CO2 & Energy
As a sector with a high level of CO2 emissions, steel companies like Aperam must take specific steps to reduce their carbon footprint and achieve energy savings.
Whereas the standard steel-making process demands that carbon add-ins be made during the melting process, Aperam is anything but standard. Our BioEnergia eucalyptus forest in Brazil allows us to reduce our emissions by using carbonised trees, or charcoal, instead of coke. See the dedicated page here.
As a result, our Brazilian operations have seen their CO2 footprint decreasing from 1.05 tons per ton of slabs in 2008 to 0.40 tons in 2019. At the group level, our 2019 (scope 1+2) CO2 footprint now stands at 961 kilo-tonnes (680 +281 kt), or 0.484* t/tons of slabs , in line with last year’s 3 performance. Representing a 35.2% decrease from 2007 and in line with our -35% 2020 objectives, this gives us the right to claim ourselves as being as “the stainless steel producer with the lowest CO2 footprint in the world”.
However, for us, this does not fully reflect reality as our BioEnergia forestry is actually carbon positive, with the leaves and branches falling to the forest floor degrading into humus and feeding the local flora.
Considering the exact carbon retention of eucalyptus and CO2 emission of charcoal in calculations, we actually improve by 10% at least the carbon footprint of our products made in Brazil. In addition, we consider that we stock with our well-managed forests four times more CO2 than what we emit annually company- wide. This is also how we participate in the fight against climate change.
Our energy mix remains a subject of pride, with 36% of our energy mix coming from charcoal biomass (see side-bar graph, compared to 32% last year - not taking into account the fact that more than 36% of our electricity is generated from renewable sources). But even with this success, we refuse to stand still and thus remain committed to pursuing other renewable energy sources. Following the setup of windmills at our Genk site (2017) and photovoltaic panels at Châtelet (2018), in 2019 our Isbergues site launched a study to install photovoltaic energy on its premises... more news to come soon!
*Data highlighted with a star have received external assurance
With respect to energy savings, Aperam is continually working to become more efficient. Despite our ongoing projects, the very difficult economic context and low utilisation rate of our industrial tools impacted our 2019 energy intensity, which ends up at 13.3*GJ/ton of crude steel. In other words, although we were well on track last year, 2019 saw us fall several steps back - something we hope to make up for as soon as our plants can operate at full speed...
WordSteel Climate Action certificate (Link)