EUROFER Update on Green Steel Initiatives in 2020
Eurofer’s Senior Manager Chemicals, Water & Sustainability Ms Leondina Della Pietra and General Manager Stainless Steel Health & Environment Mr Hans Regtuit have summarized various initiatives for Green Steel in Europe in 2020 for 2020 in EUROFER’s Annual Report. They wrote “The EUROFER secretariat identified that many dossiers at the European Commission and several Commission Communications mentioned the term green steel or low carbon steel or clean-steel. However, a coherent and harmonised definition of what they mean was totally absent. Moreover, the on-going de-carbonisation strategies put in place by EU steel producers are already resulting in the delivery of batches of steel that have substantially lower CO2 footprints. So this lack of a definition has relevance already. Finally, the action by the European Commission on sustainable products policy means a focus on ‘high impact intermediary products such as steel, cement and chemicals’.
Given these market and policy developments, the EUROFER secretariat launched a specific project to try to come to a common view on what is meant by ‘Green Steel’ or ‘Low- Carbon Steel’, and established a dedicated task force. The objectives of the project are, at the moment, twofold:
1. To define a sound methodology for demonstrating how a company steel production substantially contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions of its steel products
2. To a have ‘green steel’ definition to be recognised by end customers, consumers and product regulations as qualifying for preferential market access and helping all steel consuming sectors to reduce their carbon footprint
The EUROFER secretariat worked on the definition in 2020 and will continue to do so in order to issue a sound and credible definition. The project entails technological, secretariat launched a specific project to try to come to a common view on what is meant by ‘Green Steel’ or Low-Carbon Steel.“
The Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability is part of the EU Zero-Pollution Ambition for a toxic-free environment under the Green Deal, besides the Zero Pollution Action Plan for air, water and soil and the review of the measures to address the pollution from large scale industrial installations. The strategy was published on 14 October 2020, together with seven accompanying documents and an action plan which establishes a timeline and a summary of the initiatives to be implemented between 2021-2024 through a mix of regulatory and non-regulatory acts.
EUROFER will closely follow this important topic and is already working with other associations (REACH Alliance, Eurometaux, Nickel Institute) on some urgent concerns. These include the ‘Essential Use Concept’ issue. EUROFER and the Nickel Institute have initiated a coalition with other 23 associations to call for a targeted application of the EUC (not automatically linked to the hazard classification) and its scope of applicability. To this end, in addition to discussions and industry input to the Competent Authorities for REACH and CLP (CARACAL) meetings, the European Commission will organise a Workshop in the upcoming months. Stakeholders will be invited to attend.
Another important concern is the REACH and CLP revision process, which will begin soon with an Inception Impact Assessment (Roadmap) in the first quarter of 2021. As these revisions concern the Restriction and Authorisation processes, this topic will be discussed with ECHA first and then brought to CARACAL. Industry’s concern is that this revision appears to go beyond the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability, something confirmed by the European Commission. In submitting the notifications, in particular for complex processes. EUROFER is actively involved in all discussions on this topic in groups at European level and is updating our members constantly.