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SteelZero joins other NGOs in supporting updated standard defining responsibly produced steel

15 September 2022, 8:55 UTC 4 min read

In an open letter, SteelZero joins a group of NGOs in recognising the ResponsibleSteel Standard 2.0 as a critical step in the net zero transition of the steel industry. The group encourages steel producers to adopt the Standard and for steel buyers to commit to purchasing ResponsibleSteel certified steel through SteelZero.

The ResponsibleSteel Standard sets a clear understanding on what is considered low emission and near-zero steel, and gives steel buyers the right information to accelerate action towards net zero. As the Standard forms a key part of the SteelZero commitment, it strengthens the collective voice of our members and boosts the demand signal for net zero steel.

See the full open letter below

Global civil society groups applaud launch of new international standard defining sustainably produced and sourced steel

Civil society groups applaud the update of the ResponsibleSteel Standards (V2.0) and recognise it as a critical step in the net zero transition of the steel industry. ResponsibleSteel civil society members are committed to continuing to work together to support steel buyers and producers in achieving full alignment with a 1.5-degree pathway.

Decarbonizing the global steel industry is critical to achieving the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit warming to 1.5 degrees celsius and for this, investments in clean steelmaking need to begin in this decade. The new ResponsibleSteel standard will provide steel buyers and steel makers with a robust and independently-verified certification for low-emission and responsibly-produced steel.

Steel is a key part of a new clean energy economy. From wind turbines to railways to electric motors and buildings, steel is a building block for a low-emissions society. ResponsibleSteel certification will help buyers choose clean steel and provide added value to steelmakers for producing a cleaner product.

ResponsibleSteel is the world’s first multi-stakeholder standard for low greenhouse gas emissions and responsibly sourced steel. It covers a range of sustainability issues: climate change, pollution and human rights concerns by taking into account both direct and upstream greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, pollution from mining coal and iron ore, labor standards, and more. These new standards, created through a multi-year, fair and rigorous process, including input from a diverse array of civil society stakeholders, is a major step forward and an important starting point to transform the sector.

We commend ResponsibleSteel for its commitment to decarbonizing the global steel industry and look forward to continuing our work together toward improvement through the standard’s review process to achieve full alignment with the 1.5-degree pathway.

We encourage steel producers to adopt the standard and gain ResponsibleSteel Certification on all their sites, and for steel buyers to clearly signal purchasing ResponsibleSteel certified steel.

Strengthening the global understanding of what is considered sustainably produced steel is critical to aligning the industry and driving change at the scale and pace needed.

Armond Cohen, Founder and President at Clean Air Task Force said: Decarbonizing the steel industry is critical to reaching our global climate goals, and the impact of the revised Standard 2.0 toward these efforts across the supply chain cannot be overstated. Achieving global decarbonization – including hard-to-abate industrial sectors like steel – needs to be met with both ambition and action, and the ResponsibleSteel standard is a significant step in the right direction.”

Daniel Seligman, Director for Clean Energy Solutions at Ceres said: ResponsibleSteel will galvanize steelmakers, steel buyers, and investors alike to curb emissions and promote social good from an industry crucial to modern economies.”

Gitika Mohta, Manager of Industry and Built Environment, Systems Transformation at We Mean Business Coalition (WMB) said: “WMB is a proud supporter of ResponsibleSteel and we applaud the evolution of the new standard that is pioneering, pathbreaking and desperately needed to decode whether steel is responsibly produced and sourced. The standard creates a unified market and understanding of what each company across the value chain needs to be aiming for.”

Glenn Hurowitz, Founder and CEO at Mighty Earth said: We applaud the launch of this new ResponsibleSteel standard and recognize their efforts to ensure that deforestation has no place in the steel industry's future. By limiting charcoal, wood and biomass used in steelmaking to existing FSC-certified plantations, the standard will serve to keep forests standing, protecting precious biomes such as the Amazon, for people, nature and climate. And now is the time for steelmakers to invest in the next generation of steelmaking infrastructure, including renewable electricity-powered electric arc furnaces and green hydrogen that can produce iron without relying on coal.”

Jen Carson, Head of Industry at Climate Group said: “With the launch of ResponsibleSteel’s updated Standard (V2.0), we now have clear requirements on both greenhouse gas emissions and responsible sourcing of input materials. As the Standard forms a key part of our SteelZero commitment, these additional requirements will strengthen and clarify the collective voice of our members, boosting the demand signal for low emission and net zero steel and accelerating the net zero transition of one of the highest emitting sectors on the planet.”

Sue Riddlestone OBE, Co-founder, and Chief Executive at Bioregional said: “As an organisation working with clients in the building products and built environment sectors, we welcome the launch of the new ResponsibleSteel Standard. It provides a valuable means for steel manufacturers to reduce their environmental impacts and help raise standards across the industry, and for end users to act – whether they are at the start of their sustainability journey or pushing forward towards a best practice approach to steel procurement."