As mindfulness of how everyday products are impacting the environment, it has become vital to look beyond the product itself and look deeper into the wide-reaching impacts of production and end of life disposal. Failure to look beyond a single aspect, like the use-phase of a product, can result in unintended consequences—like creating an even greater environmental detriment in production.
The North American steel industry has committed to using Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) to measure and communicate transparently about the real environmental impact of steel. Among other things, LCA considers the total environmental impacts generated by the production, as well as use and end-of-life (recycling or disposal) phases of a product.
Steel has life cycle advantages over competing materials because of its relatively low energy use, high recyclability, conservation of natural resources and the extensive reuse of by-products
The American Iron and Steel Institute leads industry research in LCA, generating life cycle data for many common steel grades, as well as environmental product declarations for common steel products. Visit, www.sustainable-steel.org for more information.