Skip to Main Content
(Press Enter)

Why It Matters

Our Company’s and the recycling industry’s extensive history in the United States provide important context for the sustained value of metals recycling and steel manufacturing. The use of recovered, reused, and recycled metals is foundational to the production of sustainable metal products.

Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Future

Global carbon reduction efforts are a powerful structural driver of demand for recycled metals and will lead the way to the decarbonization of the new economy. A low-carbon economy and many low-carbon technologies are widely acknowledged to be more metal-intensive. The use of recycled metals is now an important strategic solution for companies, industries, and governments that are focused on carbon reduction. It is a competitive differentiator for metal producers and fabricators, and it is a critical part of every community’s commitment to supporting the circular economy and reducing material going to landfills. The material we recover and recycle directly supports the transition to a sustainable future.

Using 1 ton of recycled metals versus 1 ton of corresponding virgin material in the manufacturing process results in up to:







In fiscal 2021 Schnitzer’s 4.74 million metric tons of ferrous and nonferrous sales volumes has helped to avoid approximately 5.19 million metric tons of CO2e emissions. ** This is equivalent to removing more than 1.1 million passenger vehicles driven from U.S. roads for an entire year.**

*   CO2e savings are sourced from the BIR-commissioned study conducted by Imperial College London “Report on the Environmental Benefits of Recycling — 2016 edition, pg. 26”.

** Equivalent figure is calculated using the U.S. EPA’s “Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator”.

Connecting Our Business to Local and Global Communities

Our business activities connect us to both the local communities where we operate and the global business communities where we deliver our products and services. Schnitzer offers recycling job opportunities in our local operating markets. Our focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion underpins our hiring practices, as our workforce reflects the communities where we operate.

Our environmental and community engagement practices seek to minimize local impacts and accommodate the evolving needs of each community. We are actively involved with the business and trade associations that reflect the industries and communities we serve.

Our global impact draws a direct connection to industries and communities across the world. By aligning our sustainability goals with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we strengthen this connection, with shared priorities for a sustainable future.

In fiscal 2021 our direct and indirect contributions* included:

total economic impact

jobs supported

in wages earned

in federal, state, and local tax revenue

* Direct and indirect contributions include our own footprint as well as estimates for our suppliers and re-spending by employees of the U.S. steel industry and U.S. metal recycling industry. Statistics are based on our fiscal 2021 sales volumes of finished steel, recycled ferrous metals, and recycled nonferrous metals, and data sourced from economic impact studies facilitated by the American Iron & Steel Institute (AISI) for the U.S. steel industry and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) for the U.S. scrap recycling industry.