ArcelorMittal operations in Argentina and Brazil have each been shortlisted for Steelie Awards in the Excellence in Sustainability category. The Steelie Awards, in their 8th year, are organised by the World Steel Association (worldsteel).
The Excellence in Sustainability award acknowledges the sustainability initiative which has made the greatest contribution to all three areas of sustainability – economic, environmental and social value.
ArcelorMittal Tubarão has been shortlisted for its efforts to pave rural roads in Brazil using steel by-products. ArcelorMittal Argentina is also a contender for the gong in recognition of a project which built a secure breeding centre for the conservation of jaguars out of reused steel.
Both projects have made significant contributions to sustainability:
The first nomination, for improved road networks in Brazil, is primarily thanks to ArcelorMittal’s R&D department, which developed products called REVSOL® and REVSOL Plus® which turn steel slag into a primary road, car park and storage yard coating, replacing the use of non-renewable sources in road building and significantly reducing the need for road maintenance and the costs associated with it.
Paving what had been dirt roads has also improved access to services such as garbage collection, ambulances, and police for 30 municipalities in the state of Espirito Santo over a 200km radius. It has reduced maintenance costs for the vehicles which use these better-quality roads and has speeded up delivery of local produce, improving the quality of life for local people, and achieving better prices for small farmers whose produce is fresher and more saleable when it reaches consumers.
The second nomination is for a project that aims to secure the future of the jaguar, which is critically endangered in South America. With fewer than 200 individuals left in the wild, the Jaguar Experimental Breeding Centre was built in Argentina to boost the species’ population. The centre was built using 14 truckloads of steel, most of which was recovered from primary uses such as oil fields.
The 35-hectare breeding centre has two pairs of captive jaguar for breeding, sourced from Argentinian zoos and a Paraguayan reserve. The hope is their offspring can be released into the wild after they have learned to hunt wild prey without getting habituated to humans – thanks to four 1,200 square metre pens made of steel. Steel was chosen for its strength, durability, demountability and its comparatively small environmental impact – particularly as the project put the steel to a second use before it is returned to the Acindar ArcelorMittal steelworks for recycling, in support of circular economy principles.
Local people are benefiting from the new skills they have learned, such as welding, which enable them to work with steel. This is helping them switch from making their living as hunters to be able to contribute to the building and maintenance of the centre. Gaining these skills also opens new career options for people as builders, welders and cutters.
The local economy also benefits from the programme thanks to increased infrastructure investment and tourists attracted by the presence of the jaguars.
Alan Knight, general manager, head of corporate responsibility and sustainable development said, “Both these projects have delivered measurable benefits to the communities we operate in and demonstrate ArcelorMittal’s commitment to responsible steel manufacturing, as we work toward helping to create the zero-waste economy. Although both these projects deserve to be recognised for the excellent contributions they have made to economic, social and environmental stewardship in Brazil and Argentina, there can only be one winner in the sustainability category. I wish them both the very best of luck.”
Winners will be revealed at worldsteel’s annual dinner of the 2017 General Assembly in Brussels on Monday, 16 October.
Worldsteel is the industry association for steelmakers. Worldsteel members represent approximately 85% of the world's steel production.