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ArcelorMittal’s European packaging steel sites achieve ResponsibleSteel™ certification

Steels for packaging are manufactured at four ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products sites in Europe. Now all four sites – Basse-Indre and Florange in France, and Avilés and Etxebarri in Spain – are certified against the ResponsibleSteel™ standard. ResponsibleSteel™ is the first global certification initiative for the steel industry. To achieve certification, each site must achieve compliance with the standard across a broad range of criteria covering social, environmental, governance, and stakeholder engagement criteria. The site’s performance is assessed by independent auditors who undertake inspections of each site. Their final report is reviewed by an independent Certification Committee which makes the final decision on certification.

“For ArcelorMittal’s European packaging steel customers, ResponsibleSteel™ certification guarantees that our steels are the responsible choice,” explains Richard Lézé, CMO for packaging at ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products. “It is part of ArcelorMittal’s long-term commitment to pursue substantive actions that are positive for people and the planet, and which develop our relationships with stakeholders including our employees and partners, and the people who live near our sites.”

That commitment will see ArcelorMittal become a carbon neutral steelmaker by 2050 as the company deploys the latest in clean steelmaking innovations. “ArcelorMittal Europe is on-track to achieve a 35-percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, with the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050,” notes Sarah Snellinx, Head of Sustainability for Automotive, Packaging and Electrical steels at ArcelorMittal Europe Flat Products. “Our XCarb® label brings together all of ArcelorMittal’s reduced, low-, and zero-carbon products and steelmaking activities together under one label. This allows us to share the carbon savings we are already achieving through solutions such as XCarb® green steel certificates, and our range of XCarb® recycled and renewably produced steels.”

ArcelorMittal Europe’s packaging customers can already benefit from the emissions reductions achieved to date by purchasing XCarb® green steel certificates. “The certificates can be purchased with any ArcelorMittal product and allow customers to reduce their own Scope 3 emissions,” says Sarah Snellinx. “The certificates represent the real emission savings ArcelorMittal has already achieved.”

Sustainability more than recycling

When it comes to packaging, recyclability does not necessarily mean that a material is sustainable. To be truly sustainable, it must be possible to recycle the packaging material again and again. The recycling process used must be efficient and avoid producing additional waste.

“Steel is one of the only packaging materials that can meet these criteria,” notes Richard Lézé. “Post-consumer steel waste has a high inherent value, making it one of the most recycled materials on the planet. And steel can be recycled in an unlimited circular loop to create new steel products such as cars, building materials, and packaging.”

The ResponsibleSteel™ certificate was handed to ArcelorMittal Asturias on 23 June 2022. Pictured at the ceremony are (from left to right): Hector Lopez, Head of ArcelorMittal Sagunto; Pablo Avello, COO of Finishing for the Asturias Cluster; François Delamarre, Head of ArcelorMittal Lesaka; and Marco Bini, Head of ArcelorMittal Etxebarri. Also shown are Philippe Meyran, CEO of ArcelorMittal’s Asturias Cluster, and Annie Heaton, CEO of ResponsibleSteel™. [Copyright ArcelorMittal]

Innovating for responsibility

Steels for packaging also have many in-use benefits which set them apart from competing products as Vincent Guyot, Head of Marketing for ArcelorMittal Europe’s packaging business, explains: “Steel offers long-term protection for packaged goods and can be utilised in a range of formats. Whether it is ready-to-eat meals, or simple canned fruits and vegetables, steel is the anti-waste solution at every stage of the production chain.”

ArcelorMittal is continuing to innovate its packaging steel offer to meet the demands of brand owners, canmakers, fillers, and end consumers. “Smaller formats and innovations such as easy-open-ends offer convenience for the consumer,” notes Vincent Guyot. “But we are also working to downgauge our steels for packaging to offer the same level of performance while reducing the amount of material required. This has advantages for canmakers and brand owners, and reduces the volume of natural resources and energy used in their production. The resulting cans are up to 46-percent lighter than they were just 30 years ago, but they can still withstand the rigours of the logistics, storage, and retail environments.”

More info on ArcelorMittal’s steels for packaging:

From left to right: Richard Lézé, CMO of ArcelorMittal’s packaging business; Sarah Snellinx, Head of Sustainability for Automotive, Packaging and Electrical steels at ArcelorMittal Europe Flat Products; Vincent Guyot, Head of Marketing for ArcelorMittal Europe’s packaging business.

About ResponsibleSteel

ResponsibleSteel™ is the steel industry’s first global multi-stakeholder standard and certification initiative. The standard is based on 12 Principles which, in turn, include a variety of criteria and requirements. To achieve ResponsibleSteel™ certification, each site must undergo a rigorous third-party audit, with the resulting report reviewed by an independent Certification Committee. To date, steelmaking sites in Europe, North America, and Australasia have already been certified against the standard. A full list of accredited sites can be found here.

More info:

Packaging steels can be easily recovered from waste streams using an electromagnet [Copyright Shutterstock/ JasminkaM]

Steel offers long-term protection for packaged goods and can be utilised in a range of formats [Copyright Shutterstock/JasminkaM]

Steel is recycled in an endless material loop, making it one of the most responsible choices for packaging [Copyright APEAL]

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