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2. Products that accelerate more sustainable lifestyles

We are committed to manufacturing products that advance sustainable lifestyles. Our steel is an essential component of countless products Americans depend on in their daily lives, including automobiles, appliances and packaging. The role steel plays in the sustainability strategies of our customers and these products often goes unrecognized. Steel not only allows products to be lighter, which results in reduced carbon emissions, but it is also infinitely and easily recyclable. Additionally, compared to competing materials, steel has a smaller environmental footprint. 

Why is this important to us?

We believe steel plays an important role in the circular economy. Steel is a critical component of the products that we rely on in our modern lives. As a leading steel producer in North America, we have a responsibility to demonstrate the sustainable life cycle of steel and continue to innovate with our current range of steel products.  

The commercial imperative

What kind of challenges do we face?

We must create products that meet our customers’ business and sustainability goals. In the automotive market, car manufacturers in the U.S. are required to make their cars more fuel efficient than ever before, often by making them lighter, while maintaining safety standards. Years of successful innovation have put steel at an advantage here, and our industry must maintain this leadership.

What do we need to do?

To maintain our market leadership, we regularly invest in continued product innovation. This means continually making stronger and lighter steel that meets our customers’ expectations. We also must work with our stakeholders to understand their specific needs and create solutions to meet new sustainability goals. We also have the opportunity to demonstrate how steel’s environmental footprint is smaller than competing materials, and will continue to drive industry leading life cycle analysis.  

What is the potential to create value?

Steel is the answer to many environmental challenges. Steel creates societal value in that it is strong, safe and easily and infinitely recyclable. One ton of steel produces less CO2 than aluminum, magnesium or carbon fiber over its whole lifetime. Recent innovations, such as the high-strength steels developed for the automotive market, have advanced our potential to make cars lighter, reduce air emissions and help customers meet increasingly stringent government regulations.   

2015 Highlights


OUR COMMITMENTS OUR PROGRESS NEXT STEPS

Product innovation

Ensure that our processes and products are at the cutting edge of innovation 
through targeted investments and initiatives

ArcelorMittal committed $227 million towards global research and development efforts

Continue to make strategic investments in research and development efforts throughout the world

Ensure our products continue to meet customer needs and goals related to more sustainable lifestyles

ArcelorMittal developed 195 innovative technical solutions globally that were deployed in 2015

Continue to develop new solutions both independently and co-engineered with customers

Life cycle analysis (LCA)

Understand and communicate the life cycle of steel as a material of choice for the North American 
automotive industry

Launched a life cycle analysis process with Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) and other American steel producers to analyze and report on the life cycle of steel

SMDI will launch the results of the LCA study in 2016

Case study: Automotive

ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks: Driving sustainability
for ArcelorMittal and our customers

ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks, a subsidiary of ArcelorMittal, is a unique supplier to the automotive industry. From this business unit, we supply tailor welded flat carbon steel of different grades and coatings to the automotive stamping market, providing our customers the ability to conveniently balance cost, weight and performance in their vehicles.

Close the case study

ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks, a subsidiary of ArcelorMittal, is a unique supplier to the automotive industry. From this business unit, we supply tailor welded flat carbon steel of different grades and coatings to the automotive stamping market, providing our customers the ability to conveniently balance cost, weight and performance in their vehicles. Through the product we supply and the processes we use in this division, we are making significant impacts on sustainability, both in the industry and for the general public.

“Our entire business is centered on providing sustainable choices to our customers,” says Todd Baker, the group’s President. With the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards requiring auto makers to reach an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, the industry is actively searching for innovative ways to reduce the weight and improve fuel economy in their vehicles. Tailored blanks are a large part of this equation. With this cost effective lightweight product, we not only assist our customers in taking significant strides toward meeting the CAFE standards, but also offer opportunities to improve the performance of their parts. 

“One of the major reasons a customer decides to utilize a laser welded blank is because of its ability to reduce the weight of an already existing component, while not significantly decreasing performance or increasing cost,” Todd says. The door ring currently being supplied to Acura for the MDX clearly demonstrates the balance Todd is discussing. The door ring reduced the weight of the vehicle by 3.5 kilograms and dramatically improved its crash performance, receiving a top safety pick plus rating by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). These innovative products are playing a significant role in the sustainability of everyday life, but this focus on the environment does not end there.

Over the past three years, ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks has actively undergone technology upgrades to reduce impact on the environment. By upgrading older laser technology to new state of the art fiber lasers, we have seen a significant decrease in energy usage. When combining all current upgrades, the division has reduced energy consumption by 75%; saving enough energy to power 650 homes per year. In conjunction with retroactively upgrading older equipment, this technology has set as a standard across the division, ensuring all new equipment is at the height of energy efficiency in their industry.

“It is imperative that we extend this focus on sustainability past the products we offer our customers and integrate sustainability into our manufacturing processes”, explains Todd. These upgrades represent a significant capital investment that helps the company achieve the goal of producing safe sustainable steel.

The focus on sustainable steel permeates even deeper than technology and products, with 99% of waste at ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks being recycled material. This high percentage of recycled waste is attributed to two things; raw material and energy efficient processes. Steel is 100% recyclable and plays a dramatic role in this achievement, as any waste from cutting, trimming or discarding parts is 100% recycled. It is also clear that the process the division uses to create value-added products does not contribute significantly to unsustainable waste. Todd identifies, “although a majority of our waste is recycled, we continually look for innovative ways to understand and improve how we manage and account for our waste.” Todd is referring to the internal initiative to separate steel from other sources of waste. This will allow more accurate analysis of the 1% of non-recyclable waste and find new and innovative ways to drive toward a goal of zero waste.

The ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks Division is a great example of ways different business units in ArcelorMittal play a significant role in reducing our impact on the environment. Todd said it best, “We have a significantly high percentage of recycled waste, we have dramatically reduced the amount of energy we use and we create a product that directly impacts the sustainability of everyday life.”