Kingspan steels itself for green revolution

11 August 2021 Kingspan Group
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One day, all steel will be green steel. That’s the view of Mark Broderick, Procurement Director for Kingspan Panels.

Steel production accounts for 25 per cent of Europe’s industrial CO₂ emissions, with the building and infrastructure sectors accounting for more than half of global demand.

Green steel is a new production process that replaces coke and coal with hydrogen gas produced from renewable energy to achieve an almost totally CO₂ free product.

The pioneer of this new production technique is H2 Green Steel (H2GS), with planned production in Boden, northern Sweden. The region benefits from high-quality iron ore, world-leading expertise in metallurgy and steel production, and an abundance of renewable energy sources including hydropower and wind.

Earlier this year Kingspan announced a strategic investment in H2GS, joining a group of other investors focused on bringing about a transition to low carbon steel. In addition to making an investment, Kingspan is the first building materials company in the world to make a commitment to procure green steel at scale. The investment is consistent with Kingspan’s Planet Passionate pledge to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in product CO₂ intensity from its primary supply partners by 2030.

“We anticipate that about 25 – 30 per cent of the steel we buy will eventually come from H2GS,” said Mark, who has been appointed to the company’s Investor Advisory Board. “We are working closely with our other suppliers, all of whom are investing in their own low carbon projects based on similar technologies.”

The H2GS process results in only about 5 per cent of the CO₂ emissions associated with traditional blast furnace steel makers. One tonne of H2GS steel will emit less than 0.1 tonne of CO₂ compared with more than two tonnes using traditional methods.

Using low emissions steel would see Kingspan reduce embodied carbon in its insulated panel products by over 45%. It would also make a substantial contribution towards Kingspan’s new Science Based Target of cutting Scope 3 emissions from its supply chain by 42%  by 2030 versus 2020 levels.

“Only about a quarter of the infrastructure required for 2050 exists today,” said Mark. “We urgently need to move towards a more circular economic model and to reduce the embodied carbon in supply chains. Our investment in H2GS is one part of our mission is to accelerate towards a more sustainable future built environment.”

H2 Green steel CEO Henrik Henriksson, said:
”The Investor Advisory Board will be an important platform for the management of H2GS to bounce relevant strategic routes and keep investors updated on the progress of our venture. Mark’s presence has already brought valuable insight to the Board, highlighting the strong commitment of Kingspan towards sustainability and the spearheading of decarbonisation in the construction and building sector.”

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