Steel and the Circular Economy

Steel and the Circular Economy

Brussels, 16 October 2015 – The European Steel Association (EUROFER) today launched a new brochure showing how steel and the steel industry contribute to the building of the circular economy in Europe.

EUROFER Director General Axel Eggert said, “This brochure comes at an important time given the political intention to shape a Circular Economy in Europe. Achieving this objective is not possible without steel.” The European Commission is expected to publish a package with proposals on the Circular Economy towards the end of 2015. This package will explain how the EU intends to deal with the need to transform Europe into a more competitive resource-efficient economy, addressing a range of issues, including reuse, recycling, and waste treatment.

Steel is a 100% recyclable, ‘permanent’ material, which loses none of its unique properties when properly processed. The European steel industry works hard to ensure that the steel it produces can be reused, recovered, and recycled. It also ensures that steel production’s by-products, such as slags and process, gases are put to the best possible uses.

The brochure provides recommendations to policy makers dealing with issues arising in the circular economy for the steel industry. It shows that steel can help mitigate CO2 emissions and help reduce product lifecycle emissions. Steel’s characteristic as a ‘permanent’ material means it can be easily reused and subsequently recycled in a constant loop.

To this end, the brochure proposes that the recycling definition in the EU’s waste legislation be adapted to properly meet the aspirations of the circular economy. Finally, it demonstrates the large degree to which steel production retains as much of the material created during steel production and is able to make use of its by-products.

“As part of its commitment to underpinning the circular economy, the steel industry is constantly working on cleaner, resource-efficient solutions – as well as on an ever-expanding range of steel grades – ensuring that the average 170 million tonnes of steel it produces every year are ever more sustainable, useful and environmentally friendly,” added Mr Eggert.


Notes for Editors

Publication: Steel and the Circular Economy - link

The publication is available at the following address: http://www.eurofer.be/News&Events/PublicationsLinksList/20151016_CircularEconomyA4.pdf



The European Steel Association (EUROFER) represents members responsible for almost 100% of steel production in the European Union. Founded in 1976, EUROFER’s headquarters is located in Brussels. It is the voice of the European steel industry to policy makers, civil society and relevant stakeholders.

EUROFER’s members are steel companies and national steel federations based throughout the EU. The national steel federations and major steel companies of Switzerland and Turkey are also associate members.


About the European steel industry

The European steel industry is a world leader in innovation and environmental sustainability. It has a turnover of around €170 billion and directly employs 330,000 highly-skilled people, producing on average 170 million tonnes of steel per year. More than 500 steel production sites across 24 EU Member States provide direct and indirect employment to millions more European citizens. Closely integrated with Europe’s manufacturing and construction industries, steel is the backbone for development, growth and employment in Europe.

Steel is the most versatile industrial material in the world. The thousands of different grades and types of steel developed by the industry make the modern world possible. Steel is 100% recyclable and therefore is a fundamental part of the circular economy. As a basic engineering material, steel is also an essential factor in the development and deployment of innovative, CO2-mitigating technologies, improving resource efficiency and fostering sustainable development in Europe.



Charles de Lusignan, Communications Manager, +32 2 738 79 35 (charles@eurofer.be)

The European Steel Association (EUROFER AISBL)

Avenue de Cortenbergh, 172
B-1000 Brussels

Tel.: +32 2 738 79 20
Fax.: +32 2 738 79 55