Sustainability

Taking into account its entire lifecycle, stainless steel has one of the lightest impacts on the Earth of all known engineering materials. And at the end of its long life, all stainless steel can be recycled to create new stainless that is as strong and long-lasting as the original.

The global life cycle of stainless steels

This leaflet summarizes the results of a study which quantifies the stocks and flows cycle of stainless steels. Conducted by Barbara Reck, Senior Research Scientist at Yale University, the study ‘Comprehensive Multilevel Cycle of Stainless Steel in 2015’ concluded that on average, 85% of stainless steels are recycled once they reach their end of life, either to become new stainless steels (56%) or a valuable iron source for carbon steels (29%).

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Stainless steel for a sustainable future

Due to its resistance to corrosion and staining, as well as needing little maintenance, most stainless steel products have long useful lives. Stainless steel products contribute towards renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, reduction in environmental impact, and safe food and beverage production. These are many types of stainless steels to suit a wide range of applications. Chosen and used correctly, they can make a major contribution to sustainability.

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Recycling ferritic stainless steel

The purpose of this brochure is to help develop and grow the systematic separation of ferritic stainless steel scrap in the metals recycling chain, both in the factory and at the end-of-life products.

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