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Steel's contribution to a low carbon Europe 2050 (BCG)
Environmental protection as a integral part of sustainable economies
An sound environment is indispensable. We are responsible for its preservation. The steel industry successfully meets its responsibility – in numerous ways. In addition to environmental protection, special attention is also paid to the conservation of resources, health and safety at work, and material policy.
The steel industry in Germany is a knowledge-intensive high-technology sector that is the basis for industrial value-creation chains. In collaboration with its customers it manufactures products with a considerably lower environmental impact that nevertheless provide the same performance. Many steel products even help to reduce CO2 emissions by enabling the use of renewable energies or making existing plants more efficient. The German government’s climate targets could not be achieved without steel.
A lot of steel with little input
Although the steel industry handles large amounts of materials, the burden on the environment resulting from its processes has fallen considerably during recent years. Materials are recycled or reused as much as possible. The water required in the processes is used in water circles, so that only the small amount of unavoidable loss must be replaced.
Whereby water protection is directly linked with groundwater and soil protection. Important changes are currently pending in these areas and will be supported by the Stahl-Zentrum. Energy consumption has been falling for years and is slowly approaching the chemical-physical minimum.
Air pollution control is also a major priority in the steel industry. Thus, for example, dust emissions per tonne of steel produced has fallen by about >> 80% during the last 30 years. This has made a major contribution towards the sky above the Ruhr area, and in other industrial regions, being blue again.
Priority for safe handling of all materials
Parallel to this, the steel industry prioritises the safe handling of all materials that it produces and that are used for its processes. This ensures a high level of health and safety at work and prevents environmental hazards. All the materials produced by the steel industry, such as iron, metallurgical slag and coking plant by-products to name but a few, have been registered according to the requirements of the REACH Directive.