- Steel is the most recycled material in the world
- Average recovery rate for steel in buildings is 85%
- Steel does not suffer any product degradation through endless recycling
New Zealand Steel is committed to continual improvement of environmental performance and the efficient use of natural resources. Our objective is to produce a range of versatile steel building products and steel solutions that are innovative, durable, safe and aesthetic.
Modern steel plants, such as New Zealand Steel, now produce a vast array of sophisticated steel products that find use throughout society. Steel is simply a purer form of iron with lower carbon content. The capabilities of steel manufacturing are always improving. In the past, the industry produced a limited product range, but today it produces a diverse and innovative range of pre-engineered steel products to meet the demands of the ever changing built environment. The use of recycled steel scrap continues to be integral to our steel manufacturing process and there is recycled content in all our various
New Zealand Steel has made recycling gains through creation of a significant by-products industry (referred to as co-products), in line with its commitment to reuse materials and reduce disposal of residual materials (waste). About 500 kilograms of co-products are produced per tonne of crude steel. These are on sold as valuable raw materials for other industry and the steel aggregate products offset the need for quarrying natural materials. Currently New Zealand Steel reuses or recycles around 80% of the non-steel material uprisings. Co-products from iron and steelmaking slag are used for road surfacing, soil conditioning, sports field drainage, and sand blasting and filtering in wastewater treatment.
Major improvements have also been made in energy efficiency through cogeneration where New Zealand Steel produces up to 70% of its own electricity requirements. All wastewater and stormwater is treated to a high environmental standard before discharge or recycling. Of the total volume of water in the steel mill's water circuits less than 1 percent is discharged to the Waiuku Estuary each day. The remaining water is recycled and recirculated to conserve this natural resource.
In New Zealand there is a well established metals recycling industry. Scrap steel for production comes from a variety of sources including scrap generated including scrap from off-cuts generated by manufacturers and steel locked up in items that have come to the end of their useful lives. Steel is always useful and can be infinitely recycled with out degradation of product.
Steel's inherent properties make it the ideal building material in today's environment. New Zealand Steel is constantly conducting research for product improvement, development of new products and new applications for existing products. We do this through consultation with industry, customers and regulators. Through careful consideration of site requirements, product, design, aspect, colour and other properties, a practical sustainable steel solution can be achieved for your building. The steel used will contain recycled material but more importantly will be capable of reuse or endless recycling into other steel solutions.
New Zealand Steel has also established an Environmental Management System that is certified annually to ISO14001 - an international standard.