Earth Day - Celebrating the Sustainability Benefits and Superior Recycling Attributes of Steel

Earth Day

DETROIT, April 21, 2011 – As the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) celebrates the 41st anniversary of Earth Day, investing member companies remind consumers about the sustainability benefits and superior recycling attributes of steel – making it the most cost-effective, durable option for all market applications.

The North American steel industry has invested billions of dollars in new technologies over the past two decades. Expenditures directed towards these investments have had notable results, including reductions in energy consumption, reduced CO2 emissions, a reduced life cycle impact and increased recycling. Since 1990, the industry has reduced energy intensity per ton of steel produced by 30 percent and CO2 emissions by 35 percent.

“Steel is integral to a modern society that enjoys a high quality of life, as we do in America. From the cars we drive to the bridges we cross, steel plays an essential role. It also provides safe packaging for the foods we eat, is a central material in the appliances we use and is the framing structure for the buildings in which we live and work. All of these steels will be recycled and re-appear as even better products, ensuring a safe and secure future,” Lawrence W. Kavanagh, president of SMDI, said. “In addition to being the world’s most recycled material, steel provides consumers with a number of benefits, such as improved fuel economy and reduced emissions in today’s vehicles, up to 40 percent cooling cost savings for buildings with reflective metal roofs, and reliable and recyclable steel utility poles that withstand wind and ice.”

Kavanagh concluded that companies that select steel for their products are making the environmentally responsible choice.

The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, grows and maintains the use of steel through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new growth opportunities in emerging steel markets. For more news or information, visit

Steel Market Development Institute investors:

  • AK Steel Corporation
  • ArcelorMittal Dofasco
  • ArcelorMittal USA LLC
  • Nucor Corporation
  • SSAB Americas
  • ThyssenKrupp Steel USA, LLC
  • United States Steel Corporation
  • USS-POSCO Industries

Deanna Lorincz
Senior Director, Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 248.945.4763