German industry proposes label system for green steel

German steel federation Wirtschaftsvereinigung (WV) Stahl has come up with a label system for climate-friendly steel which it says is the first worldwide that has been developed by an industry involving all producers.

Apart from the essential question when steel can be called “green”/climate-neutral, WV Stahl also addresses the issue to what extent intermediate investment for climate-neutrality at a later stage can be taken into account. Finally, it tackles the issue of what standards can ensure that all market participants adhere to the same rules so that the various paths to transformation can be compared and evaluated.

Unlike the system of, for example, the International Energy Agency, WV Stahl includes not only the steel mill but also the rolling mill and is therefore closer to the finished product, Kallanish understands.

A positive commentary on WV Stahl’s approach has come from south of the border, from Swiss Steel, which arguably participated in the system’s development, as most of its mills are located in Germany (Deutsche Edelstahlwerke). “Crucially, unlike other schemes, the current proposal clearly defines which two steel grades it applies to: C22 for the blast furnace route and C45 for the electric steel route,” Swiss Steel points out.

“In a next step, a rulebook will be developed which clearly defines how reference values for other, higher-alloyed grades can be determined taking the reference values for these two basic grades,” it states.

Swiss Steel claims to be Europe’s largest manufacturer of electrical steel, and the European market leader for green steel – although WV Stahl’s proposal does not give a ranking to that effect.

Christian Koehl Germany