We are constantly striving to develop cleaner steelmaking processes and bring about industry-wide improvements in sustainability
Steel is an infinitely recyclable material: steel can be used and used again in the steelmaking process. Across the steel industry, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per tonne of crude steel made, are now half what they were 40 years ago.
ArcelorMittal’s operating philosophy is to produce safe, sustainable steel, and reflects our deep commitment to protecting and improving the environment in which we work and live.
However, we believe there is no room for complacency, which is why ArcelorMittal’s 1,400 scientists are constantly striving to develop cleaner steelmaking processes and greener steel products.
One example is our advanced high-strength steels. By increasing the strength of steel, less needs to be used. Our high-strength lightweight steel Histar®, which has been used in buildings such as the Freedom Tower in New York and the Emirates Towers in Dubai, can cut CO2 emissions generated during construction by up to 30%.
We are also working towards making our industrial processes more sustainable. In 2010 we recycled 37 million tonnes of residues (waste materials), which represents a re-use rate of 82%. In Brazil our operation in Tubarão uses slag, a by-product of steelmaking, to produce Acerita®, a compound used to build roads. This is just one of 30 products developed in Tubarão that maximise re-use and recycling.
An industry commitment
ArcelorMittal is also working to bring about industry-wide improvements in sustainability. We are part of the European Ultra-Low CO2 Steelmaking project (ULCOS), which brings together more than 50 companies in the steel supply chain, as well as laboratories and universities, with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions from steelmaking by 50%. Phase II includes pilot projects of gas recycling blast furnace technology and carbon capture and storage at our operations in Florange, France and Eisenhüttenstadt, Germany .
We invested US$35m in local community projects in 2011, working in partnership with local organisations on issues such as malaria and road safety in Liberia, and cataract surgery in India.
We are also committed to supporting long-term economic growth in the regions in which we work. One of the ways we do this is to provide opportunities for local businesses to supply our operations. This includes helping firms to develop ethical policies and procedures that fit with our own corporate responsibility agenda. In Brazil, we undertook a programme with 15 suppliers to help them incorporate social and environmental standards into their business practices. Now, 73% of the firms involved separate their waste, 67% have new processes to reduce their environmental impact, 53% have developed a new product or service with a specific social or environmental feature, and 67% train their employees on sustainability issues, meaning the lessons learnt will be embedded for the future.