Steel News

Green Steel Is in Demand. So Are the Workers to Make It.

6/27/2023 - Should there be any question, steel users, especially those producing higher-end products, do, in fact, want green steel, Nucor Corp. chair and chief executive officer Leon Topalian said on Tuesday.

Opening the second day of the Global Steel Dynamics Forum, Topalian spoke to the demand for green steel products and said they are important to his company’s product portfolio.

“(Green steel) is becoming incredibly important,” especially so for automotive and higher-end manufacturers. “(Those) segments are demanding cleaner and cleaner steels, and wanting a true net-zero product.”

Case in point, he said, is Nucor’s green steel offering, Econiq, which was launched in 2021. Nucor delivered its first Econiq coil to General Motors in 2022, and the company expects to supply more than 1 million tons over the next 12 months, Topalian said.  

“The segment is growing, and the demand is growing,” he said.

While steel users are demanding demand green steel, steel producers are demanding people who can make it. And it’s not entirely clear that those workers will be around.

Commercial Metals Company chairman and chief executive officer  Barbara Smith said that recruiting a talented and capable workforce must be a steel industry priority. Fortunately, she said, the industry has a compelling case to make as a career choice.

“We have a great story to tell about our technology-driven operations. We offer young people who increasingly want to work for mission-driven companies and are hungry to change the world a unique opportunity unavailable to them elsewhere,” she said in accepting the Willy Korf/Ken Iverson Steel Vision Award.  

“If purpose-driven, environmentally concerned, tech-savvy young people are searching for a way to make a real, tangible and
lasting difference, then we need to convince them to join our industry.”

Organized by the Association for Iron & Steel Technology and World Steel Dynamics, the Global Steel Dynamics Forum is taking place in New York City. Check AIST Steel News for additional updates.