A collaborative project delivering by-products of metal recycling and steelmaking as sustainable raw materials for the cement industry has been shortlisted at this year’s World Sustainability Awards.
Metals recycler EMR and waste manager Darlow Lloyd & Sons are developing mineral-rich products which can then be used by the aggregates sector in the production of clinker, the precursor to cement, to replace virgin quarried raw materials and decarbonise part of the process. The steel and cement industries combined are responsible for almost a fifth of global carbon emissions.
Their partnership with steel giant Tata and Swansea University, known as Rectifi (‘Reducing Embedded Carbon Through Transformation of Foundation Industries’) is up for the External Partnership Award at the global event in Amsterdam in October. The awards are organised by Sustainability Leaders, described as a ‘global community-intelligence network for business executives to accelerate sustainability initiatives’.
The UK consumes approximately 12 million tonnes of semi-finished steel a year and produces around 11 million tonnes of steel scrap. Currently, 80% of this recycled material is exported with millions of tonnes of virgin iron ore imported in its place. Recycled material offers 85% lower embedded carbon, when compared with nature-depleting virgin alternatives.
Alexander Thompson, innovation project manager at EMR, says Rectifi is a hugely important project. ‘As a world-leading producer of sustainable materials, EMR knows how valuable recycled steel will be in the transition towards a low-carbon, circular economy.
‘Working with Tata Steel … means that we can create the high-quality grades of recycled steel that manufacturers demand. To be recognised for all of this, so early in our journey, is hugely rewarding for everybody involved with Rectifi.’