The quest to develop competitive, low-carbon metals industries in Britain has taken a step forward with the appointment of an independent high-level panel to advise business and to champion the case for green solutions to the challenges facing these sectors.

The GREENSTEEL Council includes senior figures from industry, science and politics and is sponsored by Liberty House and its sister energy company, SIMEC, both part of the global GFG Alliance.

The Council, which has just held its first meeting at the Materials Processing Institute in Teeside, will have a primary remit to advise GFG Alliance businesses on the development and implementation of their recycling strategies, but it will also promote low-carbon production methods across Britain’s metals sectors generally.

Liberty and SIMEC’s GREENSTEEL strategy is aimed at creating a strong, sustainable and integrated metals, engineering and manufacturing sector in the UK, based on renewable energy and metal recycling.

The new Council’s initial line-up of members will include Professor Julian Allwood, professor of engineering and the environment at the University of Cambridge, Martin Lawrence, previously managing director at EDF Energy, Chris McDonald, chief executive of the Materials Processing Institute and Edwina Hart, formerly Minister for Business, Enterprise and Technology in the Welsh Government (2011-2016).

Hart, who chairs the Council said: “Our advice will be independent and based on solid evidence, and our clear objective will be the development of a more sustainable future for the metals industries in Britain. We’re looking forward to getting started with this important economic mission.”

Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of Liberty House commented: “The Council brings together an excellent team, offering a really valuable cross-section of experience and perspective related to the metals and energy sectors. That combination will help guide the GFG Alliance in its realisation of the GREENSTEEL vision and encourage the wider industry to also go in the low-carbon direction. We are convinced this recycling approach will provide the platform to re-establish the UK as an industrial leader.”