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Steel Chain Footprint

Australia’s Steel Value Chain Footprint has now been mapped

With data contributions coming in the main from Steel Stewardship Forum (SSF) members whose activities range from mining at the beginning of the chain, through steel manufacturing, processing, fabrication, use, reuse and recycling, the Footprint (which also includes some publicly available data) has now been completed. For the first time it gives a high level input-output map of the major commodity flows and emission intensities of the steel value chain in Australia.

The project was funded partly by members and partly by the strong support of the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research & Tertiary Education, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage through the Sustainability Advantage program, and Sustainability Victoria.

The SSF was initiated to bring together all the participants in the steel value chain in Australia. The purpose of the SSF is to promote improvement in commercial, social and environmental impacts across the whole product life cycle of steel.

As a prerequisite the SSF needed to establish a high level picture of the major Australian steel value chain commodity flows and emissions intensities, and life cycle inputs and outputs. The Australian Steel Chain Footprint Project was the result.

Energetics Pty Ltd acted as the main consultants for the project and it was peer reviewed by ERM Australia Pty Ltd.

While not intended to be a detailed Life Cycle Inventory, and with some data limitations as noted in the report, it nevertheless provides an excellent overview of the steel value chain in Australia, and, importantly it will serve the purpose of the SSF by helping to identify areas for improvement.

2007 – 2008 data was selected as the reference year, based on data availability at the commencement of the project, and avoidance of years in which distortions in the industry data caused by the Global Financial Crisis were at a peak (being 2008-09 and 2009-10). An updating program to take account of changes in the Australian manufacturing industry and steel market since then is under consideration by the SSF.

Materials flow lores_high

The key material flows examined the report have been summarized in this schematic diagram of the Australian steel life cycle chain.
Read the Summary Brochure (PDF) (2 Mb) or the Full Report (PDF) (2 Mb).

Acknowledgements

The SSF acknowledges the following member support to the project in the preparation of this report:
• Financial support: BlueScope Steel, OneSteel, BHP Billiton
• Data support: Australasian Slag Association (ASA), Australian Steel Institute (ASI), BHP Billiton, BlueScope Steel, Galvanizers Association of Australia, Hatch, National Association of Steel-framed Housing (NASH), OneSteel, Rio Tinto and the Steel Reinforcement Institute of Australia (SRIA).

The SSF acknowledges the financial support of
• the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation Science, Research and Tertiary Education
• the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage through the Sustainability Advantage program
• Sustainability Victoria
for this project. The Steel Stewardship Forum notes that governmental support does not imply governmental endorsement of the project or report recommendations.

The SSF also acknowledges the efforts of its consultants to the project:
• Primary Consultant: Energetics Pty Ltd
• Peer Review Consultant: ERM Australia Pty

Steel Chain Footprint

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