JCI, Nucor Partner to Recycle 100% Scrap Steel in US
Johnson Controls International plc
Johnson Controls International (JCI), a global leader in sustainable buildings, partners with Nucor, the largest steel producer in North America, to launch a steel recycling programme.
Over 70% of Johnson Controls' steel purchases in the United States and 45% globally are made from recycled scrap materials, and the partnership with Nucor will enable nearly 100% recycling of secondary scrap steel, equivalent to thousands of tons annually, at major Johnson Controls manufacturing sites in the U.S.
Nucor will utilise electric arc furnace (EAF) technology to remelt the scrap steel, which emits approximately 75% fewer emissions compared to traditional blast furnace manufacturing. The remelted steel will then be sold back to Johnson Controls for use in their manufacturing processes.
This closed-loop recycling process represents a highly efficient form of circularity, particularly suited to steel, as it can retain its material integrity through multiple rounds of recycling and repurposing.
Johnson Controls is globally committed to leveraging its purchasing power to accelerate the adoption of near-net zero steel and is a founding member of the First Movers Coalition, an organisation initiated by the U.S. State Department and the World Economic Forum.
Katie McGinty, Vice President and Chief Sustainability and External Affairs Officer at Johnson Controls, explains, "With our smart building technology trifecta—energy-efficient equipment, clean electrification, and systemic digitalisation—we have already achieved the capability to help customers achieve net zero building operational emissions. However, addressing embodied carbon emissions in hard-to-abate sectors like steel presents greater challenges. We are tackling the complexities of embodied carbon from various angles, including low-carbon steel purchases, steel recycling, material recycling, and overall product footprint reduction. This partnership with Nucor will enable us to significantly accelerate upstream decarbonisation through increased steel recycling, resulting in resource and emissions reductions in the short-term and long-term."
Noah Hanners, Executive Vice President of Raw Materials for Nucor Corporation, states, "We are thrilled to collaborate more closely with Johnson Controls and build upon our longstanding relationship by implementing this recycling programme. Nucor has been a pioneer in utilising EAF technology since the late 1960s, and we are now one of the cleanest and most sustainable steel producers worldwide. Through Nucor Industrial Recycling, we work with our steel customers to explore innovative ways to return steel scrap directly from manufacturing facilities to our steel mills for remelting and production of new steel products. This closed-loop recycling program with Johnson Controls exemplifies our commitment to working with customers to enhance resource efficiency in the steel supply chain."
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