The North American steel industry is committed to principles of sustainability while manufacturing innovative products that meet society's needs. This commitment is aimed at improving the quality of life for everyone now and for future generations. The steel industry recognizes and values the interdependence of environmental, social and economic advances, goals that are best realized through market forces operating in a growth-oriented regulatory framework.
The industry's long-standing commitment to sustainability programs has already
transformed steel into the world's most recycled material, with more than 65 million tons of steel recycled
annually. Since 1990, in addition to increased recycling, the widespread adoption of thin-slab,
flat-rolled production using electric arc furnaces, along with other advances in steelmaking processes, the
industry has reduced energy intensity per ton of steel produced by 31 percent and CO2 emissions by 36
percent per ton of steel shipped.
Steel has lower energy use and CO2 emissions per ton than aluminum, and magnesium among others.
Reductions in energy use and CO2 emissions are rapidly reaching the limits defined by the laws of
physics. To achieve continued gains in energy and carbon efficiency, the North American steel industry
remains committed to pioneering new steelmaking processes that leverage greener fuels and carbon
In addition to continually reducing its light environmental footprint, our industry is committed to
documenting the Life Cycle Impact and sustainable advantages of steel so that material decision makers,
policy leaders and ultimately consumers can make informed product decisions. Sustained commitments, promoting green living through recycling and innovative thinking will
keep the steel industry ahead of the curve for the benefit of all of us.
Steel Industry Solutions to Climate Change
The North American steel industry has demonstrated GHG emissions are best addressed through increased research and development and the deployment of innovative technologies. These technologies have facilitated major improvements in the American steel industry's energy-efficiency, with energy use per ton of steel shipped decreasing by over 31 percent since 1990.
Manufacturing steel by today's steelmaking process produces CO2 as a by-product. CO2 is one of the major GHG identified as contributing to climate change. Today, the American steel industry operates with the lowest average energy consumption per ton of steel produced. Because of the close relationship between energy use and GHG emissions, the industry has achieved a 31 percent reduction in energy intensity and a 36 percent reduction in greenhouse gas intensity since 1990.
Because of industry's voluntary investments in R&D and resulting new technology, US steelmaking processes are highly optimized, and efforts will be made continue to achieve incremental improvements. However, in order to make major reductions in future energy/CO2 reductions, new methods of making steel will require completely fresh and innovative thinking.
Additionally, the North American steel industry has been actively investing in research and development into new transformational processes for making steel that will dramatically reduce or eliminate CO2 emissions. This R&D is called the AISI CO2 Breakthrough Program.