A Message from Schnitzer Steel CSO,
At Schnitzer every employee has a meaningful impact on our sustainability performance. Our fiscal 2021 Sustainability Report tells the story of our people working toward our shared sustainability goals and putting our core values into action. The past year’s progress reflected here underscores our collective commitment to making the most of operational opportunities and persevering amid unprecedented challenges.
Schnitzer’s sustainability endeavors continue to advance in the face of growing external ESG expectations. Far from a static process immune to market or political changes, our sustainability objectives and priorities remain in alignment with the ESG landscape to meet evolving demands set within the metals recycling, auto parts recovery, and steel manufacturing industries. We are continuously measuring progress across the triple bottom line (People, Planet, & Profit), achieving our goals, and setting ambitious new targets to drive progress for our business and our stakeholders.
National and global business initiatives and conversations around ESG increasingly emphasize the urgency of reducing carbon emissions and employing strategic measures to offset the impacts of climate change. Schnitzer’s integrated operations provide a foundation for success within these parameters. From the way we source, process, recover, and transport recycled materials and vehicles to the energy we use to produce sustainable steel, our business is positioned to make vital contributions and meet the demands of the low-carbon economy of the future.
We conducted a robust materiality assessment during fiscal 2021 to once again identify key issues and guide our sustainability strategy, reporting, and goal setting in alignment with the ESG topics most relevant to our Company. Previously completed in 2018, the updated assessment affirmed our top priorities, including but not limited to employee safety, environmental management, and talent recruitment and retention. We continue to renew our efforts to discover new and innovative approaches to drive further progress along these critical priorities.
This year we achieved our goal of 100 percent net carbon-free electricity use at our facilities ahead of our original 2022 schedule. We also made significant progress in achieving our goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from recycling operations by 25 percent by the end of fiscal 2025 by reducing GHG emissions from metal shredding processes by 25 percent. These successes were made possible in large part due to significant capital investment in industry-leading control technologies, as well as continuous improvement in employee engagement and management practices.
Expanding on our sustainability objectives, this year we have set a new goal to obtain the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification for the Company’s Environmental Management System in fiscal 2022 and to incorporate 100 percent of our facilities by 2025. We are also proceeding toward achieving net zero GHG emissions by the end of fiscal 2050, with an initial interim goal of reducing Scope 1 GHG emissions from our recycling operations by 25 percent by end of fiscal 2025 using a fiscal 2019 base year. These goals align with Schnitzer’s commitment to continuous improvement in limiting our environmental impact, while at the same time protecting and supporting our communities.
This year’s Sustainability Report details, for the first time, the direct alignment between Schnitzer activity and the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (UN SDGs). These global priorities, set in 2015, offer a framework to track sustainability progress and foster shared accountability in pursuit of real solutions to the societal challenges we face.
The UN SDGs also establish a common vocabulary for describing and accelerating our progress within the context of the global business community.
For example, we are positioned to help achieve SDG 12, Responsible Consumption and Production, as by virtue of our business model we actively create reductions in both waste accumulation and resource consumption. SDG 12 is particularly relevant for us, as it is about doing more and better with less. It is a global framework for increasing resource efficiency and establishing production patterns that allow economic growth without furthering environmental degradation. It supports our Company’s and other organizations’ efforts to adopt sustainable practices and promote sustainable development worldwide by 2030. Throughout this report there are many examples of key actions and initiatives underway toward Schnitzer’s continued progress in alignment with this and several other UN SDGs.
I am encouraged and motivated by the many positive impacts and achievements of this year. Through the continued engagement and support of our valued employees, we are ready to take on the challenges together in the years to come.
Chief Sustainability Officer