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    Life cycle assessments earn BlueScope an international industry award

    BlueScope Steel

    BlueScope Steel was recently honoured with the World Steel Association (worldsteel) Steel Award, known as a 'Steelie' for its commitment to improving the environmental sustainability of its products.

    The internationally recognised steel award was presented to BlueScope at the awards ceremony of the 47th Annual Steel Industry Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in the category of Excellence in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). BlueScope was chosen as the winner of the LCA Steelie by an expert panel from a pool of nominations by worldsteel member companies.

    German Steel Federation president Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff presented the award to BlueScope chief executive Mark Vassella.

    The award recognises BlueScope's use of LCAs in analysing and reducing the environmental impact of its next generation ZINCALUME steel (AM125) and its soon-to-be-launched COLORBOND steel (AM100) products.

    BlueScope's sustainability manager Richard Rowe said the award confirmed BlueScope's commitment to the use of LCA as a tool to measure the impact of new production techniques and new product designs on whole-of-life product impacts. 

    The LCAs for COLORBOND steel and ZINCALUME steel measured the cradle-to-grave environmental impacts of both products, and compared their performances with BlueScope's previous generation products in a roofing application in commercial and industrial buildings.

    Both assessments showed the new products outperformed their predecessors in 18 environmental impact categories including climate change, human toxicity, freshwater toxicity, metal depletion and fossil depletion. Specifically, the next generation COLORBOND steel AM100 was found to outperform COLORBOND steel AZ150 consistently across 18 environmental impact categories, with improvements ranging from 19.8 to 43.0 per cent. 

    The next generation ZINCALUME steel AM125 was found to outperform ZINCALUME steel AZ150 consistently across 18 environmental impact categories, with improvements ranging from 10.3 to 26.0 per cent.

    The LCAs found that the reduction in the amount of metal resources used in the patented aluminium-zinc-magnesium (AM) metal coating contributed to the reduction of its environmental footprint when compared with the traditional aluminium-zinc (AZ) coatings of the previous generation products.

    The LCAs also found that the increased durability of the patented AM coating increased the product life span, thereby contributing to the reduction of its environmental footprint when compared with the traditional AZ coatings of the previous generation products.

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