How steel can help you do more with less

#26.10.2020 How steel can help you do more with less

The European Green Deal aims to turn Europe into the first climate-neutral continent by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

To achieve this ambitious goal, it is essential to protect and restore natural ecosystems and make better, more sustainable, use of resources.

Steel for packaging production is all about sustainable processes. Since 1960 the European steel industry has halved its energy usage and CO2 emissions.

One of the ways we have achieved these impressive savings is through 25 years of continuous improvement in recycling rates.

Recycling of used steel saves resources and CO2. Recycling one tonne of steel saves more than two tonnes of raw materials and helps to reduce CO2 emissions. In fact, each item of recycled steel packaging saves over 1.5 times its 

weight in CO2.

Additionally, we have been making steel packaging much thinner and lighter.

Over the last 30 years a 3-piece food can has become 29% lighter and the weight of a steel beverage can has dropped by a third. This not only makes the production of steel packaging more resource-efficient, but reduces emissions associated with transport.

Most impressive? All this is done without compromising the strength and reliability steel is known for.

And this is crucial, since steel’s strength and 100% barrier against light, water and air protects food, minimising product loss at every stage of the supply chain. Food packed in steel stays fresh for longer, retains its flavour and is less likely to be damaged, spoiled, or unnecessarily wasted.

Since food waste is currently responsible for 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions, packaging more food products in steel would further contribute to the ultimate goals of the European Green Deal.

Despite the strides already made, the industry is strongly committed to the further reduction of CO2 emissions by actively promoting the recycling of steel, increasing packaging optimisation and eco-design, and applying more sustainable production technologies.

The European steel industry shares the EU’s vision and is currently working towards a carbon-neutral future using a combination of process efficiency, breakthrough technologies and greater scrap availability.

In other words, we’re ready for the future.