Driving tangible progress in the steel industry: ResponsibleSteel introduces new certification marks to drive responsible decarbonisation each step of the way

The steel industry won’t transform overnight. But we need to make sure we are taking the right steps now to drive real change for the future. ResponsibleSteel’s Progress Levels are designed to represent and reward tangible advancement on both Decarbonisation and responsible Materials Sourcing. Today we launch the new certification marks that steelmakers – and their customers – will be able to use on their products to enable this.

The steel industry is implementing the ResponsibleSteel International Standard across over 100 sites globally. ResponsibleSteel ‘core certification’ has rewarded pioneers that have met the Standard’s core environmental, social and governance requirements. It’s now time for steelmaking sites to work towards the next level, to demonstrate levels of progress both towards net zero and on their supply chains. Without evidence of this, global efforts to measure embodied carbon will drive neither the deep decarbonisation we need nor decarbonisation that is socially and environmentally responsible.

The ResponsibleSteel International Standard V2.0 launched in September 2022, introduced four Progress Levels in addition to the Standard’s core requirements, for both the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity of crude steel production and the responsible sourcing of input materials. These Progress Levels give steel sites the opportunity to not only demonstrate performance in these areas, but to make claims about their steel products, and to market them as ‘ResponsibleSteel certified steel’.

  • Core certification: awarded to sites implementing the core set of criteria across 13 principles.
  • Progress Level 1: the first level required to enable steelmaking sites to make claims about certified steel products from the site, in tandem with a published product carbon footprint.
  • Progress Levels 2 and 3: Intermediate levels of progress, towards…
  • Progress Level 4: the highest level for the responsible sourcing of input materials, and ‘Near zero’ GHG emissions intensity of crude steel.

It’s time to start moving the market, gradually but at scale. For the industry to keep an equitable, inhabitable 1.5C future in sight, by 2030 ResponsibleSteel has concluded every steelmaking site in the world will need to have achieved Progress Level 1 on decarbonisation and materials sourcing and significant progress made toward Progress Levels 2 and 3.

Now, steelmaking sites that have achieved Progress Level 1 for both Decarbonisation and Materials Sourcing, in addition to meeting the core ESG requirements of the ResponsibleSteel International Standard, will be able to use new certified site mark with progress levels for certified steel with additional elements indicating progress in these two areas. This is the first time a ResponsibleSteel logo will be able to be applied to steel products and our newly published Claims and Logo Use Guidelines are designed to help steelmakers and steel buyers understand how the marks can be used and what claims can be associated with them.

It’s more clear than ever that the steel industry needs to make significant, early, but incremental decarbonisation efforts. We cannot rely on the deep decarbonisation efforts of a select number of sites alone. And we must work to reduce upstream scope 3 emissions from the extraction, preparation and transportation of iron ore, natural gas, coal, coke, and ferroalloys, among others.

If you would like to learn more, please contact:

Ali Lucas, Corporate Affairs Director

Savannah Hayes, Communications Manager

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