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2022 ESG Report
Just as we have led the industry with development of innovations for more than 100 years, we are now setting standards required to lead steel manufacturing into a sustainable future.
From market insights to industry trends, U. S. Steel leaders share their perspectives on events shaping our future.
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by Richard L Fruehauf,
Sustainability has become a crucial aspect of any business strategy, and at U. S. Steel it is in all facets of our operations. From designing new, greener steels, to building a state-of-the-art steel plant in Arkansas, we have put sustainability at the forefront. That’s because at U. S. Steel, we have made it a priority to be a part of creating a sustainable future, and while it has not been without challenges, we have learned, adapted and made significant progress. Below are three core insights we have gained throughout our efforts and will continue to integrate going forward.
1. Sustainability must be linked to business strategy
At U. S. Steel, we see sustainability deeply ingrained in all of our business operations, knowing it’s essential to meeting the needs of our customers and stakeholders. To ensure that our business objectives are aligned with our sustainability goals, we have structured our corporate governance in a way that emphasizes sustainability. Our Board of Directors oversees our company's purpose, values and strategy. Certain matters are delegated to the standing committees of the Board for more specific oversight, and this includes sustainability priorities.
2. No one can “go it alone”
Collaboration is key to progress. At U. S. Steel, we understand the importance of partnerships and we engage regularly in conversations with customers, investors, suppliers and employees to find opportunities and inspiration that we can use in our operations.
For example, with our customers, we start by gaining an understanding of their needs, engineering requirements and potential hurdles. Together, we create a solution, which could be a specialized product or modification of an existing one. Some solutions have included using less steel and minimizing transportation and production costs.
We have also formed partnerships with various organizations. In one, we focused on improving the efficiency and longevity of our manufacturing equipment by creating a first-of-its-kind virtual simulation of the blast furnace process in collaboration with Purdue University (Northwest and West Lafayette), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Linde and the Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office. This simulation will enable operators to make data-driven, real-time decisions, thus increasing efficiency and prolonging the lifespan of the equipment.
Recently we partnered with GE Appliances, a Haier company, to reduce our carbon footprint using Advanced High-Strength Steels and closed-loop scrap programs. We also recently began working with CarbonFree to pursue the capture of CO2 emissions from our Gary Works manufacturing plant in Indiana.
3. Strength of commitment
Creating a sustainable future requires a focused approach. At U. S. Steel, we concentrate on making measurable impacts that will benefit our employees, communities, customers and suppliers, and the planet. We believe we can make a meaningful difference by having clear ambitions: becoming net-zero by 2050, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2030 (Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions) , innovating steels for customers’ evolving needs, reducing our water consumption, recycling scrap metal and more.
Ambitions can result in additional innovation. In 2021, we introduced a new line of sustainable steel called verdeX®, which has 70-80 percent lower CO2 emissions compared to integrated steels. verdeX® steel is created using up to 90 percent recycled content and, like all steel, is infinitely recyclable without any loss of quality.
Furthermore, we have integrated new technologies such as the mini-mill, which uses recycled scrap metal as a starting material. This technology unlocks the true potential of steel's infinite 100 percent recyclability.
U. S. Steel is committed to sustainability, and it is a crucial aspect of our mission to shape the future. By implementing these three key principles, companies can make sustainability an integral part of their business strategy and actively contribute to a healthier planet.
About the author
contains information that may constitute "forward-looking
statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the
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