Sustainability at Schnitzer

They are also aligned with the issues that matter to our stakeholders, as detailed in our Sustainability Materiality Assessment.

In fiscal 2019, Schnitzer established its first holistic set of enterprise-wide sustainability goals—focused on People, Planet, and Profit. Even considering the diversity of challenges we faced in fiscal 2020 due to the pandemic, we made significant progress toward meeting these ambitious goals. For example, Schnitzer exceeded its 90 percent carbon-free electricity goal in fiscal 2020, well before our target date of fiscal 2025. Accordingly, we aimed even higher, and are now targeting 100 percent net carbon-free electricity use by the end of fiscal 2022.

People Goal Fiscal 2020 Progress
Safety Achieve a 1.00 total case incident rate by end of fiscal 2025
1.91 total case incident rate, a 32% improvement in fiscal 2020
  Volunteerism Donate at least 10,000 hours of paid volunteerism time off (VTO) by end of fiscal 2025 116 VTO hours donated, as progress was impacted by COVID-19 restrictions
Planet Goal Fiscal 2020 Progress
(direct emissions or
Scope 1)
Reduce absolute GHG emissions from recycling operations by 25% by end of fiscal 2025
15% reduction of GHG emissions from recycling operations in fiscal 2020
  Carbon-free Electricity Use
(indirect emissions or
Scope 2)
Achieve and maintain at least 90% carbon-free electricity use by end of fiscal 2025

Updated goal: Achieve 100% net carbon-free electricity use by end of fiscal 2022
We exceeded our initial goal early with 93% carbon-free electricity use in fiscal 2020
Profit Goal  
Growth Achieve a profitability improvement target of $15/ton using sustainability-based initiatives*

*Targets based on a fiscal 2019 baseline: $8/ton from new advanced metal recovery technology by end of fiscal 2021. $7/ton from ferrous volume growth to 5 million tons by end of fiscal 2023.

Eliminate Waste

We create sustainable value through safety improvement and operational efficiency.

Waste can include wasted time and productivity, as well as wasted materials sent to landfills. We put the Eliminate Waste principle into action when we:

  • Improve safety performance
  • Increase operational efficiency
  • Invest in technologies and service offerings that allow us to send less material to landfills
  • Participate in office and facility recycling efforts and community environmental clean-up projects
Continuous Improvement

We continuously explore and pursue practices that promote sustainable operations.

The journey to becoming a more sustainable company has no endpoint. We put the Continuous Improvement principle into action when we:

  • Identify new opportunities to reduce air and GHG emissions
  • Identify opportunities for water reuse or recovery, including storm, waste, and process water recycling
  • Identify opportunities to improve scrap quality to increase market access and market share
  • Develop new processes and controls to improve the safety of our workplace environment
Technology & Innovation

We embrace the sustainable benefits of technology and innovation.

Sustainable technology and innovation protect our environment and the communities where we work and live. We put the Technology & Innovation principle into action when we:

  • Implement new technologies such as advanced metals recovery technology systems
  • Construct environmental control systems to benefit local community air and water quality
  • Deploy technologies and equipment to significantly reduce GHG emissions
  • Explore the implications of a changing metals stream, such as an increase in electric vehicles
Working with Purpose

We are committed to positively impacting our communities and supporting a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Creating a purposeful workplace environment benefits not only our employees, but also customers, investors, and communities. We put the Working with Purpose principle into action when we:

  • Support a workforce culture where everyone is treated with respect and fairness, and given equal opportunity to reach their full career potential
  • Work to address the unconscious biases that affect the way we relate to one another
  • Safeguard our employees’ health and well-being including during challenging circumstances like the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Positively impact communities through volunteerism and charitable giving

Our Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) reports directly to the CEO and provides regular updates to our Board of Directors, who oversee our sustainability strategy and execution. The CSO analyzes, builds consensus for, and manages sustainability-related initiatives, projects, and goals that are supported by executive-level leadership and are visible throughout the organization.

Schnitzer also has a Sustainability Leadership Group who collaborate on the development and deployment of sustainable and socially responsible business practices. This cross-functional team engages leaders across business lines, geographic regions, and job functions. The group seeks to mobilize our workforce to apply environmental and social considerations to operational decisions and planned product and service changes, support our culture of ethical behavior, and lead other stakeholder engagement events such as community food bank drives, natural disaster relief response, and environmental stewardship activities.

Sustainability Governance at Schnitzer