Friday, March 15, 2013

A Look at Our most Sustainable Material - Steel

Over the years, steel has becomea very popular material in the construction industry and is now expanding all over the world.  The reason for this is because steel is a sustainable material.  What does sustainability mean? For many people it means maintenance of responsibility which is also to be eco friendly and look forward to positive changes of our environment.   Many companies say they are “green” however, the North American Steel Industry has said to invested billions of dollars in coming up with new products and technologies in order to demonstrate to the public of their progress in becoming green.  There has been positive outcomes to their progress such as reductions in energy consumption, reduced carbon dioxide emissions, a reduce life cycle impact as well as impact and increased volumes of steel scrap being recycled. These are just some examples that will help our economy become better.  Trying to promote awareness will help other construction industries see the light and hopefully do the same.  The problem is that not many people know how to be more energy efficient, but The North American steel industry is working on products that will help with greener construction as well as simple ways to reduce carbon and greener gases. 
The progress of The North American’s commitment to sustainable products has made steel the leading material in construction industry as the most recycled material.  Yearly, more than 80 million tons of steel is recycled.  The company is trying to push awareness of recycling by promoting programs that will hopefully grow and benefit the entire life cycle.  Since 1990, the production of thin-slab, flat-rolled, electric arc furnaces, and other advances in steelmaking processes have been reduced by 27 percent and C02 emissions by 33 percent per ton of steel shipped. Some other statistics are that Steel has lower energy use and CO2 emissions per ton than aluminum, and magnesium among others. Reductions in energy use and CO2 emissions are rapidly reaching the limits.  In order to continue energy efficiency, new steelmaking processes are in the works.  This will allow for the use of greener fuels and carbon capture technologies.

The North American Industry is committed to documenting the Life Cycle Impact and sustainable advantages of steel in order to find ways to be more energy efficient as well as come up with more products that will help in the process.  Although most companies are doing their best to promote a much greener environment, they say it sometimes isn’t green enough.  This is why the steel industry will continue to do the research to become beyond green.  One thing they will keep on doing is promote green living through recycling and innovative thinking in order to keep steel industries on top and this will be a major benefit to us all.

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