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Why do you need to know about this
This one might not be for everyone, but if you’re in the market for steel you should read on, as it should help you (and your team) in your sourcing of low carbon steel.
The ResponsibleSteel Standard was developed to recognise steel sites that are operated in a responsible manner. Version 2.0 (September 2022) incorporates additional requirements on GHG emissions and the sourcing of input materials, including 13 Principles covering environmental, social and governance issues. It is hoped that V2.0 plays a pivotal role in driving down GHG emissions and driving up standards in the supply chain, helping companies transition to a responsible, decarbonised future. It’s the basis for both ‘Certified Site’ and ‘Certified Steel’ certification.
I’ve mentioned The Climate Group before, and they are a member of ResponsibleSteel. Between these two bodies they run the SteelZero initiative (something I’ve been a part of as a founding SteelZero member at Grosvenor). The team at SteelZero have, with member input, fed into critical conversations that shaped V2.0.
Back to ResponsibleSteel, there are many criterion for each of the 13 Principles which must be followed to achieve Certified Site or Steel status. Criterion 10.6 is worthy of particular note, as it sets out the requirements to be able to market or sell products as ResponsibleSteel certified.
There are four defined performance levels (1-4), for both GHG emissions performance and for progress on the responsible sourcing of input materials. These allow users and specifiers to distinguish between products depending on the GHG emissions intensity of the crude steel from which they are produced.
Level 1 is the ‘entry’ level, Level 4 the hardest to obtain.
A similar chart has been developed by SteelZero, which defines their interim commitment target1 for “Low Embodied Carbon” steel. If you were to overlay the two charts, it would sit between Levels 2 and 3 of the ResponsibleSteel thresholds.
So what does all this mean?
Well, you should be aware of ResponsibleSteel Version 2.0 as you might see a supplier telling you they have this certification, or alternatively you might want to specify it when you next procure steel. For example, “I require level or better”.
And if you’re a member of SteelZero, then you’ve already made interim (2030) and long term (2050) public commitments, so I’d say it’s pretty important to know about these charts and criteria. If you want to join SteelZero, email Jen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If anyone wants to know more then get in touch and I’ll help make some introductions.
Commitment to [procuring/specifying/stocking] a total of 50% of steel requirement by 2030, meeting one or a combination of the following conditions:
ResponsibleSteel Certified Steel, or steel meeting an equivalent international standard
Steel produced by a steelmaking site where the site’s corporate owner has defined and made public both a long-term emissions reduction pathway and a medium-term, quantitative science-based GHG emissions target for the corporation. A science-based target approved by the SBTi (Science Based Targets initiative) or other quantitative, scientifically justified target of comparable ambition, quality and coverage would meet this interim requirement in full.
“Low Embodied Carbon” steel.