As British Steel's Low-Carbon Roadmap continues to gather momentum since its launch in October, Environment & Sustainability Director Lee Adcock took the opportunity to share the company's ambitious plans with the Construction Equipment Association (CEA).
The CEA is the trade association representing the UK's construction equipment sector and is recognised by the UK government as the voice of the industry. David Waine, British Steel's Commercial Director for Special Profiles, also sits as Vice Chairman on the CEA's Management Council. He said: "The construction and earthmoving equipment sector is a key one for British Steel. We supply a wide range of products to this market, ranging from track shoe profiles to cutting edge profiles, and we're proud to be Europe's leading producer of track shoe profiles.
"All the products we supply, which are made at our mill in Skinningrove in the north-east of England, need to perform to a reliable and high standard. Yet, with the growing focus on carbon intensity throughout the supply chain and product life cycle, our decarbonisation strategy is becoming an increasingly integral part in what we need to do."
As a growing number of industries starts recognising and managing their decarbonisation challenges, it was at David's invitation that British Steel's Environment & Sustainability Director Lee Adcock shared with the CEA the challenges the steel industry as a whole faces over the coming years and the steps British Steel is putting in place to deliver its ultimate goal of net-zero steel by 2050.
Lee said: "I welcomed the opportunity to speak with the CEA's members and explain the background to our decarbonisation challenges as well as our plans to tackle them. It's vital that industry players put strategies in place to achieve the environmental improvements the planet seeks and needs. We've made considerable efforts to review our activities and operations, looking in detail at how we source our raw materials, the manufacturing processes we use, the fuel sources we employ, how we can make the most of carbon capture - and the list goes on. This really is a complex area but we're already making great inroads through, for example, recycling and reusing our by-products, now at levels in excess of 90%.
"It's really exciting to embark on a strategy that will significantly reduce our CO2 intensity by 2030 and 2035. Yes, it's aggressive, but with the right support and frameworks in place, it's entirely achievable. One of the challenges ahead is finding ways for companies to work together to reduce whole life-cycle carbon. We all have a duty to consider how we minimise carbon intensity throughout a product's life, whether that's the steel products utilised, the distribution carbon footprint or even the rubber used in a vehicle's tyres."
And that was one of the key messages shared with the CEA - efforts to decarbonise and reduce carbon intensity are across the board, not just within the steel supply chain. Although the global steelmaking industry accounts for between 7% and 9% of all man-made CO2 emissions, it's by bringing actions together that the optimum benefits will be delivered.
Suneeta Johal, Chief Executive Officer for the CEA, said: "Global manufacturing companies are making enterprise-wide commitments to reduce emissions and it's very encouraging to see our members embarking on the journey to net-zero and embracing the challenges this brings.
"British Steel’s decarbonisation roadmap is a prime example of one of our members who is embracing new technologies and adopting new strategies to reach carbon neutrality. Bringing circular economy targets into effective action is key to driving down carbon emissions and supporting net-zero ambitions. I congratulate British Steel on a well-thought-out initiative."