Mighty Earth becomes a member of ResponsibleSteel

Environmental organisation Mighty Earth has officially become a member of ResponsibleSteel, a global, multi-stakeholder, not-for-profit standard and certification initiative for the responsible sourcing and production of steel.

Mighty Earth has joined ResponsibleSteel to help address the outsized climate impact of steel and the entire heavy industrial sector. It is the first US-based organisation to join the initiative.

“Mighty Earth is excited to join this unprecedented and urgent effort to reduce climate pollution from the world's leading source of industrial emissions: steel,” said Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz. “NGOs and industry must work together to cut industrial carbon emissions in half by 2030, and our hope is that ResponsibleSteel will be the vehicle for the steel industry to do its part to solve the climate crisis.”

According to Mighty Earth, steel is the leading source of industrial emissions, accounting for 8% of all global emissions. It is representative of the heavy industrial sector, long perceived as the most difficult to abate sector. Industrial sectors account for 38% of global energy use, a quarter of global emissions, and 30% of all US carbon emissions. The scale of energy use means that mitigating the climate impact of industry is as important as addressing deforestation or transportation.

Mighty Earth claims to be one of the only NGOs focused on the heavy industrial sector and steel, but progress has been made. A few weeks ago, Skanska UK committed to carbon neutrality for the full scope of its supply chain – exactly what Mighty Earth had asked for at the outset of the campaign. More recently, ArcelorMittal, the largest steel company in the world, committed to carbon neutrality in Europe and released the steel industry’s first-ever climate action plan. And just this month, the American Institute of Architects overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for 'urgent and sustained climate action.'

ResponsibleSteel’s certification mechanism will cover the production of steel as well as the sourcing of raw materials. The ResponsibleSteel standard, currently under development, addresses: business integrity; stakeholder communication and engagement; responsible sourcing; climate change and greenhouse gas emissions; emissions, effluent, waste; water stewardship; biodiversity and ecosystem services; human rights; local communities; labour rights; occupational health and safety.

Other members of the organisation include steel businesses like ArcelorMittal, BlueScope Steel, voestalpine, Aperam, BMW, Daimler and HSBC, as well as civil society organisations IndustriALL, IUCN, Fauna and Flora International, CDP and the We Mean Business Coalition.