Of the three major natural resources used in the building sector, demand for steel ranks second. The global annual demand for steel is 1.6 billion tons, which is used in building construction, industrial development, household living and other areas. Moreover, there are approximately 600 million tons of steel scrapped on average every year.
Do you see the problem?
If we are unable to consume the steel scrap, we will have to constantly obtain iron ore from nature, and the generated steel scrap will cover the world.
But things are looking up. As the technology required to reuse steel in steel production advances, scrap’s rate of recycling has risen to 94%. This has allowed us to minimize mining of iron ore which is damaging to the environment, and also does not affect the development needs of society and the economy.
Beginning in the 1990s, advanced nations in Europe and North America began expansive research and analysis. After more than 20 years, they determined that not only could steel scrap be a renewable resource for production of steel materials, but it could also satisfy the demands of various nations placed on steel in terms of quality standards. Furthermore, they set the following definition for steel scrap resources:
This definition enabled the world to recognize what sort of resource steel scrap is. It is all around us, just like the sun and water. The only difference is that steel scrap cannot be automatically recycled and relies on human processing in order to be converted into a resource. Thus, we have electric furnace production. Today, the proportion of the world’s advanced nations using electric furnaces to produce steel is continually rising.
The United States Green Building Council formulated LEED in 1994, which prescribes and encourages building steel materials to incorporate a large quantity of steel made from renewable steel scrap resources. This has since been widely adopted in public engineering by the American government as well as the governments of the world’s advanced nations, and has likewise accelerated the development of electric furnaces in the building material sectors of advanced nations in Europe and North America.
In the course of production, steelmaking is primarily divided into the two approaches of either using a “blast furnace” or an “electric furnace.” The source material for electric furnaces is steel scrap, while for blast furnaces it is mined iron ore.
In addition to having different sources, these two production processes differ even more greatly in terms of energy consumption and proportions of pollution.
We rely on steel in our lives, and as civilization develops, this reliance will continue to grow.
When we are unable to avoid demand, we should at least minimize the harm caused due to demand. Therefore, choosing steel products made from electric furnaces is the best way to treat the earth well.
We care about this topic because mitigation of global warming is a worldwide responsibility and is also a task to be achieved. Therefore, we hope that in every decision the company makes, we will be capable of achieving progress in this task. To this end, in 2012 we joined the Climate Action Plan of the World Steel Association (WSA).
Climate change is the biggest issue that the global steel industry faces in the 21st century. Therefore, the WSA established this plan, in hopes that global steel plants will be able to provide their CO2 emissions data for research analysis. This information can then be used by the world’s steel industries in various nations to draft a plan to better mitigate global warming.
There are now 43 steel companies participating in this plan, which is less than 1/3 of all WSA members. We feel very proud to be amongst the pioneers participating in this plan, alongside the world’s other major steel industry players who care about this topic!
If you believe in our efforts, we hope that when you choose building materials and construction materials or purchase a home, ask to use Tung Ho products. These actions will support our further progress, and of course we will not slow our pace in energy conservation and emissions reductions. We also hope you can join us in protecting the earth!