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With sustainability in mind, voestalpine pays special attention to ecological requirements such as long service life, conservation of resources and best-possible re-usability and recyclability when developing new products and processes. In keeping with our forward-looking life cycle assessment concept, the entire value added chain is taken into account at voestalpine.
The aim is to minimise the effects on people and the environment and the carbon footprint, particularly considering that steel, as one of the most environmentally friendly materials, which is 100% recyclable, demonstrates that on a daily basis.

Our aim: A CO2 neutral economy

The voestalpine scenario for achieving our climate targets envisages step-by-step decarbonisation through the long-term vision of hydrogen utilisation. The three main pillars of the concept are:

Direct reduction as transitional technology

At our direct reduction plant in Texas, USA, which started operation in the autumn of 2016, HBI (hot briquetted iron)/DRI (direct reduced iron) is produced using natural gas instead of coal/coke. The use of HBI in the existing blast furnaces in Linz and Donauwitz will enable group-wide CO2 reduction by as much as 5%. Following that, natural gas can be gradually replaced as the reducing agent in the long term by "green hydrogen".

Renewable energy generation - "Green Hydrogen" 

As part of the EU flagship project H2FUTURE, a trial plant for testing out PEM (proton exchange membrane) electrolysis technology together with collaboration partners has started operation at the Linz site. It is currently the world's largest electrolysis plant for green hydrogen generation.

Hydrogen - The Technology of the Future

In the SuSteel (sustainable steel-making) trial plant at the Donauwitz site, research into smelting reduction of iron ore using hydrogen plasma instead of the present blast furnace/LD steelworks process is being carried out. The direct production of steel from iron oxides without intermediate stages is the most visionary concept of the research. The aim is the development of a new type of hydrogen plasma technology for CO2-free and, therefore, more sustainable production of steel. The intention is to use hydrogen plasma both for reducing the oxides and as the energy source for smelting.

Compliance

Compliance is the expression of a philosophy. The core aspect of compliance is not just acting in accordance with legal principles, it goes much further. The focus of compliance activities is primarily to protect free competition and prevent corruption. The group directives adopted for the purpose thus set down the rules for dealing with business agents and consultants, the acceptance and offering of gifts and sponsorship. voestalpine has set down very clear and demanding standards in that regard. In that way, the company signals to customers, suppliers and shareholders that employees of the voestalpine Group are reliable, fair and open partners.

Social Responsibility

Responsibility towards society – our own corporate social responsibility – is something that voestalpine actively practises by supporting social, cultural and educational initiatives in a wide variety of ways. When selecting the projects to support, careful attention is given to ensuring that they match the company's principles and create a sustainable benefit for society.