Buildings and their construction currently account for 36% of global energy use and 39% of energy related carbon dioxide emissions. Reducing those numbers is obviously key to delivering on the environmental and sustainability commitments which were made in both the 2016 Paris Agreement and the EU’s Green Deal.
As an organisation, ArcelorMittal acknowledges the role that we have to play in that and has committed to reducing own CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2050. We are aiming to lead the global steel industry on the path to decarbonising steel production and have introduced a number of exciting new initiatives and green innovation projects designed to help us get there.
Under the XCarb® umbrella brand which encompasses all of the Group’s reduced, low and zero carbon steel making activity, there are a number of programmes aimed specifically at the construction market.
These are: XCarb® Green Steel Certificates, XCarb® recycled and renewably produced pioneering products and our XCarb® innovation fund.
XCarb® green steel certificates
We’re proud to be the first steel producer in our industry to launch green steel certificates, which will support customers in reducing the Scope 3 emissions that they can report in line with the GHC Protocol Corporate Reporting and Accounting Standard.
Similar in concept to the Renewable Energy Certificates used extensively in the power generation market which certify where energy has been generated from a renewable source, these ArcelorMittal green steel certificates will be available to purchase alongside steel orders placed with ArcelorMittal Europe Flat Products, where big investments are being made in reducing carbon emissions from the blast furnace.
The green steel certificates represent the CO2 savings achieved compared with the average CO2 intensity of integrated steelmaking in Europe and can be attached to physical orders of steel. As a Group, we expect to have around 600,000 tonnes of equivalent green steel tonnes available by the end of 2022.
XCarb® recycled and renewably produced pioneering products
Customers buying from ArcelorMittal Construction can also now choose products made via our Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) route which uses scrap, recycled steel and is powered by renewable electricity. The carbon footprint of this finished steel can be as little as 300kg of CO2 per tonne if the metallic content is exclusively scrap, so the overall impact on the carbon footprint of a building can be significant.
XCarb™ innovation fund
As well as our own programmes, ArcelorMittal also plans to invest up to $100m a year in companies who are developing their own pioneering or breakthrough technologies which can be scaled to support our journey towards decarbonised steelmaking.
These XCarb® initiatives are running alongside the ArcelorMittal Group’s ongoing investment in breakthrough Smart Carbon and DRI (Direct Reduced Iron) technologies, both of which offer routes towards carbon-neutral steelmaking by 2050.
Smart Carbon focuses on using circular carbon, clean energies and carbon capture and storage in steelmaking while DRI technologies involve moving from predominantly natural gas towards hydrogen as the key reductant in ironmaking.
Some of these will be ready for commercial-scale use by 2025 and we certainly expect to be partially deploying Smart Carbon technologies across our facilities in Europe by 2030.