On the way to a sustainable steel industry, Klöckner & Co is assuming social responsibility and at the same time taking advantage of the strategic opportunities arising from decarbonization. We are working to create a new range of sustainably and emission-free produced steel and thus establish ourselves as a pioneer of a sustainable steel industry. By expanding our sustainable product and service portfolio in this way, the company is seizing the strategic opportunity to anchor the new, attractive business of "green" steel in its business model. We see the responsibility to reduce our own emissions as well as those of our upstream and downstream supply chains.
As early as 2020, Klöckner & Co joined the "Business Ambition for 1.5 °C" initiative launched by the UN Global Compact and is aligning its business activities with science-based targets to contribute to limiting global warming to 1.5 °C through appropriate measures. As an industry pioneer, we are one of the few companies in our sector to commit to the GHG Protocol under the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the most ambitious and relevant emissions reduction framework in the world. Our medium-term targets up to 2030 have been reviewed and approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.
As one of the very first companies in Germany, Klöckner & Co will align its business to the UN Global Compact “Business Ambition for 1.5⁰C”. In this regard, we intend to act even more responsibly and take appropriate and verifiable measures helping to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C by further reducing its carbon emissions.
- 50% reduction in emissions in our direct control (Scope 1, 2 and some in Scope 3) by 2030
- 30% reduction in emissions not in our direct control (Scope 3) by 2030
Scope 1 includes all direct emissions that are an immediate result of burning fuels as part of the Company’s own operations. Scope 2 encompasses indirect emissions associated with purchased energy such as electricity or district heating. Scope 3 covers all indirect carbon emissions generated through the manufacture and transportation of goods. We differentiate between those that are under our direct control (Scope 1, 2 and some in Scope 3), and those that are generated by our suppliers and customers (Scope 3). For the long term, we are committed to reducing directly controllable carbon emissions to net zero by 2040 (Scope 1, Scope 2 and directly controllable Scope 3 emissions). Scope 3 emissions that we can only control indirectly – primarily from externally sourced steel products – are to be cut to net zero by 2050.
We aim for a holistic approach and are therefore setting even more ambitious climate targets. Klöckner & Co plans to reduce all emissions in our direct control (Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions under direct influence) to net zero by as early as 2040. In Scopes 1 and 2 alone, this will enable us to save some 90,000 tons of carbon in its own emissions per year. Emissions that it can only control indirectly – primarily from purchased steel products – are to be cut to net zero by 2050. The sustainable strategic orientation of our business makes us pioneers in our industry and means we can actively drive the green transformation of the economy and society.
An important part of our business model is the delivery of products to our customers by truck. A central task in the environmental field of action for Klöckner & Co is therefore to optimize the environmental impact of logistics processes along our value chain. A high-quality data basis and digitization are essential for the implementation of efficiency measures, as they ensure transparency and thus also sustainable action throughout the entire supply chain. Through this supply chain optimization, "green" effects can be achieved through less waste in procurement, scheduling, production, processing, transport and logistics. Incorrect deliveries are avoided, and inventory and storage costs as well as the number of transports are reduced. In doing so, we basically try to influence the environmental impact of logistics at three levels along our value chain: Incoming goods, internal transports, and delivery to our customers.
As part of our energy management efforts, we intend to increasingly convert to alternative energy sources. We have already centralized energy procurement and aim to transition to 100% green energy. Some sites have already made the change. Solar systems are planned for several sites.
Our approach to water management ensures adherence to local legislation and standards. Since we use virtually no water in our processing, our water consumption chiefly results in conventional wastewater. As a matter of principle, we take care to use resources responsibly and protect the environment, as described in our SHEQ policy. Wastewater is also part of the OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001 standards, to which the majority of our sites are certified. In addition, we comply with water budgeting legislation and water testing.
Kloeckner Metals UK has completely changed the way wood and pallets are used at the Blackburn site. The pallets are now made in-house, and potential for savings and recycling was also pinpointed. Wood scraps produced can be reused for stacking steel when loading vehicles. In addition, thanks to an incentive system for truck drivers, our pallets are now collected for reuse or recycling. Becker Stahl-Service has also introduced a pallet return system. In the past, the pallets used to transport goods were disposed of after a single use.
Our travel policy stipulates that domestic flights are generally not permitted in Europe and compensation is provided for all flights of 1,500 km or more. Our hybrid work concept (target: 30% home office for administrative functions) has already been introduced and is also designed to reduce emissions caused by commuting. We will also gradually convert our vehicle fleet. In terms of e-mobility and hybrid vehicles, several country organizations have made efforts to replace company cars and pool vehicles that currently run on gasoline and diesel. Kloeckner Metals France, for example, has planned and in part already implemented a complete switch to full hybrids, while Kloeckner Metals UK offers electric and hybrid vehicles through an employee bonus program. Becker Stahl-Service has purchased electric company cars. The holding company has had charging points installed at its headquarters and plans to install more in 2022. The Company Car Directive, which sets the European framework, is currently being further developed to promote future mobility concepts. In addition, the possibilities of alternative drive systems for trucks are being tested in pilot projects in internal logistics.
Together with its local partners, atmosfair builds and sells efficient Save80 stoves in Rwanda. The Save80, which reduces the amount of wood needed for cooking by up to 80%, burns wood more cleanly than, for example, a traditional charcoal stove. This minimizes smoke emissions inside homes and reduces the risk of lung, respiratory and eye diseases. Accordingly, the demand for firewood and the pressure on the remaining forests decreases.
In Nepal, atmosfair and local partners build and sell biogas plants to local rural households under the 'Nepal Biogas Support Program'. The program provides rural families with a smoke-free, decentralized source of energy. One biogas plant provides a family of 5 with low-cost energy on a daily basis for about 20 years. The plants provide energy for cooking, save CO2 and increase the families' quality of life. In their daily lives, they can save about three hours a day collecting firewood or money to buy it. The resources freed up can be used elsewhere and invested in education, for example.
On the way to a sustainable steel industry, Klöckner & Co is assuming social responsibility and at the same time exploiting the strategic opportunities arising from decarbonization. We are working to create a new range of sustainably produced steel with zero emissions and thus establish ourselves as a pioneer of a sustainable steel industry. With this expansion of our sustainable product and service offering, the company is seizing the strategic opportunity to anchor the new, attractive "green" steel business in its business model.
The topic of environmental protection is an important part of our SHEQ policy - our internal occupational safety, health, environment and quality policy. This international Group guideline covers all relevant environmental aspects from the conservation of natural resources and the use of renewable energies to the reduction of emissions and waste.
All sites at our country organization Kloeckner Metals UK and our German company Becker Stahl-Service are already certified to the ISO 14001 environmental standard, which also covers logistics. Optimizing logistics processes and reducing carbon emissions Kloeckner Metals UK attained BES 6001 recertification for responsible sourcing in 2021, this time achieving the higher “Good” standard. BES 6001 is an independent certification system that rates and assesses manufactured products in terms of their responsible sourcing. It covers organizational governance, supply chain management and management requirements for sustainable development such as social and economic impacts. The specialized steel fabricator Kloeckner Metals UK Westok was awarded the Steel Construction Sustainability Charter at Gold level. The objective of the Charter is to further advance steel as a sustainable form of construction.