South Korea's transition to green steel

Steel is the building block of South Korea’s economy. Around the world, Korea is known for innovative, high quality and long-lasting steel and steel products. But steel is South Korea’s worst-polluter, responsible for almost 40% of  industrial greenhouse gas emissions.  

South Korea is uniquely placed to speed up global steel decarbonisation. The country has a proud record of innovating at speed and scale across many different sectors.

Steelmaking blast furnace

Now is the time for South Korean businesses to play their part and demand net zero steel, support their steel industry’s decarbonisation and take advantage of new business opportunities. 

Helen presenting at the KCCI seminar

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. Companies who join SteelZero make a public commitment to buy and use 50% low emission steel by 2030, setting a clear pathway to using 100% net zero steel by 2050. 

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

50% low emission steel by 2030

100% net zero steel by 2050

Cargo ship at sunset

The business opportunity of net zero steel

Gain a competitive advantage by transitioning to net zero steel 

Steel users around the world are calling out for green steel. The potential benefits to steel makers, users and the environment are enormous. This is a race that South Korea can win. Take the shipbuilding industry where South Korean firms are amongst the biggest and most innovative companies. Decarbonising shipping is vital for the environment and the global economy. Global shipping giants are looking to Asian ship builders and steel makers to rise to the challenge and produce the first ships using net zero steel before the end of this decade.

Attract customers who want low-carbon products

South Korean companies that embrace sustainable practices will attract customers who value products with a lower carbon footprint. Research shows that South Koreans are willing to pay more for low-carbon products. For instance, a study into sales of eco-labelled TVs in South Korea has shown that consumers will pay a premium for sustainably produced goods. 

Car production factory

The business opportunity of net zero steel

Save costs by switching to net zero steel

Transitioning to net zero steel will lead to significant long-term cost savings. In the long-term, the business case for net zero steel is clear – especially as  regulations tighten and carbon taxes rise. South Korean businesses will save money by switching to net zero steel which runs on cheaper renewable energy, improves operational efficiency, and lowers carbon-related expenses.

Stricter climate regulations means 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.  By switching to net zero steel now, South Korean 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. 

“Steel is an important part of the supply chain for many businesses and decarbonising this sector isn’t a challenge any single company can achieve on its own. That’s why we became a founding member of SteelZero. Together we’re building this collective ambition and driving demand for a future of net zero steel.”

Ida Krabek, Senior Director, Global Head of Sustainability, Ørsted

SteelZero members lead the way

The power of SteelZero comes from our members who are sector-leaders in shipping, automobile, construction and renewable energy industries. They’re making change happen. 

Engaging with policymakers

The South Korean government has committed to powering its net zero steelmaking with clean energy sources. 

"Since South Korea's major steel companies are located in Chungcheongnam-do, we are actively pursuing policies for corporate restructuring in relation to the decarbonization of the steel industry while working closely with SteelZero to realize carbon neutrality in the steel industry."


Deputy Governor of South Chungcheong Province, Kim Ki-young

Why join SteelZero?

Share knowledge and collaborate

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

Build partnerships

Join a community of work with other likeminded businesses globally committed to decarbonising the steel industry.

Signal ambition

Communicate a clear strategy on tackling your embodied carbon emissions.

Engage with stakeholders

Be supported 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.