Steel the Sustainable Way – Three Steps to Transforming Our Future

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

Richard L. Fruehauf is Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer at U. S. Steel

Forward-Looking Statements:

This webpage contains information that may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. We intend the forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements in those sections. Generally, we have identified such forward-looking statements by using the words "believe," "expect," "intend," "estimate," "anticipate," "project," "target," "forecast," "aim," "should," "will," "may" and similar expressions or by using future dates in connection with any discussion of, among other things, the construction or operation of new or existing facilities or operating capabilities, the timing, size and form of share repurchase transactions, operating or financial performance, trends, events or developments that we expect or anticipate will occur in the future, statements relating to volume changes, share of sales and earnings per share changes, anticipated cost savings, potential capital and operational cash improvements, changes in the global economic environment, including supply and demand conditions, inflation, interest rates, supply chain disruptions and changes in prices for our products, international trade duties and other aspects of international trade policy, statements regarding our future strategies, products and innovations, statements regarding our greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, statements regarding existing or new regulations and statements expressing general views about future operating results. However, the absence of these words or similar expressions does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but instead represent only the Company's beliefs regarding future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of the Company's control. It is possible that the Company's actual results may differ, possibly materially, from the anticipated results indicated in these forward-looking statements. Management believes that these forward-looking statements are reasonable as of the time made. However, caution should be taken not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements because such statements speak only as of the date when made. Our Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. In addition, forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our Company's historical experience and our present expectations or projections. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risks and uncertainties described on this webpage and in "Item 1A. Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and those described from time to time in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.