Tata Steel

Tata Steel, steel that breaks the rules

Look around and you’ll see that there is no hiding from steel; from the chair you sit on to the skyscrapers gracing the skyline, it’s often steel that holds them together. The housing and construction sector is the largest consumer of steel today, using around 50% of the world’s production. Computers, 305 million of which were sold in 2012, are around 25% steel. [1]

But steelmaking is energy intensive. The process requires heating to over 1600 degrees Celsius. [2] Steel manufacture has an average embedded carbon footprint which is over four times larger than wood. [3]  

This is a conundrum that Tata Steel recognizes in an increasingly climate-threatened world.

Driven to be a global steel industry benchmark for corporate citizenship, the company has invested heavily in technologies that will reduce the carbon footprint of the steel products you buy.

In 2008, the company decided to install smaller blast furnaces in India. These helped reduce the CO2 emission intensity of its operations by 7%. Thanks to this, Tata Steel’s Asian operations are now the most energy-efficient in the region and they also use at least 85% recycled input material. All of this has helped the company meet environmental standards for dust and emissions levels. [4]

More recently, Tata Steel announced an innovative new project that will use combined heat and power to slash emissions at its Düsseldorf plant by half—with the added benefit of saving US$1.1 million annually in energy costs. [5]

All of these actions add up to a company that has entered the green steel market and halved the amount of energy required to make steel over the last 40 years. The aim is now to make a further 20% cut within a decade, which in turn will have a positive impact on the price tag of the products you buy, reducing their energy footprint and cost.

[1] http://www.worldsteel.org/media-centre/key-facts/3.html
[2] http://www.keenovens.com/articles/steel-furnance.htm
[3] http://www.lcmp.eng.cam.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/allwood-and-cullen-r09-davos.pdf
[4] http://www.tatasteel.com/corporate-citizenship/environment.asp
[5] http://www.steelorbis.com/steel-news/latest-news/tata-steel-reduces-energy-costs-and-emissions-in-germany-873517.htm

US$ 23.2 B