Worldsteel Sustainability Indicators: A Decade of Collective Achievement by the Steel Industry
Worldsteel director general Edwin Basson said: “The steel industry established a set of eight sustainability indicators in 2003 to measure its environmental, social and economic performance, in recognition of the industry’s responsibility to meet the growing demand for steel in a sustainable way. Sustainability reporting at a global level is a major program that the steel industry undertakes to manage its performance, demonstrate its commitment to sustainability, enhance transparency and show responsibility in dealing with global challenges.
“We are one of the few industries that report at a global level and have done so since 2004. In 2005, 35 steel companies participated in the reporting and now more than 90 companies have joined the program. We will continue to encourage our members and non-members to participate in this initiative that benefits not only society, but individual companies as they compare performance and learn from each other’s experience.”
The recently published Sustainable steel: Policy and indicators 2013 compiles data from 2003 to 2012 for most indicators and shows performance trends of each indicator. Overall, the steel industry has improved most of its indicators.
For environmental performance, the average values of CO2 and energy consumption remained relatively stable from 2005 to 2011. CO2 emission decreased from 1.8 in 2005 to 1.7 (tonne of CO2/ tonne crude steel cast) in 2011 while energy intensity decreased from 22.9 to 19.6 (GJ/tonne crude steel cast) for the same period. The material efficiency indicator also remained relatively stable above 96 (% of material converted to products and by-products) between 2003 and 2012 except in 2011. The environmental management systems indicator shows overall an increasing trend between 2005 and 2012 from 84.0 to 89.3 (% of employees and contractors in EMS-registered production facilities), with a number of steel companies having achieved 100% steel plants certification.
For social performance, the lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) shows a steady and notable decline since 2005 from 7.6 to 1.6 (injuries/million hours worked) in 2012. The employee training indicator shows fluctuation, which could be related to economic conditions. The average result for employee training in 2012 was 8.1 (training days/employee).
For economic performance, investment in new processes and products shows a steady increase between 2003 and 2009. 2010 and 2011 saw a notable decrease in investment due to the effects of the global financial crisis. Steel companies reported an average value of 10% investments in new processes and products from annual revenue in 2012. The economic value distributed (EVD) indicator, which was launched in 2007, shows an increase from 2008 to 2012. The average result for EVD in 2012 was 97% of revenue.
The World Steel Association (worldsteel) is one of the largest and most dynamic industry associations in the world. worldsteel represents approximately 170 steel producers (including 17 of the world's 20 largest steel companies), national and regional steel industry associations, and steel research institutes. worldsteel members represent around 85% of world steel production.