Today marks a pivotal moment in the path to sustainable, net zero steel

It’s been quite a journey. Today, after almost three years of collective commitment from the giants of the steel industry and leading NGOs, ResponsibleSteel is launching its new International Standard V2.0, with tough new additional requirements on both climate and responsible sourcing, after they were adopted with the support of 96% of our membership vote.

So what does this mean? For the first time, steelmakers will be able to gain credible recognition in the market for the progress they make – both on decarbonisation and on driving sustainability through their supply chains – because they have been independently certified against a common, agreed, international standard. Buyers of steel can specify it in what they ask of their suppliers. So too can those who finance the industry and the costly transition to come.

I am certain that the launch of ResponsibleSteel V2.0 represents a pivotal moment for the steel industry. The course is set, and it’s now time to build the momentum and drive the creation of a new, decarbonised steel industry with sustainability at its core.

To reach this moment, many thousands of hours have been spent by a coalition of the willing – experts from across the steel value chain, NGOs, academics and many others, working alongside the ResponsibleSteel team in complex discussions, exacting analysis, demanding debate, critical feedback, drafting, redrafting … and finally, a standard that sets a clear direction for the industry and its stakeholders. I want to sincerely thank everyone involved.

V2.0 will be challenging to implement – the revised standard now includes 13 Principles, 61 Criteria and over 500 individual requirements. This robustness, and our growing Assurance Programme, are what lend ResponsibleSteel credibility both in the market and in the wider ESG world. And we will strengthen these further, continually growing our membership to bring everyone involved in, continually working to ensure the Standard is fit for the entire global industry, and continually building our Assurance Programme.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be exploring the implications of V2.0 for the industry’s future at key events in the run-up to COP27, starting next week with New York Climate Week.

Then from 31 October to 1 November, at the ResponsibleSteel Forum III in Memphis, our entire membership along with our Board will take the opportunity to look at how key actors in the steel value chain can use V2.0 to shape the dynamics of steel decarbonisation and wider sustainability, globally. There are some spaces for those who haven’t yet joined ResponsibleSteel –  if you haven’t already registered to attend Forum III, you can do so here.

Finally, I want to take a moment to thank the authors who led us on this journey and were critical to making this moment happen – Marnie Bammert, who led on the responsible sourcing requirements, and Matthew Wenban-Smith who led on the greenhouse gas side. Their clarity of thought and continued commitment has been invaluable. Both Matthew and Marnie will continue to advise ResponsibleSteel as we move forward on our critical journey.

Once again, my thanks go out to all of you who have helped us achieve this momentous step forward. What we’ve created together is the beginning of a new phase for ResponsibleSteel and for the entire industry.

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