Stefan Schuster joined voestalpine in 2006 after obtaining his degree in Industrial Environmental Protection, Waste Management Technology and Recycling at the Montanuniversität Leoben. As an expert for the environment and for process technology and as the group-wide contact for the key topic of life cycle assessment, he can (further) develop LCA approaches and methods and help design the processes related to regulation, policy, and standards work.
In fact, Stefan Schuster’s area of responsibility is even broader. 40-year-old Schuster has a dual function for the Group and the Steel Division in Linz. He provides the divisions with internal support on strategic environmental management and is also the official external representative in such matters. “My job also includes interaction with various partners as well as association work, for example at worldsteel, where I am chairman of the LCA expert group. The customer aspect is becoming increasingly important. In 2017, for instance, 11% of all environmentally relevant customer inquiries revolved around the topic of life cycle assessment. It’s really very multi-faceted.”
"I enjoy the interaction and direct contact with customers. It is truly fascinating. We have to find out what their expectations are, what goals they have set for themselves and how we as voestalpine can accompany and support them in this process."
It is no coincidence that the Tyrol native ultimately found his place in environmental management at a steel company and a technology and industrial goods group in Linz. “This is a central theme running through my CV.” Stefan Schuster obtained a degree in Industrial Environmental Protection, Waste Management Technology and Recycling at the Montanuniversität Leoben, specializing in process engineering. He joined voestalpine in 2006 where he first worked in research and development at voestalpine Stahl GmbH. After two years in quality management at voestalpine Giesserei Linz GmbH, he ultimately found his place in environmental management.
"Life cycle assessment is a very comprehensive topic. I am involved in a great deal of internal and external processes."
A holistic view pays off His extensive and varied area of responsibility reflects the development of the environmental sector. “In the future, the ecological pillar of sustainability will also increasingly focus on a holistic view and presentation.” And a holistic view illustrates the clear advantages of steel over other materials. As Stefan Schuster points out, “Steel is a modern material and very versatile. The material cycle has always been closed. Steel can be recycled again and again at the end of its useful life. This is known as multirecycling. It is definitely an aspect that is worth pursuing further in many ways—in terms of policy, from a methodological point of view, in process engineering, or to establish these aspects more strongly in life cycle assessments. There is still a lot to be done, because in a future circular economy, high demands will be placed on modern materials.”