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Related contacts
Contact Sustainability
Contact Sustainability

Thomas Hörnfeldt

Vice President Sustainability & Public Affairs

Direct phone: +46 8 5623 2140

Send E-mail

Harri Leppänen

Head of Environment, Health & Safety

Direct phone: +358 20 592 2389

Send E-mail

Liisa-Maija Seppänen

Investor Relations Manager

Mobile phone: +358 50 314 4455

Direct phone: +358 20 593 9232

Send E-mail

Jonas Larsson

Director Environmental Affairs

Direct phone: +46 2 437 2648

Send E-mail

Kristin Nordström

Vice President and Head of Ethics and Compliance

Direct phone: +46 8 454 5749

Send E-mail

Maria Långberg

Executive Vice President and Head of HR and Sustainability

Direct phone: +46 8 454 5727

Send E-mail

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SSAB and sustainability

SSAB and sustainability

For SSAB, sustainability is a natural part of our company and integrated into our vision. We are convinced that by managing our business in a sustainable way we will increase the possibilities to deliver strong financial and operational results.

SSAB's Sustainability srategy and targets

Sustainability strategy

SSAB’s sustainability strategy supports the overall SSAB strategy – Taking the Lead.

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SSAB's sustainability strategy arrow

Sustainability strategy

SSAB’s sustainability strategy supports the overall SSAB strategy. SSAB’s objective is to become one of the world’s most sustainable steel companies. Managing business in a sustainable way will increase the possibilities to deliver strong financial and operational results. SSAB summarizes our work in sustainability into three focus areas:

Sustainable offering

SSAB’s sustainable offering is our external value proposition, what we offer our customers and other stakeholders. The core of SSAB’s business is to develop and produce Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS) and Quenched and Tempered Steels (Q&T) that are stronger than ordinary steels, which in turn helps our customers to produce lighter and stronger products, thus reducing their environmental footprint.

Read more about our Sustainable offering


Sustainable operations
SSAB focuses on operational efficiency to ensure our operations are as sustainable as possible. SSAB works for continuous improvements to minimize emissions, aiming for material and energy efficiency, while at the same time providing our employees a safe and secure workplace with opportunities for individual, professional growth.

Read more about our Sustainable operations


Responsible partner
Contributing to the communities in which SSAB operates is an integral part of the way we do business. Acting as a responsible partner refers to how we manage risks and take responsibility for business ethics and our supply chain. 

Read more about how we act as a Responsible partner



SSAB and sustainability, materiality
Global drivers and trends

Global megatrends and SSAB's response

There are a number of global mega trends and drivers impacting our societies, including demographic changes, issues related to food security, and other aspects. For us, it is critical to understand and follow these trends in order to contribute to continuous sustainable development.

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Steel industry trends and drivers

Long term, the global steel market is expected to grow 2–3% a year driven by continued GDP growth globally, greater demand from a growing middle class in emerging countries, and by the development of new applications. It is expected that emerging markets in Africa, India and Latin America will offer above-average growth rates, whereas moderate steel demand growth rates are anticipated in  industrialized home market regions. In the long term, Chinese demand is expected to remain flat as Chinese economic growth shifts from being less export and infrastructure dependent to becoming more driven by domestic consumption.

Overcapacity will remain the biggest issue for the industry at large, as price pressures exert an increasing influence over the operations of all steel producers. The situation is expected to improve gradually in the years to come, driven by demand growth, a lower rate of new investments in steel capacity and possibly the structural removal of old capacity, particularly in Europe and China. 

The shift from  standard steels toward high-strength steels is expected to speed up during the next decade. Most steel consumers need to constantly improve the performance of their products and high-strength steels enable lighter and stronger applications. High-strength steels also enable better energy efficiency to the benefit of end users and are essential to meeting tougher environmental requirements.

Looking at specific segments, most areas are expected to see stable development in the coming years. The automotive segment has experienced positive growth recently, and the whole light vehicle  industry is expected to improve even more in emerging markets. Within construction, developments have been stable, albeit at a low level, and the sector is expected to improve going forward. In  mining, despite current challenges, the fundamentals of long-term demand for high-strength steels remain solid. Development in the energy sector has been impacted by low energy prices, but will be supported by growing populations and increased income per capita in the long term.

The world needs steel

Implications

  • Historically, steel consumption has grown in line with GDP 
  • Modern society depends on steel. The strong urbanization trend globally will support the demand growth for steel over the next decades
  • Steel has a number of unique characteristics, including excellent recyclability, and has few competitive substitutes 
  • In the short- and mid-term, moderate growth is expected since Chinese demand is anticipated to be slow and at best remain flat

Opportunities and threats

  • Growth opportunities in emerging markets and in certain segments such as transport and construction equipment (required in developing cities) 
  • Slow growth in mature markets 
  • Better access to scrap as collection rates increase in emerging markets

SSAB's response

  • Leading global position in high-strength steels, and capturing growth in emerging markets 
  • Strong position in segments such as heavy transport and construction machinery – sectors which are activated by urbanization 
  • Leading position in home markets

Chinese overcapacity shapes industry dynamics

Implications

  • China has overinvested in new capacity, while failing to retire older, obsolete production. This has led to overcapacity as demand falls
  • Standard steel has historically been a regional product – but taking global imbalances into account, trade between regions has increased significantly. European industry associations have advocated fair trade, resulting in import duties on some steel products from certain countries, including China
  • Unfair competition may reduce the competitiveness of the EU steel industry – more burdens (taxes, CO2 expenses, etc.) when compared to the situation for imported steel

Opportunities and threats

  • Price pressure globally: slowing growth in China forces domestic players to export steel at extremely low prices 
  • Risk of an extended period of low profitability in the industry 
  • Opportunities to differentiate, in terms of quality, lead times and services

 SSAB's response

  • Leading market positions and differentiation through products, services and brands
  • Flexible production setup in the Nordics – the ability to increase and decrease crude steel capacity with five blast furnaces in the system 
  • Leading cost positions in home markets, with high ambitions for continuous improvements

Customers need steel innovations

Implications

  • Speed of innovation – customers need to constantly improve 
  • Productivity – constant pressure across the value chains 
  • Global customers 
  • Heightened expectations in terms of delivery times, order tracking, control over flows, etc.

Opportunities and threats 

  • Need to improve product performance attributes – constant improvements in qualities and strengths
  • Competition with other materials, e.g. aluminum 
  • Demand to deliver with short lead times, and an increase in demand for tailored products 
  • Price pressure as customers grow in size

SSAB's response

  • Constantly improving product performance – special steels like higher yield strength and tougher wear steels 
  • Exerting efforts to help customers in application development – R&D, technical support, Knowledge Service Center 
  • Developing a unique collaboration model with customers 
  • More sales through SSAB’s own stocks and service centers, etc.

Sustainability trends will transform the industry

Implications

  • Climate change is a fact and urgent measures are required to mitigate it 
  • To decrease emissions, more efficient use of material and energy resources is critical 
  • As an energy-intensive industry, steel has significant environmental impact 
  • New regulatory requirements are coming into force regionally and globally 
  • Customers need to reduce their environmental footprints

Opportunities and threats

  • As customers respond to pressures both from the operational expense perspective and the regulatory sphere, they will need new solutions made from recyclable, more durable and stronger materials 
  • Risk of different regulations for different regions – more pressure for steel production to relocate from Europe to other regions with less stringent regulations 
  • Risk that industry does not keep up with external demands on environmental footprints

SSAB's response

  • Increase the penetration rate of high-strength steels globally – to enable reduced emissions in the product use phase 
  • Educate customers on how to use high-strength steels in more applications, to benefit the environment 
  • Constantly improve environmental performance in production – SSAB is already among the most efficient steel producers in terms of CO2 emissions
  • Make sure that as one of the leading steel producers in terms of sustainability, SSAB is treated fairly in new regulations

Stakeholders

SSAB has many different stakeholders. Their confidence in SSAB’s ability to manage risks and take advantage of opportunities is important for the company’s development.

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Stakeholder engagement

SSAB has many different stakeholders , who are important in work to define sustainability priorities. Key stakeholders are those that are impacted by SSAB’s operations and activities and, who similarly impact SSAB.

The following groups are considered as the most important stakeholder groups:

  • Existing and potential customers
  • Existing and potential employees
  • Shareholders, investors and financiers
  • Suppliers
  • Local communities near SSAB’s production sites
  • Public agencies and organizations

Other stakeholders SSAB interacts actively with include the media, regulators, various research bodies and partner organizations, research institutes, universities and vocational schools.


Continuous dialog with stakeholders

SSAB aims for regular, honest and transparent interaction with its stakeholders. SSAB actively maintains and develops its stakeholder relations and draws on information obtained from stakeholders when developing its operations, products and services. Transparent and continuous dialog increases the trust in SSAB’s ability to manage risks and utilize opportunities, which at the same time enhances the development of the company. Another aim of this dialog is to communicate the actions and measures taken within sustainability. At the same time, good communication is equally important from a stakeholder perspective so that SSAB can contribute to sustainability related assessments from suppliers and customers, investors and sustainability rating agencies.

SSAB has close collaboration with its customers in application development and technical support. SSAB actively participates in trade fairs, seminars and invites customers to site visits and to the annual Swedish Steel Prize, a competition established by SSAB in 1999 to inspire and disseminate knowledge about high-strength steel and how it can be used to develop stronger, lighter and more sustainable products.

It is important for SSAB to have engaged, competent and motivated employees to create a high-performing organization. Annual performance dialogs between employees and managers are a key element in following up results, providing mutual feedback and setting targets for performance and individual development. SSAB also conducts regularly personnel surveys to measure the satisfaction and engagement of employees. The survey gives everyone the opportunity to be part of the discussion and give feedback.

SSAB engages its investors and analysts in dialog to ensure that the financial markets have correct and sufficient information to determine the value of the SSAB share. The dialog includes annual general meetings, financial reports, result conferences and webcasts, information on the company’s website, press releases, investor and analyst meetings, seminars and site visits. In meetings with investors and analysts sustainability issues are also discussed, such as SSAB’s sustainability strategy and management, safety, climate change and energy.

SSAB’s work in sustainability extends to the whole value chain and via regular meetings with suppliers and contractors and via supplier audits SSAB maintains a dialog with important suppliers on issues related to, among other things, contracts, social and environmental responsibility, quality and delivery accuracy.

SSAB actively engages with the local communities in which it operates and is often the largest employer and significant regional force. The way SSAB works with local communities has been defined at a site level. Locally, in addition to own personnel, SSAB engages with politicians, regulators, the media and the general public, people living close to the production sites. SSAB aims to promote sustainable development of the local communities, participates in local initiatives, and sponsors selected local activities. In many places, SSAB works closely with, and organizes events,with local universities and schools to ensure future employees.

SSAB is involved in many research projects to drive technical developments and collaborates with industry associations on many topics such as emissions trading rights, as well as dealing with negotiations on permit matters related to environmental reporting.


Memberships and cooperation initiatives

Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development (SLSD) network

In 2016, SSAB joined the Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development (SLSD) network, which is a network of around 20 leading Swedish companies and NGOs with Swedish ties. The network was initiated in 2013 and is coordinated by the Swedish aid agency Sida. The UN´s new global goals for sustainable development (Sustainable Development Goals, SDG) are the basis of the network’s activities. In conjunction with the adoption of the SDGs, the network members agreed on a shared commitment to contribute to the achievement of these goals by reducing their environmental impact and using resources more efficiently, creating jobs with decent conditions and combating corruption and unethical conduct. The network’s CEOs meet once a year to evaluate the work conducted during the year and to set frameworks and guidelines for the next fiscal year.

Fossil Free Sweden initiative
The Swedish Government has launched Fossil free Sweden – an initiative that will highlight actors who, in their activities, help solve the climate issue and achieve the goal of a fossil-free society.The declaration of Fossil Free Sweden stipulates that actors participating in the initiative share the view that the world must become fossil-free and that Sweden should lead the way in these efforts. The declaration also stipulates that actors who participate must be able to present concrete measures to reduce emissions. Ahead of the COP21 climate change conference in Paris, the United Nations initiated the launch of an Action Agenda, to show how enterprises, cities, municipalities and organisations contribute to climate efforts. Within the framework of Fossil Free Sweden, the Government is bringing together Swedish actors who want to contribute to the international platform.

NMC, the Swedish Association for Sustainable Business 
NMC, the Swedish Association for Sustainable Business, is a nationwide professional association and cross-industry platform for experience sharing, discussion and awareness-raising meetings between companies and organizations. Within the association there are approximately 235 companies in various industries. Together they raise sustainability issues and act as the unifying force that drives the sustainable development of society, both nationally and internationally.

Global Compact Nordic Network
The Global Compact Nordic Network is a local network under the umbrella of the United Nations Global Compact. 
The purpose of the Network is to provide a learning forum for Nordic members of the Global Compact, promote the Global Compact, showcase good practice and inspire and assist other companies in implementing the ten principles.

NAZCA
NAZCA captures the commitments to climate action by companies, cities, subnational, regions, investors, and civil society organizations. The landmark universal agreement and decision to address climate change, adopted by 195 nations in Paris in 2015, welcomes the efforts of these actors to scale up their climate actions and encourages the registration of these actions on NAZCA. NAZCA aims to track the mobilization and action that are helping countries achieve and exceed their national commitments to address climate change.

Bothnia Bulk
SSAB is a partner in the EU co-funded project called Bothnia Bulk. The project upgrades the existing maritime link between the ports of Luleå, Oxelösund and Raahe in the northern Baltic Sea to further comply with the environmental regulations. The main objective is to have an energy-efficient, low-emission supply of dry bulk cargo available year-round in the peripheral region and to increase efficiency and reduce overall logistics costs. The project contributes to significant positive effects on environment by optimizing raw material logistics as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. 

SSAB's governing guidelines

Responsible business practices

SSAB’s vision and values are the foundation for our company culture and form the basis for our policies and governing guidelines.


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Responsible business practices

SSAB’s vision and values are the foundation for our company culture and form the basis for our policies and governing guidelines. The Code of Conduct, the Environmental Policy and the Health and Safety Policy are the most important Group policies from a sustainability perspective.

Policies and guidelines

SSAB´s values define who we are and what we stand for, and serve as a compass for our actions and behavior. Our values guide us daily in making the right choices and doing the right thing. Our values are complemented by our policies and guidelines. The Code of Conduct, the Environmental Policy and the Safety Policy are the most important company polices. SSAB also has local policies and guidelines that complement the Code of Conduct and correspond to the challenges the company faces in different geographies. All of our policies and guidelines are regularly reviewed and updated.


Code of conduct

SSAB’s Code of Conduct (Code) applies to everyone in the company worldwide, regardless of function, grade or standing, and is communicated to employees through e-learning. The Code is SSAB´s ethical compass and outlines guidelines for SSAB’s behavior vis-à-vis stakeholders and the market. The Code helps us translate values into action and forms the basis for our environmental and social responsibility commitments. The Code requires compliance with legislation and regulatory requirements. The provisions of the Code take precedence over all other policies in a division or at a subsidiary level and, in certain cases, may be more far-reaching than national laws and regulations. The Code is based on international standards including the UN Declaration of Human Rights and UN Global Compact Principles. The Code covers areas such as environment, health and safety, employee relations, personal integrity and business ethics. SSAB has also published a guide that summarizes SSAB´s Code and relevant policies to guide employees on how to handle business relationships and how to approach ethically challenging situations which may occur in our daily work.


Safety policy and environmental policy

SSAB is committed to creating value for our stakeholders and to building relationships based upon respect, responsibility and excellence with our employees, customers, shareholders and other business partners – and to doing so in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. SSAB is determined to be the safest steel company in the world, with the objective of achieving zero accidents, work-related injuries and illnesses. The provision of a safe and secure work environment for our employees, contractors and visitors who spend time at our sites is the highest priority. Every employee who works for SSAB has the personal responsibility to work in a safe manner every day. Working safely is a fundamental condition of employment at SSAB. Occupational safety is part of the integrated management system. Our Environmental Policy establishes the most important ambitions for SSAB’s environmental work and covers those environmental aspects which play a key role in the sustainable development of SSAB’s business. The Environmental Policy supports the day-to-day work across the organization and essentially entails the following:

  • SSAB will continue to develop products and services in collaboration with customers, so as to actively contribute to environmentally sound and profitable business
  • SSAB believes in the efficient use of raw materials and energy, while minimizing waste

Risk awareness and systematic risk management

Management systems and action plans ensure the Group systematically carries out its work on critical sustainability issues.

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Risk awareness and systematic risk management

Management systems and action plans ensure SSAB systematically carries out our work on critical sustainability issues. Several different management systems and tools, both developed in house and third-party certified, are used to effectively control operations in accordance with SSAB’s Code of Conduct, Safety Policy and Environmental Policy. Safety management systems for systematic health and safety work have been implemented at all production sites, including OHSAS 18001. Environmental and climate work takes place primarily within the scope of the ISO 14001 environmental management standard and via local energy management systems. Work environment -related risks and environmental risks are also covered by SSAB’s internal risk controls and internal audits. Our systems ensure that targets are set, performance is measured and progress is followed up.

SSAB's Safety Policy
SSAB's Environmental Policy

SSAB's sustainability downloads