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Steel Companies’ CO2 Reporting Up, Emissions Steady

At 1.8 tons of CO2 produced per ton of crude steel cast, the global steel industry’s greenhouse gas emissions haven’t changed since 2007, according to Worldsteel’s 2012 Sustainability Indicators.

Established in 2003, the indicators measure the steel industry’s sustainability progress. The 2012 Sustainability Indicators capture data from 100 member and non-member companies and organizations in 2011, representing 676 million metric tons of steel, or 45 percent of world production, and $665.9 billion in annual revenues.

More steel companies reported environmental data in 2011, according to the indicators. But the numbers don’t show significant progress in terms of cutting CO2 emissions or reusing steel byproducts.

More than 50 Worldsteel member companies signed the sustainable development charter in 2008, committing to Worldsteel’s sustainability policies such as increasing resource and energy efficiency, and recycling steel. The number increased to 66 in 2012, the industry group reports.

Worldsteel’s CO2 data collection program launched in 2007 with 38 companies reporting, which has now increased to 44 steel producers submitting their CO2 emission data in 2011.

The 2012 Sustainability Indicators show energy intensity has decreased very slightly, from 20.8 GJ/ton crude steel cast in 2002 to 20.7 in 2011. Material efficiency, however, has dropped: in 2011, 94.4 percent of by-products were reused compared to 97.9 percent in 2007.

The report does show more steel companies are using environmental management systems: 89.9 percent of companies in 2011 compared to 85.1 percent in 2007.

Worldsteel represents about 170 steel producers, including 17 of the world’s 20 largest steel companies, or 85 percent of world steel production. In 2009, Worldsteel launched the Climate Action program to recognize steel producers that have met their commitment to participate in its CO2 emissions data collection program.

Last week, steel producer ArcelorMittal USA released its 2011 sustainability report, showing that its normalized carbon emissions increased 18.6 percent year on year.

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