Outokumpu Drives Europe's Circular Economy

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by KnowESG,

Outokumpu Oyj

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Image courtesy of Outokumpu

Outokumpu, a leading innovator in the steel industry, is set to transform the circular economy landscape in Europe with the introduction of its trailblazing initiative, Outokumpu Inner Circle.

This groundbreaking programme unveiled at the World Circular Economy event in Helsinki, Finland, aims to enhance the circularity of stainless steel production by forging stronger bonds between customers and steel scrap suppliers.

Representing the first-of-its-kind initiative in the industry, Inner Circle seeks to establish a transparent and efficient supply chain, facilitating the seamless transition from stainless steel to usable scrap and, subsequently, to more sustainable stainless steel production.

Max Menzel, Head of Sustainability & Technical Customer Service at Outokumpu, emphasises the significance of circularity in sustainable stainless steel production, stating, "With the Inner Circle initiative, we are bringing our customers and scrap suppliers together to ensure an efficient, transparent, and sustainable supply chain for steel scrap. Ultimately, our vision is to create a visible closed loop for steel—a unique example of circular economy in action."

The Inner Circle initiative capitalises on existing supply chains, streamlining the path for scrap materials from customers back to producers. To ensure transparency and adherence to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards throughout the supply chain, all partners involved in the initiative will undergo thorough verification.

Outokumpu assumes the pivotal role of steering the initiative and fostering networks between customers and verified scrap suppliers. On the other hand, scrap suppliers are entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining a sustainable supply chain by sourcing scrap from the network's partners and ensuring its environmentally sound distribution. Customers who participate in the programme will contribute to the closed-loop system by returning their scrap materials to the cycle either after processing or at the end of the product's life cycle, via the designated scrap suppliers.

Max Menzel emphasises the collaborative nature of the initiative, affirming, "Together, we will demonstrate strong initiative and leadership by spearheading the move towards a more circular and closed-loop economy. Our partners have the opportunity to join this pioneering and inclusive initiative, the first of its kind in the industry, and showcase their commitment to the circular economy."

Outokumpu's Inner Circle initiative heralds a new era of sustainable steel production, setting a remarkable precedent for circular economy practices within the industry. Through collaboration and innovation, Outokumpu is poised to revolutionise the way steel is used and recycled, contributing to a greener and more environmentally conscious future.

Join Outokumpu's Inner Circle Initiative and Lead the Way in Circular Economy

Outokumpu is extending an invitation to steel industry partners to join the Outokumpu Inner Circle and showcase their leadership in the circular economy. By participating, partners will have the opportunity to contribute their insights and expertise to shape and develop the network, thereby adding genuine value to the industry's sustainability efforts.

Outokumpu Inner Circle welcomes all scrap suppliers and stainless steel consumers from Europe to participate in this open initiative. In the initial phase, the focus is on establishing best practices and fostering collaboration.

According to Max Menzel, there's been a lot of interest already, showing that there really is an industry-wide need for this kind of initiative. The enthusiasm and interest generated thus far reflect the industry's need for such an initiative.

CRONIMET, a leading scrap supplier, has embraced the Inner Circle initiative as its first partner.

Nico Krueger, Commercial Director at CRONIMET, expresses the alignment between the initiative and their corporate values, stating, "The Inner Circle initiative builds on the ideas of fairness, openness, and the pursuit of long-term partnerships and therefore fits perfectly with our corporate values. At the same time, we are convinced that this is the right approach to achieving sustainability and business success in the circular economy."

For Outokumpu, a circular economy lies at the core of its sustainability approach. Stainless steel, being 100% recyclable, plays a pivotal role in the circular economy. Already leading the way in the industry, Outokumpu boasts the highest recycled material content rate of 94% in its stainless steel production.

Juha Erkkilä, VP - Sustainability at Outokumpu, emphasises the company's commitment to enabling a more sustainable future through circular economy practices, stating, "We believe the world does not need more things - but things that last. And when a product is at the end of its life cycle, it should be brought back to life by becoming raw material for something new. The more we use scrap, the lower our emissions are. We would like to enable our customers and partners to actively participate by joining this initiative."

Click here to read more about Inner Circle

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Source: Outokumpu

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