Steel is one of society’s most important materials, but unfortunately it is also one of the biggest sources of carbon dioxide emissions. The Swedish steel manufacturer SSAB is changing this by using technology that replaces coal and coke with hydrogen in the production process. Vestre will be the first furniture manufacturer anywhere in the world to use this fossil-free steel in its production.
It is no exaggeration to say that carbon dioxide emissions must be drastically reduced globally if we are to succeed in mitigating the effects of global warming and climate change. This process will perhaps be a little slower in certain sectors and industries, but everyone can and must contribute—in line with Vestre's governing principle and motto: "Everyone can save the world. A little.” At Vestre, we have a desire to spur the development of and the transition to more sustainable materials and production methods to enable us to offer a product that is as sustainable as possible—something that more and more customers are demanding.
Fortunately, there are ways of drastically reducing or even eliminating emissions from steel production and achieving the targets set out in the Paris Agreement, while at the same helping to meet the rising demand for steel. One of them is to recycle steel, which has now reached 90 per cent across much of the world. However, the volume of scrap steel that is available at present is only sufficient to cover a quarter of global demand. The second measure that is becoming more widespread in the trend towards a more sustainable society is the transition to more sustainable steel production.
Steel manufacturer SSAB is already one of the world's most carbon dioxide-efficient steel manufacturers, yet they are also acutely aware that the industry has a long way to go. SSAB is therefore working to make a real difference as quickly as possible, and wants to lead the steel industry towards a carbon dioxide-free future. The technology for fossil-free steel production that SSAB has developed is based on the HYBRIT (Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology) initiative, which SSAB started back in 2016 together with the mining company LKAB and the energy company Vattenfall. By using this technology, which involves replacing coal and coke with fossil-free hydrogen, SSAB has the potential to reduce Sweden's CO2 emissions by around 10 per cent.
Developments are also shifting into high gear. In 2021, SSAB successfully manufactured the first steel with 100 per cent fossil-free hydrogen. The objective is to be able to offer fossil-free steel on the market by 2026.
Six reasons why manufacturers should start using SSAB’s fossil-free steel