Rio Tinto steps towards a green future for steel

Rio Tinto operations in the Pilbara. Copyright © 2018 Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto has signed an agreement with China Baowu Steel Group and Tsinghua University to implement new methods to reduce carbon emissions across the steel value chain.

The China Iron and Steel Association invited the parties to sign a memorandum of understanding, enabling the formation of a joint working group.

It will be tasked with identifying a pathway to support the goal of reducing emissions across the entire steel value chain, which accounts for between seven and nine per cent of the world’s carbon emissions.

The working group will establish a joint action plan exploring how to best use each parties’ strengths in research and development, technologies, processes, equipment, logistics and policy advisory capacities to combat climate change and improve environmental performance.

Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques said the partnership would bring together solutions to help address the steel industry’s carbon footprint.

“The materials we produce have an important role to play in the transition to a low carbon future and we are committed to partnering with our customers and others to find the most sustainable ways to produce, process and market them,” Jacques said.

“We are already doing this in aluminium and now, through this partnership, we will be doing it in the steel industry.”

China Baowu chairman Chen Derong said the company was committed to ecological and sustainable development.

“We want to make a difference to the iron and steel ecosystem by developing greener factories and enterprises to deliver a cleaner, more sustainable steel industry,” Derong said.

“China Baowu looks forward to exploring low-carbon metallurgical innovation with Rio Tinto and Tsinghua University, and building a low-carbon industrial value chain.”

Tsinghua University vice president You Zheng said it was committed to providing solutions to climate change challenges and contributing to sustainable development.

“The signing will enable us to work closely with the upstream and downstream of the steel industry value chain to jointly find the solution to the industry’s low carbon transformation,” he said.

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