28 March 2023
In a year that marks 20 years of operations, ArcelorMittal Vega, a steel processing plant located in São Francisco do Sul, in Brazil, has recently received certification from Responsible Steel™️, a global certifying body that establishes international standards for responsible steel processing and production. This achievement represents, in addition to the unit's high standard production processes, recognition for a series of actions implemented for the purposes of obtaining social transformation and sustainability and encouraging diversity and inclusion.
The certification’s rigorous auditing process, which lasted approximately one year, took place during the largest expansion works completed in Vega's history, an investment made towards expanding the unit in the order of US$350 million. This audit was performed by the independent consulting firm DNV (Det Norske Veritas), which analyzed indicators for sustainable practices and processes at ArcelorMittal’s Vega production unit, including several areas of the company within its scope, particularly those involving ESG-related (Environmental, Social and Governance) issues. Auditors also observed the processes implemented at the unit firsthand and interviewed company leaders, employees, suppliers, third parties, and representatives from the government and entities and institutions from within the local community.
“This achievement demonstrates the company's commitment to responsible and sustainable steel production and its respect for individuals. This ResponsibleSteel certification also reinforces our main purpose, which is to manufacture smart steels for people and the planet, and represents a milestone in Vega's history, given that this year marks two decades of operations."
Jorge Oliveira, CEO of ArcelorMittal - Flat Products Latin America
According to the report presented by DNV, the Environmental Management System implemented at the unit (which is certified under ISO 14001) is one of the positive aspects that contributed to the ArcelorMittal’s receiving this certification for ArcelorMittal Vega. This system endorses Vega's commitment to preserving biodiversity in the region by promoting the identification and continuous monitoring of species of fauna and flora present in its Private Natural Heritage Reserve (RPPN), which occupies one third of the industrial unit, in addition to preparation of a Biodiversity Master Plan. Through means of its Water Master Plan, Vega seeks to guarantee that the region's water resources remain viable and maintain a commitment to the well-being of the population, generating a reduced impact on public water sources by reusing an average of 98% of the water collected in the unit.
Initiatives implemented at ArcelorMittal Vega for the purposes of inclusion, diversity and social transformation were also highlighted in ResponsibleSteel ™️‘s audit report. According to the analysis, “interviews carried out with women occupying leadership positions in Vega’s operations demonstrated engagement with objectives for inclusion and diversity and the fact that promotions carried out within ArcelorMittal consider competence and merit and not respective professional’s gender,” the document highlighted.
To ensure that the performance standard is met for certification, an audit is carried out by an independent party, in this case by the independent consultancy DNV Brazil. The audit process consisted of gathering in-depth information on sustainable practices, visits to the industrial plant to collect the much needed evidence, and interviews with stakeholders.
The sustainability standard is based on twelve environmental, social and governance principles. They are: