Green Steel

Introduction to Green Steel

The term “Green Steel” has been all over our industry for a while now. But if you take a closer look at the topic, you quickly realize that there is no universal definition for green steel. The term is rather used at the moment to describe steel that is produced in a CO2-reduced manner. A similar situation can be observed with certificates and labels. The first producers are having their steel certified as “green”. However, these certificates vary and are therefore difficult for customers to compare.

We have eliminated that problem by developing an universal definition that is based on customers demand, steel producer perspectives, steel production technology routes and the

GHG Protocol The GHG Protocol is the leading carbon accounting body and headed by the World Resources Institute. It closely collaborates with the Carbon Disclousure Project and the Science Based Target Initiative.

as the leading carbon accounting standard.

This ground-breaking result will help our customers build sustainable value chains and achieve their sustainability goals.

"Our categorization will bring more transparency to the green steel market for our customers. We want to lead the way and have set an ambitious target: by 2025, over 30% of our products will come from the most sustainable categories."

Guido Kerkhoff
CEO Klöckner & Co SE

Green Steel - We Defined 6 Categories

Emissions from raw material exploration to the finished steel product
Emissions includes Scopes 1 to 3U: supply chain, power and production.
Without offsetting or crediting
Physical production emissions determine categorization.
Certified calculations along leading standards
Calculations are certified externally by leading certification bodies.
Separate category for 'balanced' green steel
Emission re-balancing between steel volumes from the same mill results in a calculated instead of a physical carbon footprint – separate class acknowledges efforts of players with physical reduction

“Balanced” carbon loads

All steel passing through a production pathway has physically the same carbon footprint

On the books, this footprint is sometimes re-balanced between steel volumes into tons of steel with higher and lower carbon footprints.

Corporate Emissions

Scope 1Scope 1: Direct emissions from a company’s own facilities and from company vehicles.

includes all emissions that are directly caused by the company. Examples for a steel producer are:

Emissions at its own steel manufacturing plants
Emissions from own company vehicles


Scope 2,Scope 2: Indirect emissions from purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling for a company’s own use.

emissions are recorded that result from the consumption of purchased energy. This includes:

Emissions from purchased electricity
Emissions from district heating and cooling for the company’s own use

Here, emissions are recorded that occur even before the company’s own entrepreneurial activity. Examples for a steel producer are:

Purchased goods like raw materials (e.g. coke and iron) and services
Production of fixed assets
Transport of purchased goods to the steel producer’s facilities

Downstream Scope 3Downstream Scope 3: Indirect emissions resulting from the use of the products (incl. distribution, end-of-life, etc.).

comprises emissions that occur after the company’s own entrepreneurial activities. Examples for a steel producer are:

Processing of the steel products sold
Use of the sold steel products
Transport of the sold steel products to distributors like Klöckner & Co

What Are The Benefits For Customers?

Until now, that the lack of a consistent definition of the term “green steel” was a problem. With our strict limits, we ensure that the term “green steel” is only used for products with the lowest possible emissions. In addition, the other categories make it easier for customers to distinguish among carbon-reduced products. Customers are thus able to include correspondingly lower emission figures in their carbon footprint.
We take into account all emissions that have occurred in Scope 1 to Scope 3 upstream. For the first time, customers receive detailed information about the product’s footprint.
The categories and defined limits give customers a quick, transparent picture of the carbon emissions generated in the production of each finished product. This now makes it possible to compare products in terms of their environmental footprint.
Our calculation methods and strict limits for each category are based on scientific evidence and thus prevent product
greenwashingGreenwashing: the act of making false or misleading claims about the environmental benefits of a product, service, technology, etc.
. We ensure that the emissions data we provide is meaningful.
The production method of steel is crucial to the classification of the finished product. We are confident that our categories will accelerate the shift towards more sustainable production methods in our industry. This benefits customers by increasing the supply of green steel.

We Are The International Partner For Green Steel

To drive change in our industry and meet the needs of our customers in Europe and North America, we will offer a variety of steel products (flat products, long products and many more) in each category. We have already entered into partnerships to this end, such as with H2 Green Steel, which will ensure that we can supply significant quantities of green steel in the near future.

Products across all six categories
Broad variety of products available
Serving Europe and North America

Do you have any questions about the categories? Would you like to learn more? Just send us a message and our experts will be happy to help you.

Contact Us

Steel Production and Recycling

In view of climate change and the urgent need to cut

greenhouse gases Greenhouse gases include CO2, CH4, N2O, HCFs, PFCs, SF6, NF3. All GHGs are converted into CO2 equivalents.

such as carbon dioxide, steel has been the subject of debate since its production is often very emissions-intensive. However, alternative production processes and other advantageous properties of steel reinforce our firm conviction:



Steel is a highly sought-after material thanks to its durability and low maintenance. Compared to other materials such as concrete or timber, however, there is another major advantage that will become even more important in the future: steel can be recycled an infinite number of times without any loss of quality.


When people think of the production of steel, they usually have images of

blast furnaces Blast Furnace: a blast furnace is one of the two predominant production pathways for steel, especially in Europe and Asia. The emissions of the blast furnace are more than twice those of the electric arc furnace.

in mind. In this energy-intensive process route, pig iron is produced in the blast furnace, which is then processed into crude steel by adding oxygen.

An alternative is the production with the

electric arc furnaceElectric Arc Furnace: an electric arc furnace is one of the two predominant production pathways for steel. In the US, it is even more common than the blast furnace, which is the chief pathway in Europe and Asia. The emissions of an electric arc furnace are around 45% less than those of a blast furnace.

. In this method, recycled steel scrap or sponge iron produced from iron ore is melted into crude steel.

Compared to the conventional blast furnace route, an electric arc furnace produces up to 80% fewer carbon emissions. However, as emissions are still caused by this process, there is a growing desire for even more carbon-reduced steel to be produced through the use of renewable energies and green

hydrogen.Hydrogen: through the use of new technologies, hydrogen is a key vector that will allow GHG emissions from the iron and steel sector to be significantly reduced.

Blast Oven Furnace

Iron ore pellets and sinter feed are the iron-bearing raw materials. Coke from metallurgical coal is the main energy source. These elements and limestone are fed into the blast oven furnace from the top, while hot air is blasted in from the bottom. The burning coke creates temperatures of ~2000°C, extracting hot metal/pig iron from the raw material. ​The hot metal is transformed into steel through oxidation in a basic oxygen furnace. Often some scrap is added. The resulting liquid steel is then cast.

Electric Arc Furnace

Most EAF mills use scrap as their main input. In regions with competitive gas prices

direct reduced iron Direct reduced iron is produced from iron ore via direct reduction. A gas or an elemental carbon usually serves as a reductant. In the past, this has typically been natural gas or coal. In the future, it may be hydrogen.

may also be used. For direct reduced iron, iron ore and pellets can be reduced in a solid state for use in the EAF. Natural gas is usually used as a reductant. Scrap or direct reduced iron is melted in an EAF at around 3000°C. Graphite electrodes function as an arc to transform the electrical energy into heat.

Hydrogen Based

The future of steel is green. And there are two possible ways to get there. The first is steel from EAF production that uses 100% scrap and is powered with renewable energy. Given the finite amount of scrap, steel production via this route is naturally limited. The second way is using green H2 as the reductant for direct reduced iron in an electric arc furnace pathway (see electric arc furnace).


Sustainability Benefits of Steel


Through recycling, the steel industry saves enough energy to supply the annual electricity needs of more than 18 million homes.


Recycling the steel from one car reduces greenhouse gases equivalent to using more than 150 gallons of gasoline.

Interested in learning more?

Learn More About Green Steel

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