Revisions to ResponsibleSteel’s Principle 10: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change

Following a 12-month test phase and a public consultation, ResponsibleSteel has introduced revisions to Principle 10 of the ResponsibleSteel International Standard including revised Progress Levels to assess steel decarbonisation and encourage increased recycling rates.

The launch of additional requirements for greenhouse gas emissions in September 2022 as part of the ResponsibleSteel International Standard Version 2.0 was a crucial step in driving industry progress towards near-zero steel. The Principle 10 Progress Levels were designed to not only accelerate the production of low-emissions steel by individual steelmakers, but to also drive the decarbonisation of the entire global industry and avoid a dash for scrap that would deliver no net gains.

Currently, there is no reliable data on the average emissions across the steel industry. As part of the work on Principle 10, ResponsibleSteel developed a unique dataset to enable the evaluation of emissions from any tonne of steel produced anywhere in the world with any level of scrap content. Reviewing and refining this dataset and revising our decarbonisation thresholds ensures the ResponsibleSteel Progress Levels remain the reliable benchmark for steel globally.

During the test phase for Principle 10, the ResponsibleSteel Secretariat tested the rigour of the Progress Level requirements by convening a working group of steelmakers. The proposed revisions to Principle 10 subsequently underwent a public consultation to obtain additional stakeholder feedback. We’re now pleased to announce that these revisions have been finalised and accepted by the ResponsibleSteel Board of Directors.

ResponsibleSteel is committed to continuously accelerating progress towards near zero on a global scale. The revisions to Principle 10 represent a 150 kg CO2e/t crude steel increase in the emissions intensity thresholds for Progress Level 1 on the high-scrap end of the scale. This revised Progress Level 1 and the corresponding changes to Levels 2 and 3, reflect the current state of steel industry emissions and the shallower gradient aims to encourage increased recycling rates within the bounds of end-of-life scrap availability. These revisions, as well as other revisions relating to waste energy and non-ferrous metal and ferro-alloy additives, will be incorporated into Version 2.1 of the ResponsibleSteel International Standard expected to be published in May 2024.

Decarbonisation Progress Level Data Table

ResponsibleSteel’s Progress Levels are designed using a scrap variable approach to reward improvement across both scrap-based and primary steelmaking (i.e. steelmaking using iron ore) to drive down steel emissions globally. Progress Level 1 represents a distribution of existing steel sites where approximately 50% sit ‘below’ the threshold while Progress Level 4 is designed to align with the near-zero threshold of the International Energy Agency (2021) and Levels 2 and 3 provide regular points of progress on the journey from Levels 1 to 4.

It’s time to pick up the pace. To ensure a 1.5C degree future, we need every steelmaking site in the world to have achieved Progress Level 1 and significant progress made toward Progress Levels 2 and 3 by 2030. And we cannot rely on the deep decarbonisation efforts of a select number of sites alone. We must work to move the whole industry towards near zero at speed.

For more details on the revisions to Principle 10, read our summary of Principle 10’s Consultation Outcomes. If you have any questions on the revisions or want to find out more about how ResponsibleSteel’s Decarbonisation Progress Levels are supporting steel makers on the journey to near zero, please contact

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