When it comes to driving sustainability, one of Europe’s key, and most traditional industries, has been overlooked for quite some time now, often overshadowed by the seemingly more dynamic sectors such as mobility, energy and consumer products.
Ironically, steel, as a key foundation for all of these industries, is an integral part of most of these sectors. But this misconception is about to change.
This century-old industry suddenly turns out to be one of the most innovative markets developing CO2-reduced solutions. Products surrounding us in our everyday world – from appliances to cars, machinery to skyscrapers, bicycles to cruise ships. I am talking about steel.
While the steel industry is responsible for 7% of global CO2-emissions, CO2-reduced steel has become one of the hottest sustainability topics. There are several reasons for this dynamic development. Firstly, EU regulations will require manufacturers using steel as a base material to account for transparent value chains. Secondly, customers have come to view steel products differently now. Today, green steel is an added value asset helping companies to reach their decarbonisation targets. Thirdly, the market has seen a greatly increased awareness for more sustainable ways to produce steel as such. To meet these demands, quite a few steel companies have come up with leading-edge solutions for green steel by developing truly innovative technologies.
Moving ahead with Nexigen®: Green steel is the future for a century-old industry
Green steel is the way to go and this positive development is also reflected in statistics. According to a recent report by the Boston Consulting Group and Klöckner & Co SE, European demand for low-CO2 steel, for example, is expected to grow so fast, that by the end of this decade there will be a shortage in domestic supply by 15-20 million tons. This dramatically evolving demand for green steel is looming just around the corner. Between 2025-2030, this high demand is mostly driven by big steel customers, such as automotive OEMs, who need to secure significant volumes of green steel well before the end of the decade, in order to meet their near-term emission reduction targets, the study points out. By the same token, they need to satisfy their customers’ demand for greener end-products. The road to green steel is a two way street indeed.
One of the first companies responding to this demand and actually seeing the decarbonisation of the value chain as a particular opportunity is Klöckner & Co, one of the world’s largest producer-independent distributors of steel and metal products. Acting as a connecting link between steel producers and consumers with a global network in 13 countries, we at Klöckner & Co are providing our more than 90,000 customers local access to some 160 distribution and service center locations. One of the central hubs in our Klöckner & Co network is its German-based subsidiary, Becker Stahl-Service GmbH, which operates one of the most modern service centres in the European steel market.
Increasingly, customers and partners are making purchasing decisions with sustainability in mind in order to cut CO2 emissions. But the problem remains: How do you assess and document how ‘green’ a steel product really is?
To face this topic, Klöckner & Co has developed a special umbrella brand for its CO2-reduced steel and metal solutions. With Nexigen®, introduced in late 2022, we enable our customers to accelerate their green transformation. The aim is to help customers bringing CO2 emissions down. At the same time, we offer new opportunities and enable customers and their industries to drive sustainability. With Nexigen®, we offer green and sustainable metal products and transparent, CO2-reduced solutions for materials, operations and logistics.
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