Our society faces pressure on long term sustainability from many sources. A rapidly growing global population, expanding needs for many good and services, and spreading wealth that stimulates more demand, all contribute to pressure on the sustainability of modern society.
Pressure on resources is burgeoning – water, arable land, mineral resources are all showing signs of significant exploitation – and is forcing a growing part of society to ask questions about the long term sustainability of our present way of life.
CO2 emissions from all sources have become a key focus for future sustainability, and resulted in the 2015 Paris agreement with the aim to restrict temperature increase to below 2% from historic levels.
A future sustainable society will require steel. The very nature of urban development, modern water and sanitation requirements, transportation of resources, people and products between locations in an increasingly interdependent world, medical requirements and a growing desire for household goods will require steel.
Very few products are as strong, light, versatile in different applications, as re-usable and affordable as steel.
In worldsteel, we are convinced that modern society cannot be sustainable without an adequate supply of steel. After all, globally we use more than 1700 Mt of this material every year and we recycle and re-use more than 85% at the end of each lifecycle, a key circular economy attribute.The role and impact of the steel industry in the economy
The steel industry is above all an enabling industry. Studies done by Oxford Economics, on behalf of worldsteel, have shown the steel industry to contribute an estimated 3.8% of global GDP.
Clearly, this is not equally distributed between all countries, but as more than 25% of the output of the steel industry regularly crosses intercontinental boundaries, the impact of the steel industry is not only restricted to steel producing countries – it supports economies across the globe.
Moreover, the bulk of the contribution to global GDP happens outside of the steel industry – of the 3.8% of global GDP, less than 20% is generated in the steel industry itself – the remaining 80% is generated in industries that supply to the steel industry, or industries that depend on steel as a key input to its production of goods and services.
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