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Europe's Steel Industry Is Poised to Make a Significant Contribution to the Continent's Low-Carbon Goals

According to a New Report by The Boston Consulting Group, It Is Economically and Technologically Possible for Steel to Reduce Its Absolute CO2 Emissions by 10 Percent From 1990 Levels

DUSSELDORF, GERMANY -- (Marketwired) -- 06/04/13 -- The steel industry in Europe has an important role to play as the continent works toward diminishing greenhouse gas emissions and building a sustainable industrial landscape. "Steel's Contribution to a Low-Carbon Europe: Technical and Economic Analysis of the Sector's CO2 Abatement Potential," a new report from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), prepared with the Steel Institute VDEh, provides a realistic view of how the steel industry can respond to the challenge of climate change.

The European Commission's long-term target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. To reach this goal, the EC has stated that the continent's industries as a whole must cut back on emissions by 34 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and by 83 to 87 percent by 2050. This report takes that roadmap and provides a realistic technical view of steel's CO2-mitigation potential, as well as the economic viability of new emission-reducing technologies.

From an economic point of view, according to the report, an absolute CO2 reduction of about 10 percent from 1990 levels is technologically and economically possible. This would equal a 25 to 30 percent reduction of emissions per ton of steel produced compared with 1990 levels. "We are shedding light on the true techno-economic potential for the steel industry," said Martin Wörtler, a BCG senior partner and coauthor of the report. "These findings should affect the discussions on how the emission targets for the steel industry should be realistically set and which emission-reducing technologies should be prioritized."

Balancing Environmental and Economic Interests

After presenting a clear overview of the steel industry and its historical development, the report assesses the sector's emission-reduction potential. "In this asset-intensive industry, there has to be a degree of stability before substantial investments can be made," said Felix Schuler, a BCG partner and coauthor of the report. "Policymakers must define realistic targets that balance ecological and economic interests and provide stable investment conditions."

Since steel's impact on emissions is not confined to the production process, the report also considers the important concept of steel as a mitigation enabler -- that is, its emissions-reduction potential through strictly selected and conservatively calculated CO2-reducing technologies. Eight such applications, including the production of lighter cars and the building of renewable power plants, can account for emissions reductions of similar dimensions as the overall CO2 footprint of the EU-27 steel production.

To download a copy of the report, please go to www.bcgperspectives.com.

To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or [email protected].

About The Boston Consulting Group
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 78 offices in 43 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com.

About bcgperspectives.com
Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management's agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG's extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm's founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content -- including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports -- can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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