Brazil-based Gerdau S.A., which has several scrap-fed electric arc furnace (EAF) steel mills in North America, cites a recycled content figure of more than 70 percent in a newly released CO2 emissions strategy document.
The company’s board of directors has approved a climate change strategy that sets a target to reduce its emissions of CO2 to 0.83 metric tons of CO2 per metric ton of steel produced by 2031. The company says it emitted 0.93 metric tons of CO2 per metric ton of steel made (using scopes 1 and 2 measures) in 2020.
“Gerdau’s production model and efforts for over a century have placed the Company at the vanguard on the issue of greenhouse gas emissions,” the firm says. “Currently, we have one of the lowest emission averages in the steel industry, which is equivalent to approximately half of the global industry average.”
Atop a list of factors working in its favor, Gerdau says 73 percent of the steel it produces comes from the recycling of ferrous scrap. “Gerdau S.A. is the largest recycler in Latin America, transforming 11 million metric tons of scrap into steel. This enables us to save natural resources and reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,” the firm says.
It also lists “higher use of scrap” as among the techniques it will deploy to further reduce its carbon footprint by 2031.
Gerdau operates a network of scrap yards in North America to support its steelmaking throughout the hemisphere. The company ranked 11th on Recycling Today’s 2020 list of North America’s Largest Ferrous Scrap Processors. It has submitted a figure of 3.2 million tons processed in 2021 for its inclusion in the upcoming 2022 version of the list.
Gerdau says it aims to be carbon neutral by 2050. “For this, disruptive technologies are necessary in steel production, which are not yet economically and operationally feasible on an industrial scale,” states the firm. “Our efforts are also dedicated to clean and renewable energy solutions. Gerdau S.A. has already announced the construction of solar complexes in Brazil and the United States. Moreover, we will continue to streamline our production processes and invest in new energy matrices and open innovation.”