Green Steel Tracker: One-stop-shop for information, innovation, and investment

Green steel is simply steel with the lowest carbon footprint currently possible.
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As the iron and steel sector looks to decarbonise production, there has never been a greater need for transparency regarding the many projects, pilots and demonstration plants planned or underway. GSW spoke to Felipe Sanchez, who kindly discussed the Green Steel Tracker developed by LeadIT.
In July of 2021, HYBRIT, co-owned by the Swedish steelmaker SSAB, state-owned utility Vattenfall and mining company LKAB, achieved something that had been deemed impossible until then. Namely the production of 100% green steel. A month later, the joint venture delivered the world’s first-ever green steel plates to the Volvo Group and scripted history. On October 13th, the truck-maker unveiled the first prototype vehicle made with the clean metal, showcasing that a fossil-free future is possible.
The carbon-free commercial-level production of steel still seems like a far-fetched idea but the Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology (HYBRIT), developed in 2016, holds a lot of promise. Currently, the steel industry accounts for 8% of total global CO2 emissions. In order to meet the targets, set by the 2015 Paris Agreement, the steel industry is looking to switch to hydrogen-based direct reduction of iron ore.
To become climate neutral by 2050, steelmakers across the world must start investing in cleaner production of the metal that is vital for modern life. It is understandable that the price of this transition may be high but the price of doing nothing will definitely be higher.

The race against time is on, so learning how countries and companies are planning to decarbonise steel production is imperative. This is where resource known as the “Green Steel Tracker” comes into the picture. The database not only presents a clearer roadmap of future steel production, but it also enables coordination and collaboration among all the stakeholders.

World map showing project locations for green steel initiatives

The Green Steel Tracker (GST) keeps tabs on investments, innovations and announcements that enable decision-making and strategy development in the sector. According to the Mission Possible Partnership, the steel industry needs investments of $30 billion annually just to keep pace with demand over the next 30 years, while becoming net-zero will require another $6 billion a year. Therefore, a platform tracking public announcements of low-carbon investments in the steel industry and presenting them transparently in one place seems crucial. Interestingly, it indicates how the primary production of steel could become green, and what it would take. Basically, GST helps identify interesting stories with the help of data.

The tool for tracking investments in green steel was developed jointly by the LeadIT Secretariat at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), together with a group of like-minded research organisations. LeadIT was launched by the prime ministers of Sweden and India with support from the World Economic Forum during the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit on 23 September 2019, in New York.

Image shows Mr Felipe Sanchez
Felipe Sanchez is an analyst within the LeadIT Secretariat

Felipe Sanchez, an analyst within the LeadIT Secretariat, explains that the project resonates with their aim of accelerating transition towards low-carbon pathways in line with the Paris Agreement. Tracking investments in green steel also fits nicely with their efforts to provide evidence and knowledge that prompts action on industry transition.


LeadIT aims to update the database regularly to make sure it keeps up with future announcements in green investments. In terms of improvements, it will be looking to pull out particular data points to make them more visually engaging.

The dataset contains the climate targets of steel producing companies across 17 countries. The climate targets can be company or national targets, and often these two are aligned as is visible in the data.

The tracker currently features 59 projects and as per data, seven out of the ten biggest steel producing countries have initiated at least one green steel project. Swedish companies, LKAB, H2 Green Steel and SSAB, have announced the largest share of investment, followed by a South Korean steelmaker POSCO and 3 projects announced by ArcelorMittal in Canada, Belgium and Spain.

As the consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious, demand for green steel is growing and will continue to grow throughout the value chain. To actively participate in this transition, each one of us now has a way of educating ourselves, staying updated and making well-informed purchasing and investment decisions in the future.

To view the Green Steel Tracker, please visit:

https://www.industrytransition.org/green-steel-tracker/

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Tanya Rudra
Tanya Rudra
Tanya earned her editorial stripes in the fast-paced world of online journalism, where her passion for sports enthralled a large audience. Having changed continents, she is now using her analytical skills to turn complex technical subjects into stories and articles that are both entertaining and informative.

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All images were taken before the COVID-19 pandemic, or in compliance with social distancing.