Understanding and
Measuring Our Impact

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The business of sustainability

As most people know, our world has a waste problem. Hundreds of millions of tons of used metal products are added to landfills each year, all while the world continues to mine and drill for virgin materials to make new products.

Most people also understand the solution: limit the extraction of more natural resources by consuming less, and recycle and reuse the materials we already have.

What many people don’t see is what happens in between. How do obsolete materials from one activity become new inputs for another? How does an object get broken down into its component parts so they can be made new again? How can we disrupt the path from extraction to disposal?

Schnitzer knows. For more than 110 years, where others have seen a pile of scrap materials, we see potential and opportunity. Our primary traded material is recycled steel, the most recycled product on earth. Once manufactured from iron ore, steel can be recycled endlessly, so that the body of your car could one day become the beam of a bridge spanning your town. Precise chemical and physical processes make this continuous transformation possible. And our integrated operating platform, which includes auto dismantling, metals recycling, and steel manufacturing using recycled scrap steel, is performing these processes ever more efficiently, ensuring that more materials stay out of landfills and more resources stay in the ground.

Environmental impact

Recycling steel offers many environmental benefits compared with the use of virgin iron ore in steel manufacturing. Beyond its fundamental role in keeping materials out of landfills, recycling scrap is more energy-, emissions-, and water-efficient. As new construction and infrastructure projects are launched around the world, demand for steel is always there. It’s likely to remain strong as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy, with steel and other metals important components to wind turbines, energy-efficient buildings, and more. Recycled steel can meet much of that demand.

Business Impact

As one of North America’s largest recyclers of scrap metal and dismantlers of end-of-life vehicles, and a manufacturer of finished steel products from recycled steel, Schnitzer’s business impact is far-reaching and interconnected to daily life. Our strategically located facilities on both the east and west coasts of North America enable efficient sourcing and delivery of recycled metals to mills and foundries around the world for use in new metal product manufacturing. Through our Pick-n-Pull brand, we operate an industry-leading chain of self-service used auto parts stores providing recovered, affordable auto parts to our valued customers. Through Cascade Steel Rolling Mills, Inc., we provide the Western U.S. and Canada with high-quality steel products produced from recycled scrap metal at our state-of-the-art electric arc furnace steel mill. Our products include rebar, coiled rebar, wire rod, merchant bar, and other specialty products.

End-of-Life Vehicles Purchased Thousands
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Finished Steel Products Produced Thousand short tons
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Ferrous Scrap Sold Million long tons
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Non-ferrous Scrap Sold Millions of pounds
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Economic impact

With operations in 24 states and over 100 communities across the U.S., Puerto Rico, and western Canada, Schnitzer also plays a prominent role as a job creator, economic leader, and environmental steward. In Fiscal Year 2019, our direct and indirect contributions included:

18,068
U.S. jobs supported
$1.14 billion
in wages earned
$439 million
in taxes generated
$3.73 billion
total economic impact (based on ISRI economic impact studies and Fiscal Year 2019 scrap production volumes)