Japan's transition to green steel

Japan has a proud history of high-quality steel production. But as one of its most polluting industries, it must be decarbonised for the country to achieve its 2050 net zero targets.

Steelmaking blast furnace
photo of blast furnace

Tackling one of Japan's highest emitting industries

Steel is the building block of Japan’s economy and supports tens of thousands of jobs. Around the world, Japan is known for high quality steel production for many sectors, including the automotive and construction industries.

But steel is Japan's worst polluter, responsible for over 40% of Japan’s industrial CO2 emissions. With over half of Japan’s blast furnaces needing reinvestment by 2030, the country has a unique opportunity to invest in new technology to produce green steel.

Now is the time for Japanese businesses to show their demand for net zero steel. Investment in green steel will help Japan meet its 2050 net zero targets and retain business export opportunities in international green markets.

SteelZero logo

SteelZero: a global initiative building demand for net zero steel

SteelZero is a global initiative that brings together leading organisations to speed up the transition to a net zero steel industry. Organisations who join SteelZero make a public commitment to buy, specify or use 50% low emission steel by 2030, setting a clear pathway to using 100% net zero steel by 2050. 

By harnessing members’ collective purchasing power and influence, SteelZero sends a strong demand signal to shift global markets and policies towards responsible production and sourcing of steel.

Bunkyo Civic Center, Tokyo, Japan

The business opportunity of net zero steel

Gain a competitive advantage by transitioning to net zero steel

As the second-largest steel exporter in the world, Japan needs to decarbonise to remain globally competitive. With stricter climate regulations coming into force, the risk of not transitioning could cost your business.

The EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and US Inflation Reduction Act will introduce new tariffs on high carbon goods imported from outside of the EU and the US. With further tariffs planned in other regions that will penalise high emission products, the global markets for non-decarbonised steel will shrink further.

By switching to net zero steel now, Japanese companies can maintain strong trading links with these export markets while others find themselves priced out by carbon taxes. Transitioning to net zero steel will help you reach your climate targets and secure a sustainable future for your business.

cars on a production line being assembled

The business opportunity of net zero steel

Attract high value international customers who want green products

Across the world, customers are demanding low carbon products and are willing to pay a premium to procure them. A growing number of companies have science based decarbonisation targets and are looking to invest in low carbon materials to meet their goals.

By decarbonising supply chains, Japanese businesses can position themselves as socially responsible and gain access to this growing pool of high value customers interested in green products.

SteelZero members lead the way

The power of SteelZero comes from our members who are sector-leaders in construction, automobile, shipping and renewable energy industries.

Global business leaders from the largest sectors that buy Japanese steel, such as Volvo Cars and Lendlease, have joined SteelZero. There's a clear opportunity for Japanese companies to now add their voices to the call for Japanese steel decarbonisation.

"Decarbonising steel in our supply chains is vital to reach our goal of becoming a climate-neutral company by 2040. As a member of SteelZero, we’re driving demand for the decarbonisation of the global steel industry. We urge leaders of Japanese businesses to join the coalition and work together to speed up the transition to net zero steel and a sustainable future."

Naomi Fudo, Managing Director, Volvo Car Japan

Why SteelZero?

Share knowledge

Share vital knowledge on the challenges and solutions to driving the steel industry’s net zero transition. 

Build partnerships

Join a community of like-minded businesses globally committed to decarbonising the steel industry.

Signal ambition

Communicate a clear strategy on tackling your embodied carbon emissions.

Engage with stakeholders

Get support to engage your supply chains and influence policy makers to address the key barriers to achieving your net zero targets.

Sign up to SteelZero

If you’re interested in joining SteelZero, or would like to find out more about our work, please get in touch.