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Statement: Green Steel Report and the John Lawrie Group

On October 25th, 2021, Zero Waste Scotland published our Green Steel Report, titled “How Should Scotland Manage its Scrap Steel?”.

In it, our analysts looked at the environmental benefits of using Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) technology, powered by Scotland’s low-carbon electricity grid, to remanufacture scrap steel in Scotland – therefore producing some of the “greenest steel in the world”.

The paper is part of a series of reports released by Zero Waste Scotland looking at the circular opportunities for the energy transition in Scotland, including onshore wind decommissioning and the future of batteries. There are two future reports planned around the scrap steel industry.

Following publication, the John Lawrie Group approached us with some comments and we’ve since engaged in collaborative conversations, where we’ve responded directly with technical clarifications.

Based on these conversations, we’ve clarified points in the paper, specifically:

  • The dataset used from a Bureau of International Recycling Report (BIR) in 2018, which refers to the UK scrap market as a whole. We used this dataset as it was the most robust, available, evidence at the time of research, and did scale it down to Scotland. While we did quote our source, we accept that this could have been made explicitly clear, so have inserted a clarification line into the paper;
  • Then, using this UK scaled data, one of the scenarios we modelled was based on sending steel to Turkey. We did not state that all businesses in Scotland are doing this, but appreciate that this would benefit from clarification, so we have made this clear.

Zero Waste Scotland recognises that companies in this industry are taking proactive actions to reduce the carbon impact of what happens to their steel.

The purpose of this paper is to horizon-scan at what the market might look like and to find the most environmentally friendly opportunities that will maximise the value of steel in Scotland.

We look forward to working closely with the John Lawrie Group, and the wider scrap metal processing industry, to inform the next papers in this space.

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