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Our social licence to operate is fundamental to the long-term sustainability of the steel industry in NZ.

Steel is the backbone of NZ cities, and there is no doubt that NZ loves steel. Local steel manufacturing and fabrication is an important part of the NZ economy, infrastructure and society. Arising from this, steel has an important role to play in our zero-carbon future.

Why? Because Aotearoa wants reduced CO2 emissions, increased recycling and improved productivity, with less impact on our environment. Steel is at the heart of solving these challenges.

The infrastructure required to deliver renewable energy solutions for our future, requires the use of steel. In addition, steel is infinitely recyclable, is seismic resilient and can be re-used and repurposed at the end of its initial life. It is a material that has many lives.


A global challenge requiring a global solution

Steel is infinitely recyclable and its by-products and waste energies are valuable resources. For example, slag from steelmaking is used for civil works, saving natural resources such as river gravel and scoria. New Zealand Steel, produced up to 70% of its own energy requirements, through co-generation.

The steel industry is integral to the global circular economy. It’s core to the successful delivery and maintenance of a sustainable future. Transition to renewable energies, such as geothermal, solar, hydro, wind and wave energy generation, will require extensive use of steel.

From the car you drive and the bridges you drive over, to the roof over your home, and much more, steel is an essential technology to New Zealand’s way of life and to its thriving economy, yet you may be surprised to learn that it contributes to just 2.2% of New Zealand’s total CO2 emissions, much lower than other industries. As a vital part of New Zealand’s future, steel therefore has an important role to play in our zero-carbon future.

Reducing carbon emissions is a global challenge that requires a global solution and we want to be part of that commitment.


HERA Position Report for the SSC – Steel’s contribution to a circular economy and low carbon future

In a circular economy, products are manufactured from raw materials, used then repaired, re-used and recycled. In the linear economy, products are made, consumed and discarded.

Reduce, reuse, reconfigure, recycle and retrofit are all benefits of steel.


HERA Report R5-89 Steel Recycling Report shows steel plays a key role in the circular economy

Undertaken by thinkstepANZ it showed an impressive 85% of steel scrap in New Zealand is recycled, and that recycling steel scrap produced in Aotearoa New Zealand provides significant environmental benefits – despite the need for transport to overseas recycling facilities.

The study also showed that the amount of steel scrap collected for recovery is critical to the overall benefits of the recycling system.