Transitioning to net zero is one of the greatest challenges the world has ever faced. Image: Canva
  • ASI's launches "Steel Sustainability Australia", allowing steel businesses to operate with sustainability
  • The built environment will play a major role in the transition to net zero
  • The SSA program engages the entire steel value chain by certifying downstream steel businesses

The Australian Steel Institute has launched Steel Sustainability Australia, a certification program that will allow steel businesses more leeway to operate in such a way as to pave a path toward a sustainable future.

Australian Steel Institute Sustainability Manager Jerusha Beresford says, “Transitioning to net zero is one of the greatest challenges the world has ever faced; it will require a complete transformation of how we live, work, build, consume and travel.”

Naturally, the built environment will play a huge role in this transition; according to the World Green Building Council, 75% of annual global emissions are from the built environment.

With up to 75% of the infrastructure that will be needed by 2050 yet to be built, it is critical that design and investment decisions made today take into consideration the scope and scale of climate change.

“The Steel Sustainability Australia certification program was developed in response to the ever-present focus on the sustainable performance and decarbonisation of the Australian construction industry, including the exponential growth in demand for lower carbon and responsibly sourced construction materials,” Beresford said.

“This is borne from the global focus on climate change and the net zero carbon emissions targets set by Governments and corporations alike, as well as the need for a more sustainably operating society in growing urban populations.

“Specifiers need to be able to identify more sustainable building products, and steel suppliers need certification that their products are sustainably manufactured and processed and are sourced through responsible and ethical supply chains.”

Beresford added that the momentum for change is already afoot, with large corporates such as BHP and Lendlease are putting their supply chains on notice. Super funds and banks are targeting investments in public companies with high sustainability credentials.

The ins-and-outs of Steel Sustainability Australia

A recognised initiative under the Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) Responsible Product Framework, the SSA program provides specifiers, engineers, builders and government with the means to identify sustainable steel suppliers.

The SSA program engages the entire steel value chain by certifying downstream steel businesses such as fabricators, roll formers, and reinforcing processors, and verifying upstream steel producers against best practice environmental, social and governance indicators aligned to the principles supporting the Green Building Council of Australia’s Responsible Product Framework.

GBCA Head of Market Transformation Jorge Chapa says, “As a developer or builder, your objective is to create a building that drives investment, gets tenants on board and meets all your corporate social responsibility needs.”

“As a result, the products used in your development need to be responsible, healthy and drive environmental outcomes.

“Building products need to be manufactured and installed in such a way that they reduce the impacts on nature and the environment and drive the reduction of carbon content.

“In GBCA’s Responsible Product Framework, there are a number of different credits that apply to building products and steel: the responsible structure credit, the responsible envelope credit, and the credit around carbon emissions and embodied carbon within a building.”



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