Pioneering sustainability at the Stainless Steel World Conference & Expo

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The 13th edition of the Stainless Steel World Conference and Exhibition took place from 26th to 28th September in Maastricht, the Netherlands. This highly focused event is specially catered to stainless steel professionals from all sides of the industry, from mills and processers to stockists and suppliers, and from end users and engineering companies to consultants and corrosion experts. A staggering number of more than 8100 participants, including 370 Conference Delegates, demonstrates the huge success delivered by this event.

The Green Steel World editorial team is delighted to share with you that we participated in this uniquely focused event that brought together corrosion and materials experts from the global marketplace for three days of networking, business and learning.

While the busy exhibition floor provided excellent opportunities for exhibitors, delegates, speakers and visitors to meet with manufacturers, suppliers, traders and stockists involved in all stages of production and supply of materials, the conference enabled engineers, end-users and decision-makers to share their knowledge and experience.

The Stainless Steel World conference drew large audiences, with packed seats.

Wednesday, 27th September, was highlighted as the “Sustainability Day”. In other words, this day was dedicated to facilitating a dynamic conversation about the challenges, opportunities and approaches to sustainability. A combination of Conference and Open Forum Sustainability Sessions, as well as the Sustainability networking reception, guaranteed a relaxed and informative conference experience and an opportunity for a detailed and fruitful discussion. We were lucky to gather useful feedback on the event from some of the key participants.

Dr. Joachim von Schéele, Global Director Commercialization, Linde, gave an interesting presentation on “Solutions towards carbon neutral stainless steel production”. This was his first participation at SSW. He kindly shared his opinion on the event: “I am truly impressed with both the wide range of topics and the quality of the presentations given in the Conference Arena, as well as the extensiveness of the exhibition which includes leading companies from all across the stainless steel value chain. This amazing event provides great opportunities for meeting researchers and finding new business contacts. I truly look forward to participating again in 2025!” he said.

Dr. Joachim von Schéele, Global Director Commercialization, Linde,
gave an interesting presentation on “Solutions towards carbon neutral
stainless steel production”.

During his presentation, Dr. von Schéele once again pointed out the beauty of stainless steel as a material that not only has a long life but can also be 95% recycled. By stressing the importance of investments, he shared Linde´s positive view on clean energy.

Dr. Max Menzel, Head of Sustainability and Technical Customer Service, Outokumpu, shares this positive attitude. He refers to stainless steel as the “most sustainable material” and the material that was “built to last”.

“For me, stainless steel and sustainability go hand in hand and have a natural relationship that can only grow. Therefore, I was very excited to see the conference schedule packed with presentations on decarbonisation. Moreover, if you walk around the venue, you will find a lot of booths decorated in green, promoting sustainability and carbon footprint reduction which I find very encouraging to see,” he said.

He went on to add that SSW gives a very good sense of the industry and provides the opportunity not only to meet customers and partners but also to chat with market companions and professionals from R&D.

During his presentation called “Decarbonising the stainless steel industry: Outokumpu pioneering sustainable stainless steel with Circle Green and the Inner Circle”, Dr. Max Menzel, Head of Sustainability and Technical Customer Service, Outokumpu, stressed the importance of stainless steel as the most sustainable material available.

Dr. Menzel put special emphasis on honesty and transparency. He believes the stainless steel industry has the power to carry out the green transition, however, in order for the whole industry to move forward, partnerships must be built. “I believe this journey taught us that working together is essential. If we are open, then we can leverage opportunities together. And I would like to stress the word ´journey´ here. The change we are striving for requires a great amount of time and effort. Starting with small steps, creating the demand and the environment in which our solutions can be successful is the most crucial part of this whole transition process,” he elucidated.

During his presentation, Dr. Menzel invited stakeholders from across the steel value chain to join Outokumpu on this journey by sending a strong message of how “we are not competing among each other, but we are competing against ourselves.”

Mr. Tim Wallbaum, R&D and Sustainability Manager, Mannesmann Stainless Tubes, was glad to participate in sharing a very positive impression of the SSW Conference & Exhibition. As he kindly noted, he views the event as an excellent platform for companies and other stakeholders to build new business relationships, present new developments and make valuable contacts.

Mr. Tim Wallbaum, R&D and Sustainability Manager, Mannesmann Stainless Tubes, participated in the Sustainability Forum by giving a presentation on “The complexity of the carbon footprint calculation using the example of Mannesmann Stainless Tubes.”

“Firstly, it facilitates discussions on current trends in the stainless steel industry. Secondly, the exhibition serves as a platform where companies can present their products and services. This is a valuable opportunity to increase the visibility of products in the market and to address potential customers. Thirdly, there is an excellent opportunity to establish and strengthen professional relationships, to connect with colleagues, industry experts and potential business partners,” he stated.

Mr. Wallbaum participated in the Sustainability Forum by giving a presentation on “The complexity of the carbon footprint calculation using the example of Mannesmann Stainless Tubes”, and was very pleased to see the Forum well attended. He commented further, “It clearly shows that sustainability and decarbonisation are establishing themselves as key topics in the stainless steel industry. This underlines the commitment of industrial companies, distributors and experts and their willingness to contribute to sustainable development.”

He concluded by saying that the wide range of topics and discussions, from research projects to sustainability, make this event a key networking hub for the entire industry.

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Lucija Kozina
Lucija Kozina
Lucija started her career as a translator. Having moved to Germany, she found herself in editorial shoes and is now doing her best to navigate her way through various industries in order to bring informative but easy-to-read content to readers.

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