At ArcelorMittal, our mission is to support the automotive industry and build a better world with smarter steels. The steels we produce are cleaner and stronger than ever before, and they are already shaping the future of mobility.
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David Clarke, ArcelorMittal’s head of strategy and chief technology officer, highlights the impact materials have on our planet, and how are we to mitigate the risks, while responding to the global demand for steel.
To build a more sustainable tomorrow, we need to improve what we make and how we make it. That’s why ArcelorMittal has set an ambitious goal to significantly reduce our global CO2 emissions and ensure our European operations are carbon neutral by 2050. An interim target for Europe by 2030 is to cut carbon emissions by 30% to contribute to the European Commission’s ‘Green Deal’, as announced in a press release in December 2019.
Our approach is to combine best practice with existing technologies to develop breakthrough solutions which will enable us to meet our targets. We are doing this by exploring technologies which utilize:
We realize that issues of the environment and sustainability are bigger than any one company. That is why we work alongside other stakeholders to create a culture which supports investment in smarter, more sustainable steels which provide long-term solutions for future infrastructure and products.
In July 2019, we were rated second overall in the latest report from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). The report ranks the 20 largest publicly listed steel companies worldwide. In the five categories which assess how ready companies are to transition to a low carbon economy, ArcelorMittal took top place.
In 2019, ArcelorMittal was also recognized as a Steel Sustainability Champion for the second year running by the World Steel Association (worldsteel). The accolade distinguishes steel companies which are leading by example to create a truly sustainable steel industry.
And in October 2019, ArcelorMittal won worldsteel’s Steelie Award for excellence in sustainability. This was third year in succession that ArcelorMittal has received the award. The award recognizes ArcelorMittal’s industry leadership on sustainability amid the growing pressure steel companies are facing to outline their approach to reducing carbon emissions.
Recycling and reusing steel are two ways to support a high quality, low carbon future for all. But ArcelorMittal is going one step further and exploring smart ideas which recycle our carbon emissions into new and valuable resources.
Waste gases from the steelmaking process are rich in carbon. That’s why we capture a large proportion of our carbon emissions as CO/CO2 rich gas and transfer them to local power plants where they are used to generate energy. While this fits our goal of reusing waste products, it still results in CO2 being emitted to the atmosphere as part of the power generation process.
Looking to the future, this technology will become redundant when carbon-based power production is completely displaced by renewable sources of energy generation which have little or no carbon footprint. That’s why we are already exploring technologies which can take this ‘waste’ carbon and turn it into bioethanol to power tomorrow’s mobility.
In May 2019, ArcelorMittal published our first Climate Action report. In the report, ArcelorMittal announced our ambition to significantly reduce CO2 emissions globally and for the business to be carbon neutral in Europe by 2050. To achieve this goal, we are building a strategic roadmap linked to the evolution of public policy and developments in low-emission steelmaking technologies.
The Climate Action report explains in greater detail the future challenges and opportunities for the steel industry. It also outlines the plausible technology pathways ArcelorMittal is exploring, and our views on the policy environment required for the steel industry to succeed in meeting the Paris Agreement targets.