For the steel industry to decarbonise it needs a globally agreed standard and definition for what qualifies as low emission and near zero steel. Gaining global alignment will crucially build collective action and accelerate progress right across the steel supply chain.
We consider the updated ResponsibleSteel Standard V2.0 to be the most progressive and rigorous standard to date. The variable thresholds of embodied greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), included in the Standard and referred to as the ‘sliding scale’, sets the global benchmarks for low emission and near-zero steel. This will critically drive structural and physical decarbonisation across all types of steelmaking. Importantly the Standard was created through a three year long consultation with businesses right across the supply chain, civil society groups (including SteelZero), associations, and other independent experts and organisations with a mandate to drive a sustainable steel industry.
We also support the accounting rules that underpin the ResponsibleSteel Standard V2.0. These firmly call for a fair and just net zero transition seeking to ensure that emerging economies, particularly India and countries in Africa, aren’t disadvantaged in the shift to net zero. We therefore understand the ‘sliding scale’ to form one part of the decarbonisation solution. Crucially we need a wide range of global actions to truly accelerate progress and drive:
- Reduction of steel demand
- Efficient use of steel
- Improved reuse and recycling of steel
- Design for circularity, disassembly and deconstruction
- Decarbonisation of the steel making process itself
Through the ResponsibleSteel Standard V2.0 we now have clear requirements on both greenhouse gas emissions and responsible sourcing of input materials. As the Standard forms a key part of the SteelZero commitment it strengthens and clarifies the collective voice of our members and boosts the clear, time bound and consistent demand signal for low emission and net zero steel.
Ultimately, the Standard V2.0 is accelerating the equitable net zero transition of one of the highest polluting sectors on the planet. Now we need the Standard to be integrated into all private and public sector procurement requirements and specifications. Coordinated action from across the entire industry is paramount to speeding up the net zero transition of the steel industry.
Please read the full policy briefing from ResponsibleSteel for more detailed information on the framing of the Standard V2.0.