With the 48th World Steel Conference underway in Moscow, the World Steel Association has published its Sustainability Indicators for 2014.

“Measuring performance is the first step in making progress and having defined indicators allows companies to benchmark themselves and encourages further improvement," said Dr. Edwin Basson, director-general of worldsteel, adding that 'sustainability reporting at a global level is a major effort that the steel industry undertakes to manage its performance and demonstrate its commitment to sustainability.

Since the idea of sustainability indicators first became reality in 2004, when 42 steel companies participated in the programme, there are now 149 companies actively involved and worldsteel claims that 'steady improvements in most indicators' have been made over the past decade.

According to worldsteel, 'the steel industry believes that sustainable development must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.'

The 2014 Sustainability Indicators publication presents the latest 2013 results for eight sustainability indicators reported on by the steel industry.

For environmental performance, in 2013, average greenhouse gas emissions was at 1.8 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of crude steel cast and energy intensity was at 20.0 GJ per tonne of crude steel cast. Material efficiency indicator results showed that 96.4% of materials used on-site to make crude steel are converted to products and by-products. The environmental management systems (EMS) indicator demonstrated that 90.2% of steel industry employees and contractors worked in EMS registered production facilities.

For social performance, the lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) was at 1.6 injuries per million hours worked in 2013 while the employee training indicator showed that employees (at both production and non-production facilities) received an average of 7.8 training days during the year.

For economic performance, investment in new processes and products in 2013 stood at 8.6 % of revenue while economic value distributed (EVD) reached US$582.7 billion or 97.3% of revenue.