Every day the steel industry in Sweden contributes with its products to society worldwide. The steel industry now intends to become an even more active participant in the ongoing shift to a sustainable society – with a greater responsibility for people and the environment. In March 2013, the steel industry in Sweden therefore decided to adopt an industry-wide vision leading up to 2050:
Steel shapes a better future
This vision implies three undertakings:
- We lead technical development
Our research and innovation revolutionise technology for tomorrow's society. Our steel constantly challenges the frontiers of engineering.
- We nurture creative individuals
Our working environment fosters new solutions for communities through global collaboration. Our creativity constantly challenges the limits of contemporary thinking.
- We create environmental benefits
Our production uses resources so efficiently that only products of value to the community leave our plants. Our ambition constantly challenges the limits of the possible.
What has happened so far
The work concerning the vision started in 2011, with analysis of different factors, interviews and workshops. In 2012 a basic survey was conducted to find out how the steel industry was perceived by the public. The vision was drawn up by Jernkontoret’s project group, together with representatives from the steel industry, and this was adopted by Jernkontoret’s Council in March 2013.
On 17 June 2013, the vision for the steel industry was presented at Jernkontoret to politicians, representatives of public authorities and institutions, business leaders and the media. Shortly thereafter it was launched during the political week in Almedalen, on the Swedish island of Gotland.
Since its launch, the vision has been discussed actively with politicians. What is more, the steel industry, on several occasions, has been mentioned as a vanguard industry where sustainable business operations are concerned.
For 2015, a new general survey of public perceptions of the steel industry is planned. The work of publicising and gaining support for the vision is continuing. Equally, the steel industry’s shaping of a better future keeps rolling on.
How can I be involved and help to shape a better future?
Steel has so many different uses and is one of our most important construction materials. The use of steel tends to increase in line with population growth and increasing living standards. One of the good things about steel is that it is easy to recycle and can be recycled endlessly with no degradation in performance. Steel scrap is therefore a very valuable raw material feedstock.
Each year, more than 580 million tonnes of steel are recycled globally – which, in terms of weight, is more than all the recycled aluminium, glass, paper and wood combined. But since the world’s need for steel is steadily increasing, steel scrap only accounts for 30 per cent of all the steel that is produced. The remainder must be produced from iron ore.
One simple way for you to help shape a better future is by recycling your metal packaging, your bottle caps, old cycles, tools and saucepans etc. If we, in Sweden, could send all the bottle caps to be recycled then the scrap would suffice to make 2,200 new car bodies each year!