ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company, has published its 2018 integrated annual review in which it highlights its health and safety performance, its financial and operational position and its commitment to sustainable development.

Lakshmi Mittal, the company’s chairman and CEO commented that ArcelorMittal’s ‘world class steel solutions’ have an important role to play in society. “Our goal is to ensure that steel remains the world’s material of choice,” he said, adding that the company aims to be the world’s preferred steel supplier. “We aim to do this in a manner that is as efficient as possible so we can return value to our broad stakeholder base.”

On health and safety, ArcelorMittal claims that progress was made against its stated ambition of zero injuries and fatalities. The company is driving further improvement and instilling a safety-first culture throughout the organisation.

Financially, the company claims that progress has been made against it’s five-year strategic plan, Action 2020. According to Lakshmi Mittal, his business delivered its best financial performance in several years, generating Ebitda of $10.3 billion and net income of $5.1 billion. “We also now have industry-leading balance sheet strength and are investing in opportunities to create value so that we build an even stronger, more resilient group,” he said, highlighting the acquisition of Ilva in Italy and Votorantim in Brazil.

On the company’s five-year strategic plan, Action 2020, he said that the company had delivered $1.6 billion from its $3 billion Ebitda target. “We have a lot to be pleased about,” he said.

In terms of sustainability, the key focus is on improving safety performance, addressing what ArcelorMittal calls ‘the carbon challenge’ and building a high-performing organisation. The company is also focused on innovation, establishing customer reassurance through global standards and certification, and anticipating and responding to social and environmental trends.

ArcelorMittal filed 70 new patents and 26 new products aimed at creating sustainable development value and has a further 38 R&D projects for sustainable development in the pipeline. Ten million tonnes of CO2 were avoided due to re-use of blast furnace slag in the cement industry. Furthermore, the company allocated $652 million to environmental and energy capital projects.

Lakshmi Mittal wants sustainable development ‘embedded throughout our business’. He said that addressing climate change and supporting the transition to a low-carbon, circular economy was very important. “We are developing a low-emissions technology strategy, but need to see public policy evolve to support our efforts,” he argued.