Sandvik's New Approach to Steel Production and Sustainability

Sweden - Sweden's steel industry decided on a specific sector-wide vision 'Steel forms a better future'. This vision implies three undertakings - leading technological growth, cultivating innovative people and creating environmental benefits. One plan to reduce the steel industry's environmental effects includes removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from steel production entirely, leaving almost no carbon footprint. Global climate targets for 2030 include at least a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels, a 32 percent share in renewable energy, and an improvement in energy efficiency of 32.5 percent.

Trying to deliver sustainability, the industry must adapt a lifecycle strategy that moves away from the linear economy of 'make-take-dispose' and towards a circular way of managing assets. Steel is 100 percent recyclable and can be reused time and again in a closed loop of materials to make new items. Recycled steel retains the intrinsic properties of original steel and is the world's most recycled material.

In similar lines, the Sweden based engineering company group, Sandvik has manufactured products in its steel mill consisting of an average of 82 percent recycled materials. It has also provided its customers with the exact figure on their Materials Certificates of the amount of recycled steel per product.

The long-term aim of the organization is to become more than 90 percent circular in its own production system by 2030 and accelerate the move to more circular business models and resource utilization. Since, the new idea of hydrogen usage in steel production could dramatically alter the finished product's properties, the company finds it more rational on its 150 years of experience to deliver a product that is consistent with the steel. 

“Materials technology has advanced massively since the Eiffel Tower’s construction. For developments in materials such as steel to align with our efforts to make industry more sustainable, we must not only consider how we create the product in the first place, but also how we manage the volume of steel that already exists in our society,” concluded Mats W Lundberg, Sustainable Business Manager, Sandvik Materials Technology, on explaining the ways to explore sustainably manufacture steel. 

Image Source: Sandvik  

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