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Driving Sustainability on our Road to Net Zero

 

Opinion by Peter Leblanc, Chief Marketing Officer, Automotive, ArcelorMittal North America - May 23th 2022

Over the last two decades, the conversation between automakers and steelmakers has centered on improving fuel economy. In recent years, the focus has shifted to include the need for sustainable products and processes that help address global climate challenges. ArcelorMittal’s ability to identify and deliver solutions to achieve both strengthens our position as a leading, responsible steelmaker. It also enables ArcelorMittal to meet our own carbon-neutral goals while positively impacting the world around us.


The sustainability theme was apparent at the 20th anniversary of Great Designs in Steel (GDIS). Held in Detroit, Mich. (USA) in May 2022, GDIS brings automotive and steel industry leaders together to share insights and engage in thoughtful discussions on the latest developments and applications of steel – and the demand for a cleaner supply chain.

As the first company to have a Responsible SteelTM-certified site in the world, and as its founding member, ArcelorMittal prioritizes safety and sustainability. We embrace our role of leading the steel industry’s transition to a net-zero future. 

Cementing our roadmap in sustainability

In North America, our commitment is to reduce our CO2 emissions by 25 percent by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050. These efforts build upon ArcelorMittal’s global commitment to achieve a 25 percent reduction by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve these ambitious targets, we’re decarbonizing our operations and driving innovative sustainability initiatives. We also continue to deliver sustainable products and solutions our customers want and need. 

Decarbonizing our operations

In North America, we have more than $3 billion of investments planned before 2030 – not to increase capacity, but to decarbonize the steelmaking process.

These projects include:

Driving innovative sustainability initiatives

We’re investing in programs and partnerships that drive innovation and accelerate meaningful sustainability progress.

In 2021, ArcelorMittal launched XCarbTM. XCarb is an umbrella brand that unites our reduced, low and zero-carbon products and steelmaking activities, and other green innovation projects. The three components include: 

  •  XCarb™ green steel certificates – Designed for blast furnace-made products, the steel industry’s first-ever certification scheme passes on carbon reductions achieved via investments in operations to customers 
  •  XCarb™ recycled and renewably produced – Designed for EAF-made products, this designation recognizes steel produced with 100 percent recycled content and renewable energy sources 
  •  XCarb™ innovation fund – Investments of up to $100 million annually in groundbreaking companies developing pioneering or breakthrough technologies to accelerate the steel industry’s transition to carbon neutral steelmaking 

Delivering sustainable products and solutions for auto

Our industry-leading Research and Development (R&D) group is what sets ArcelorMittal apart from the competition. With six of 11 R&D centers dedicated to automotive research, including two in North America, a $290+ million annual investment portfolio, 565 dedicated researchers, and the ability to share knowledge across continents – our R&D efforts are second to none.  

Together, we create processes, products and solutions that are required by today’s automaker and driver. And, we use science-based targets to guide our efforts. Here are some recent advancements:

  • GI Fortiform® 980 – This 3rd Generation high-formability, high-ductility advanced high strength steel (AHSS) was launched in production vehicles in early 2021. ArcelorMittal received the Altair Enlighten Award for this groundbreaking product that supports automakers’ lightweighting and safety targets. 
  • Usibor® 2000 and Ductibor® 1000 – The next generation of our Press Hardenable Steels family, these two steels offer very high yield and tensile strengths after heat treatment and hot stamping. 
  • Future Mobility – As the demand for hybrid and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) evolves, so will the material from which they are made. A new S-in motion® study shows that AHSS solutions are the best choice for this revolution. From the full body-in-white to battery packs, our smarter steels extend range, reduce cost and enhance safety.  

Collaborating with auto partners

We’re proud to be part of the sustainability conversation at Great Designs in Steel and many others taking place in North America and throughout the world. Even more important, we are proud to be a part of the solution. We look forward to continuing to work with our automotive partners to achieve a sustainable, net-zero future, together.  

About ResponsibleSteelTM

Founded in 2019, ResponsibleSteel is a non-profit, multi-stakeholder standard and certification initiative. Certification is achieved through rigorous independent audits of social, environmental and governance criteria. These include: climate change and greenhouse gas emission; water stewardship and biodiversity; human rights and labor rights; and community relations and business integrity.  

ArcelorMittal played a pivotal role in establishing the organization and its standards. In 2021, we  became the first steel company in the world to have a ResponsibleSteel-certified operation.   

Today, many of our European sites are certified with full certification expected across Europe by year end. In the Americas, two Brazilian operations are certified. ArcelorMittal Dofasco will become the first integrated steelmaker in North America to achieve certification this year - quite a feat for a 110-year-old facility and a region rooted in blast furnace technology. Certification for other North American operations is underway. 

Learn more about Responsible SteelTM and check the up-to-date list of issued certifications at www.responsiblesteel.org 

About the Author:

Peter Leblanc, Chief Marketing Officer, Automotive, ArcelorMittal North America

Peter LeBlanc was named chief marketing officer, ArcelorMittal North America, in June 2018.

Peter joined the company in 1987 as a metallurgical engineer at Dofasco and progressed through various roles servicing the automotive market, including both technical and commercial functions. In 2008, Peter was promoted to general manager of global automotive and was relocated to Luxembourg. In this role, he was responsible for developing ArcelorMittal’s automotive expansion activities in the emerging markets. In 2012, Peter returned to Canada in the role of director of automotive sales for North America before assuming the CMO position.

Peter graduated as a metallurgical engineer from Dalhousie (DalTech) in Halifax, Canada and has completed executive education programs at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

More information about our sustainability initiatives

 

About Great Designs in Steel

 

At GDIS in Detroit ArcelorMittal had an interactive booth and colleagues held conference presentations and joined panel discussions to discuss our products, solutions and sustainbility efforts.

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