Stainless Steel CO2 Emissions Report

Published 05 September 2023

Like any other major industry, the stainless steels industry consistently endeavours to reduce its operational CO2 emissions year-on-year. Industry direct emissions and indirect emissions have, due to solid industry improvement efforts, progressively reduced over the last decade. The released report outlines the differences between the scrap-based and Nickel Pig Iron (NPI) production system and the emissions associated with them. Although 95% of stainless steel scrap is collected for recycling at the end-of-life, there is not enough stainless steel scrap available globally, therefore these production routes will co-exist for several decades to come.

Depending on the scrap mix, the following average CO2 emissions result from the production of stainless steels. It is to be noted that these totals include Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions and are defined as ‘Cradle to Gate’ emissions.

It is fair to say that the production emissions for stainless steels whilst being relatively low only are partly informative. There are two high-level production systems at play, both of which are necessary to support the global demand for stainless steels. Over the coming years the production emissions associated with NPI will progressively fall as greener technologies in the production of NPI become more widely utilised.

It should also be noted that the life cycle emissions associated with using stainless steels offer a different and more compelling perspective of the benefits of using sustainable and resilient materials. For significant products and installations around 70% of the life cycle emissions occur in the usage or operational phase and therefore selecting materials that do not degrade and equally do not require significant maintenance and/or partial replacement presents a different and much lower emissions profile when compared to other material choices.

Download the full report in English Download the report in Chinese Contact worldstainless


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