiative that aims to set a single, global standard for the entire ‘mine-to-metal’ steel value chain. The multi-stakeholder initiative, of which ArcelorMittal was a founding member and has played a leading role in developing, was first established in 2015. Efforts to accelerate the creation of the standard, including extensive public consultation periods, have increased over the past 12 months, leading to yesterday’s approval of draft version four. The standard will enable steel producers to prove their production processes and products meet rigorously defined standards across a broad range of social, environmental and ethical criteria. It will also serve to improve responsible sourcing of raw materials used in steelmaking and reduce supply-chain risk.

Commenting at the event, Alan Knight, head of sustainable development at ArcelorMittal and co-chair of ResponsibleSteel™ said:

“I am encouraged both by the progress we have made in developing the ResponsibleSteel™ standard and the broad-based interest in the scheme. For a scheme like this to truly gain market acceptance we need involvement, collaboration and input from multiple stakeholder groups. Steel industry participants clearly have an important role to play in its development, but an accreditation scheme created solely by the steel industry and for the steel industry would lack credibility. The multi-stakeholder aspect is critical, so the support and membership sign up we have received from mining majors, financial institutions, steel consuming customers and NGOs brings that credibility. It has also been integral in ensuring the development of the standard is sufficiently stringent – we received over 600 responses to the public consultation carried out on version three of the standard. With this input carried into version four, I am confident the scheme will be market ready later this year and will achieve its objective of providing the reassurance steel customers and industry stakeholders need on industry sustainability standards.”

ResponsibleSteel™ currently has 19 full members and 18 associate members including steel producers (Aperam, ArcelorMittal, BlueScope Steel, VAMA and voestalpine), financial institutions (HSBC), automotive majors (BMW and Daimler), NGOs (International Union for Conservation of Nature, Fauna and Flora International, CDP and others) and associated industry bodies (IndustriALL, International Tin Association and International Zinc Association).

ArcelorMittal has undertaken readiness assessment against version three of the standard across nearly all its European flat products production sites, and at sites in the US and Brazil, with positive results. It is currently working on a site assessment and verification plan, starting in Europe, in anticipation of the market launch of the standard later this year.