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Sustainable Steel

Annual CO2 savings: Get closer to climate targets today with steel from Steeltec.

Small ecological footprint for maximum efficiency

At Steeltec, we are aware of our responsibility towards the environment and society. Increasing our efficiency from steel melting to bright steel production has always been part of our DNA and has made us one of the most ecologically efficient steel producers in our class.

This efficiency is reflected in our CO2 savings, which are impressive compared to the World Steel mix. The main drivers of these savings are our scrap route, our energy concept, our closed-loop approach and our differentiated environmental management system.

From the steel mill to bright steel production, we strive to minimize our environmental footprint. With our highly efficient production facilities and exclusive production with an electric arc furnace, we can significantly reduce our CO2 emissions compared with the world steel mix. Our products offer economic and ecological efficiency advantages along the downstream value chain and are therefore at the cutting edge of innovation.

In order to further reduce our carbon footprint, we now use only green electricity from hydropower plants for our steel mill in Emmenbrücke, Lucerne. This means we emit just 53 kg of CO2 per ton of crude steel (Scopes 1 and 2), which is around 98% less than the global average of 1890 kg of CO2 per ton of crude steel.

It is often underestimated in this respect, but no material is as sustainable as steel. This is one of the reasons why the topic of sustainable steel - or green steel - is currently one of the steel industry's focus topics. The aim is to develop special steels from an ecological point of view. Here, Steeltec is one of the most efficient steel producers.

From scrap to high-quality steel

Every year, around 1.5 million tons of scrap accumulates in Switzerland. Steeltec processes around 680,000 tons of scrap into quality products every year. The production of Sustainable Steel starts with the scrap to be used, because steel scrap, as a recycled material, is the basis for steel production. Whether in transportation, infrastructure, the energy sector, machine or vehicle construction, steel has been one of the most important materials for centuries - and is almost 100% recyclable.

The basic prerequisite for the production of sustainable steel is the electric steel process or the use of an electric arc furnace. Our electric arc furnace in Emmenbrücke uses electrical and chemical energy to melt the scrap and ferroalloys.

Change of perspective: by-products

The use of by-products is part of the circular economy. As a key driver of a circular economy, we at Steeltec pay close attention to every by-product that can be reused:

  • We use our annual 20 GWh of surplus heat from the rolling mill - enough for 800 households - to heat our own buildings, or offer part of it to the Lucerne district heating network.
  • The rock-like nature of electric furnace slag is used as a high-quality building material in road construction and is the ideal concrete granulate and ballast substitute.
  • Mill scale is reused in the cement industry.
  • The waste gases generated in the steel mill during the electric arc process are cleaned. This process produces filter dusts that still contain valuable materials (especially zinc), which are recovered by processing in specialized recycling companies. Processed zinc can then be used in electroplating operations, for example, or as an alloying metal, e.g. in brass alloys.

Shaping the future

Our commitment to sustainability is deeply rooted in our corporate culture. We strive to strike a balance between the needs of various stakeholders, economic success, environmental protection and social responsibility.

Precisely conducted life cycle assessments (LCAs) enable us to quantify the upstream and downstream emissions of our steels over their entire life cycle. This provides the basis for further reducing our environmental impact in the future.

Our efforts have not gone unnoticed: Steeltec Blankstahl was awarded "Silver" EcoVadis status in 2020. EcoVadis is the world's largest independent platform for sustainability ratings.

Sustainable Steel. For a future that matters.

We continue to work on our improvement. It is our vision to make the world better, safer, more efficient and more sustainable with our products. We dedicate our innovative power to developing products and processes for a better tomorrow.

We’re here for you.