Environmental care is present in all the activities of ArcelorMittal Gent
Steel is in itself an environment-friendly product. Unlike other materilals like aluminium, plastic and other synthetic materials, steel is magnetic. As a result, we can separate scrap easily from other materials. And steel is infinitely recyclable. Furthermore, the recycling of scrap saves energy and reduces CO2 emissions. Nonetheless, the recycling of scrap implies restrictions in the field of product quality. That is why at the most 20% of the raw materials to produce new steel is replaced by recycled scrap.
It is now generally accepted that environmental management is an important issue. As pointed out in our environmental policy,  in Flanders, our concern is to produce high-quality steel and to reduce our impact on the environment to a minimum. In order to guarantee environmental management in a structured manner and steadily reduce the environmental impact of our activities, we have developed an environmental system  that meets the requirements of the ISO 14001 standard.
ArcelorMittal Gent strives for sustainable development, this means a harmonic balance between the economic performances, social interests and the protection of the environment. Every year, 15% of our investments go to measures and facilities to protect the environment. For a number of environment-friendly investments, we have received environmental awards.
In 2004, we commissioned a secondary dedusting unit in the steel works. That was one of the most important measures to reduce our dust emissions.
The Kyoto-protocol  which aims to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and therefore to combat global warming, has become a major environmental issue. In the steel industry, emissions of greenhouse gases are caused almost exclusively by carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 emissions are closely correlated to energy consumption.
Over the last 20 years, we reduced the amount of energy to produce one tonne of steel by 30%. Therefore, ArcelorMittal Gent is now among the best-performing companies in the world in the field of energy efficiency. In 2003, we signed a Benchmark Covenant with the Flemish Government in which we undertook to take steps to ensure that we will remain among the world’s best in 2012.
In addition, a new power station is being built on the company premises of ArcelorMittal Gent, in cooperation with Electrabel.  The power station, which will be commissioned in the middle of 2010, will enable our company to work in an even more environment-friendly manner.
Besides CO2, SO2 and NOx are also important environmental themes. With a number of important investments and process changes, ArcelorMittal Gent has succeeded in considerably reducing the emission of SO2 and NOx.
Thanks to state-of-the-art technologies, it is possible to reduce the weight of car bodywork while preserving maximum safety and comfort. In this field, a global consortium of steelmakers that includes ArcelorMittal Gent achieved a real break-through in bodywork design with the ULSAB, or Ultra Light Steel Auto Body.
As the name suggests, this bodywork is a steel structure that is not only lighter but also stronger than conventional designs. This weight reduction offers some significant environmental advantages, since it decreases fuel consumption and the emission of vehicle exhaust gases. The technologies and concepts that led to this breakthrough, such as laser-welded blanks and high-strenght steels,  have been widely used within the ArcelorMittal group.
We conduct an open communication policy in the environmental area as well. Every two years, we organise environmental meeting days with the local government, local environmental and nature preservation associations and neighbours. Also every two years, we publish an environmental report  that contains an outline of all environmental aspects, such as air, water, soil and sound emissions and the managing of waste products, raw materials and energy. On the other hand, our environmental brochure gives a detailed overall picture of our environmental performances so far and of the challenges ahead of us.