Outokumpu sets new standard for the world’s most sustainable stainless steel

Outokumpu sets new standard for the world’s most sustainable stainless steel
Outokumpu is shaping the stainless-steel market with its new emission-minimised product line, Circle Green.

Outokumpu has set the new standard for the world’s most sustainable stainless steel – launching a product with 92% lower carbon footprint than the industry average. Outokumpu is shaping the stainless-steel market with its new emission-minimised product line, Circle Green.

It has the smallest emission intensity in the world, with a 92% lower carbon footprint than the global average and 64% lower than Outokumpu’s regular production – which is already the current sustainability leader in the industry. The new standard for sustainable stainless steel is now set.

“We are extremely proud to introduce a new product line, Outokumpu Circle Green, which is truly an innovation in the stainless-steel industry and a result of our focused learning journey. The first batch was produced in Tornio, Finland, and was delivered to one of our strategic customers, Fiskars Group, to use for cookware. I’m extremely proud that we have launched a product that has a true impact on our customers’ climate ambitions,” says Niklas Wass, Executive Vice President, Operations, at Outokumpu.

“We see increasing global customer demand for low carbon footprint stainless steels, from construction to heavy industry and consumer products. I’m very happy to say that Outokumpu is now ready to answer this demand. In this first phase, we will concentrate our efforts to serve a few strategic customers, but we are already looking at ways to scale up the production,” Wass says.

Bio-based materials used together in the production

Outokumpu achieved the unprecedented emission reduction with improvements throughout the whole stainless steel production chain. Reductions in upstream raw material emissions were key to this success as they contribute the majority of stainless steel’s total carbon footprint. Meticulous production and quality optimisation led to higher energy efficiency.

Biogas, biodiesel, bio coke, and low-carbon electricity have been used in production to eliminate 95% of all scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions. While these bio-based materials have all been tested previously in production, they were used together for the first time ever to produce Outokumpu Circle Green.

“Our emission-minimised product answers the global need for more sustainable and long-lasting products that help to build a more sustainable future. The material was produced on an industrial scale with our existing production assets. This is a key step and an essential achievement towards meeting Outokumpu’s sustainability goals,” Wass says.

A global first with emission-minimised stainless-steel production

The production of the new Outokumpu Circle Green is the first of its kind, as no other stainless-steel manufacturer has been able to produce stainless steel with such low emission levels when taking into account all the climate emissions through the whole production chain including scope 1, 2 and 3.

Climate compensating or offsetting has not been used in calculating the emissions and the focus has been on improving Outokumpu’s own processes and supply chain. Outokumpu reviewed and optimised the emissions from each production step from the stainless-steel melt process and energy production to transportation and raw material production. The emission reduction calculation includes all emission scopes according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol method to give the full picture of the emissions.

Outokumpu is leading the global stainless-steel industry in emissions reduction and carbon neutrality – the global work towards the Paris Agreement goals requires quick actions. Outokumpu is the only stainless-steel producer to have its climate targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

“I would like to thank our Outokumpu team for making this possible. Our experts have been extremely committed to the historic project and the team spirit has been really high as we have been building a new step to a sustainable future. We will keep working towards a world that lasts forever,” Wass says.

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Green Steel World Editorial Team

Green Steel World Editorial Team

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