Image: The Hybrit pilot green steel hydrogen plant in Sweden | Credit: SSAB
A clutch of major green energy and automotive firms including Iberdrola, Siemens Gamesa, Vattenfall BA Wind and Volvo Cars have today committed to using 50 per cent low emission steel in their manufacturing operations by 2030, having become the latest to sign up to the SteelZero initiative.
The four firms, which are all significant consumers of steel, join existing members such as Maersk, Ørsted and Lendlease in backing the coalition, through which signatories must also commit to procuring 100 per cent net zero steel by 2050.
Steelmaking is currently one of the biggest emitters of CO2 globally, representing around seven per cent of global annual emissions, a figure that is expected to rise alongside demand for steel over the coming years unless concerted action is taken to shift towards greener manufacturing technologies.
As such, SteelZero was established by the Climate Group in partnership with ResponsibleSteel in a bid to harness the collective purchasing power and influence of its corporate members, thereby sending a message to steelmakers about the increasing demand for sustainable green steel.
"This group of businesses from two highly influential sectors committing to SteelZero, marks a significant step change in the demand signal for low emission and net zero steel," said Jen Carson, head of industry at Climate Group. "Both renewable energy and automotive sectors play a key role in driving the net zero transition. In doing so they're supporting the creation of a decarbonised steel market that can enable each sector to meet their net zero targets."
Iberdrola and Vattenfall BA Wind are both significant players in the renewable energy sector as leading providers of both onshore and offshore wind power. Siemens Gamesa, meanwhile, builds, develops and supplies wind turbines for energy firms such as Iberdrola and Vattenfall BA Wind.
"Vattenfall has pledged to halve greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain by 2030," said Helene Biström, head of Vattenfall Business Area Wind. "For Vattenfall BA Wind a large part of the supply chain emissions comes from steel. By committing to SteelZero, we aim to join forces with other industry players and in that way speed up the transition to a responsible, net zero steel industry."
Volvo Cars, meanwhile, is the first automotive manufacturer to join SteelZero, which it said would send a signal to the steel industry and the wider automotive sector about the growing market for green steel.
"By signalling our demand for responsibly sourced low- and zero-carbon steel, we aim to help drive an increased supply to our sector," said Kerstin Enochsson, chief procurement officer at Volvo Cars. "A sustainable approach to steelmaking is not just good news for the environment, it is also good business as it limits our exposure to future climate risks and regulations."