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Steel Industry Initiatives

The Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF) Initiatives

Long-term Vision for Climate Change Mitigation

In addition to JISF's commitment to a low carbon society with the target year of 2030, JISF formulated and published in November 2018 its Long-term Vision for Climate Change Mitigation for 2030 and beyond. JFE Steel played a central role in formulating the vision. It represents the industry’s challenge for realizing zero-carbon steel and shows the prospect of achieving the 2°C scenario for steelmaking and the necessity of super-innovative technologies to achieve the 1.5°C scenario. Furthermore, on February 15, 2021, the JISF announced the Basic Policy of the Japan steel industry on 2050 Carbon Neutrality aimed by the Japanese government, declaring that the Japanese iron and steel industry will boldly accept the challenge of realizing zero-carbon steel.


Relevance with JISFʼs Long-term Vision for Climate Change Mitigation

The Commitment to a Low Carbon Society

JISF is promoting its Commitment to a Low Carbon Society, which focuses on the Three Ecos initiatives and the development of innovative new iron and steelmaking processes. JFE Steel is actively implementing initiatives to help achieve the plan’s targets.

CO₂ Reduction Medium- to Long-term Targets (The Japan Iron and Steel Federation’s “Commitment to a Low Carbon Society”)

Three Ecos Eco Processes Eco Products Eco Solutions
Goal Further improve energy efficiency by taking full advantage of cutting-edge technologies Provide high-performance steel materials that result in high performing end-products and thus reducing CO₂ emissions Reduce CO₂ in developing countries through the transfer and application of world-leading, energy-saving Eco Process technologies
Targets FY2020
(phase-I)
Reduce CO₂ emissions by 5 million t-CO₂ compared to the BAU benchmark

Energy-saving: 3 million t-CO₂

Efficient use of waste plastics,
etc.: 2 million t-CO₂

The use of major high-performance steel materials to contribute to a CO₂ reduction of approximately 34.0 million t-CO₂ Estimated CO₂ reduction impact of 70 million t-CO₂
FY2030
(phase-II)
Reduce CO₂ emissions by 9 million t-CO₂ compared to the BAU benchmark The use of major high-performance steel materials to contribute to a CO₂ reduction of approximately 42.0 million t-CO₂ Estimated CO₂ reduction impact of 80 million t-CO₂
Status as of FY2019 year-end Reduced 3.3 million t-CO₂ emissions (energy conservation etc.), compared to the BAU benchmark Domestic and international use contributed to a CO₂ reduction of 31.94 million t-CO₂ CO₂ reduction impact of 68.57 million t-CO₂

Source: Public data from the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF)

Assessment of Commitment to a Low Carbon Society Results (JISF)

In FY2019, emissions by the Japanese steel industry decreased by 3.3 million t-CO₂ compared to the BAU emissions* benchmark. Various self-improvement efforts, such as raising the efficiency of coke ovens and generation facilities, are steadily contributing to this reduction. JFE Steel is actively working on these self-improvement efforts as well as investing in research and development for new energy-saving technologies.

*Business As Usual emissions: Estimated level of emissions in the absence of any special measure

Revolutionary Iron and Steelmaking Process Development

COURSE50

About 30% of CO₂ emissions can be reduced through hydrogen reduction along with separation and capture of CO₂ from blast furnace gases. The first facility is expected to come online by 2030, followed by other plants by 2050.

Ferro Coke

The Japanese steel industry intends to develop ferro coke that accelerates and lowers the temperatures of the reduction reaction in a blast furnace as well as its operational processes to conserve energy further and expand the use of low-rank materials. A medium-scale plant capable of producing 300 tonnes of ferro coke per day has been constructed in JFE Steel’s West Japan Works (Fukuyama district) and experimental testing for practice use started in FY2020.

Reduced CO₂ Emissions through High-performance Steel Materials (Effects of Eco Products)

The Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF) expects the use of high-performance steel materials to reduce CO₂ emissions. It is estimated that the use of 5 major high-performance steel materials for cars, transformers, ships, power generator boilers, and trains in Japan and overseas (FY2019 production: 7.06 million tonnes, 7.2% of crude steel production) helped to reduce CO₂ emissions by 31.94 million tonnes (10.13 million tonnes in Japan, 21.81 million tonnes overseas) in FY2019.

Note:

Estimates created by the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan

Materials included are steel sheets for automobiles, directional electrical steel sheets, thick steel sheets for shipbuilding, steel tubes for boilers, stainless steel sheets.

For the domestic figures, the calculation includes data from FY1990 onward. For the export figures, the calculation includes data from FY2003 onward for automobile and shipbuilding, from FY1998 onward for steel pipes for boilers and from FY1996 onward for electrical steel sheets.

CO₂ Reduction Resulting from the Use of Five High-performance Steel Materials in Japan and Abroad (FY2019)

CO₂ Reduction Resulting from the Use of Five High-performance Steel Materials in Japan and Abroad (FY2019)

Global Scale Initiatives

Addressing Global Warming

ISO 14404 is an international standard proposed by the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF) to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as a methodology for the globally unified calculation of CO₂ intensity from iron and steel production, ultimately to assess the energy efficiency of steelworks. The Japanese steel industry is addressing global warming through international public-private collaborations, including ISO 14404-based assessment of steelworks in developing countries and recommending specific technologies best suited to India and ASEAN countries. It is continuing this effort together with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in order to enhance ISO 14404 so it can be applied to steel manufacturing facilities with more complex structures.

JFE Steel is also addressing global warming by participating in international activities, such as the Japan India Public and Private Collaborative Meeting, the Japan-ASEAN Steel Initiative and the Japan-China Steel Industries Exchange. In addition, JFE Steel is involved as a member of World Steel Association (WSA)’s Climate Action Program, which uses ISO 14404 as the standard for measurement and calculation.

Climate Action Member Certification

Climate Action Member Certification
JFE Steel

Contribution to the Development of Calculation in LCA

In order to accurately evaluate the environmental impact of products, assessment and quantification is required over their entire life cycles, from raw resource mining to material production, product manufacture, use and final disposal. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is one method for conducting this evaluation.

After final products such as automobiles and buildings finish their mission in society, all of their steel components can be recycled and reused. This closed loop recycling ability is an excellent characteristic of steel materials. If LCA is conducted and this characteristic is taken into account, steel can be viewed as having extremely low environmental impact compared to other materials.

JFE Steel played a major role in the development of ISO 20915 (Life Cycle Inventory Calculation Methodology for Steel Products) and JIS Q 20915 (Life Cycle Inventory Calculation Methodology for Steel Products), initiatives led by the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF), which takes into account the impact of recycling and provides life cycle inventory (LCI) calculation methods specific to steel products.

In addition, 15 Japanese manufactures of blast furnace and electric furnace joined forces to calculate the Japanese average for LCI of different steel products. The calculation result based on their FY2018 operational data was also published.


Value of Steel

Life Cycle of Steel Materials

Life Cycle of Steel Materials

Related Links

The Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF): Climate Change Policy page

The Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF): LCA of Steel Products page

The Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF): Publication of ISO 20915

The Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF): Publication of JIS Q 20915