In addition to conserving resources in both production and processing, voestalpine also focuses on improving the useful life of its products as well as their reusability and recoverability. voestalpine endeavors to achieve the most complete possible circular economy, even with respect to by-products resulting from production as well as residual products and waste.
Steel is considered a permanent material, i.e., a raw material that may be recycled any number of times without any loss in quality. The steel mills of the High Performance Metals Division operate electric furnaces and produce highest-grade steel products from own and third-party scrap as well as alloy additives. In 2018, the recycling rate of iron relative to the product output at voestalpine’s crude steel production plants in Linz and Donawitz was 30.0%*.
Process management in the integrated steel mills is optimized on an ongoing basis to ensure a high degree of internal recycling and external utilization of residual products and waste from both the production machinery and the downstream machinery (e.g., filter dust and mill scale). Furthermore, products, residual materials, and waste that accumulate externally are also utilized in voestalpine’s production plants—scrap, in particular, but also plastic pellets as well as waste oil and used grease.
Due to their ingredients, many of the by-products generated in the production and downstream processing of pig iron and steel can be utilized as recycled materials in-house or as secondary raw materials in other industries (e.g., steel mill dust in the zinc industry or slag in the cement industry).
The specific volume of non-hazardous waste in 2018 was 132 kg/t of product. As in the previous year, the specific volume of hazardous waste was 22 kg/t of product.
Specific waste volume
kg/t of product