Energy & Greenhouse

BlueScope views climate change as a global issue that needs a global response. We are committed to making our contribution and our plants employ modern energy efficient equipment wherever feasible. The Company is continuously seeking to reduce its energy and greenhouse gas intensity.

The Company aims to deliver facility greenhouse gas intensities within the lowest quartile of comparable facilities.


Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Steel Manufacturing Process:

Steelmaking, by its very nature, consumes a large amount of energy and generates significant volumes of greenhouse gases, through the use of coal and coke as both chemical reductant and energy source in the iron making process. This chemical process accounts for more than 80 per cent of the greenhouse emissions from, and energy consumed within, an integrated steelworks.

Carbon, in the form of processed metallurgical coal (coke) and pulverised coal, is the reducing agent used to convert iron ore to iron in a blast furnace.  Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are generated as unavoidable by-products of this process.  

The laws of chemistry, physics and thermodynamics dictate the amount of carbon used in the blast furnace. Current carbon usage is close to theoretical minimum levels due to our efficient furnace operations and practices. Greenhouse gas generation is heavily influenced by production output.

BlueScope strives to progressively reduce its emissions and continues to play an active role in the global steel industry’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We are also committed to reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of our products and improving the energy efficiency of our operations.

Current controls

Globally, BlueScope actively participates in voluntary and legislated programs of regional and national significance in the countries in which it operates. Given the highest energy usage and greenhouse gas emission intensity are related to the larger iron and steelmaking operations in Australia and New Zealand, the majority of these programs are centred on these activities. BlueScope participates in the following legislated schemes:-

  • Australian Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program - mandatory reporting
  • The NSW Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) – mandatory obligations, potential certificate (credit) generation
  • The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) – mandatory obligations, potential certificate generation
  • The Renewable Energy Target (RET) – mandatory obligations
  • The Australian Carbon Pricing Mechanism – mandatory obligations
  • The New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme – mandatory obligations

The EEO Program enables standardised public reporting of energy use and energy savings initiatives, and a complete copy of the FY2012 EEO Public Report can be found here.

In addition, BlueScope's plants employ modern energy efficient equipment wherever feasible, and the Company continuously seeks to reduce its energy and greenhouse gas intensity.

Initiatives implemented or under investigation to improve energy and greenhouse gas performance include:

  • A renewed energy efficiency focus within business improvement processes to give all employees the opportunity to contribute to improving our energy profile.
  • Increased training and awareness of energy and GHG issues within the organisation.
  • Internal and external benchmarking and technical exchanges to learn and share experiences in energy efficiency.
  • Capturing and reusing by product gases from steel making and painting processes for heating and to generate electricity.
  • Developing process models to ensure fuels are used efficiently.
  • Improving process control.
  • Optimising operational and materials efficiency, and process yields.
  • Decommissioning or upgrading older, inefficient equipment.
  • Identifying and minimising gas leaks.
  • Increasing use of natural light in buildings.
  • Turning off or idling equipment when not in use.
  • Increased use of environmental measurement tools to monitor processes.


FY2012 was a transitional year at Port Kembla Steelworks, with 3 months operations configured to produce 5.3 million tonnes of steel per year, and 9 months at 2.6 million tonnes. The 2013 Community, Safety, Environment Report will give the first indication of greenhouse gas emissions under BlueScope's new structure.

In FY2012, BlueScope Steel's total Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (indirect) greenhouse gas emissions totalled 11.4 million tonnes CO2 emissions.

The October 2011 restructure of BlueScope's Australian operations had a significant impact on the Company's energy usage and greenhouse profile.  The reduction in capacity at Port Kembla Steelworks, the closure of the Western Port Hot Strip Mill and other associated changes in downstream operations contributed the majority of a 40.1 PJ (26%) energy reduction and the corresponding 4.45 million tonne (28%) reduction in CO2 emissions compared to FY2011.

the 4.4 million tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in FY2012 alone will contribute 8% of the Australian Governments 54 million tonne 2020 domestic abatement target, and is equivalent to taking 112,000 cars off the road, permanently. 2013 greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be lower still.

As a result of the restructure, plant utilisation rates are lower and greenhouse gas intensities have been adversely affected. However, BlueScope Steel remains focussed on reducing its energy and greenhouse gas intensity, and it is expected over time that continual improvement in intensities can be achieved off the new production baseline.

Regional Break-up
Million tonnes CO2 emissions per annum
Scope 1 Scope 2
Aust/NZ 9.26 1.37
North America

0.13 0.47
Asia 0.09 0.13

BlueScope’s Greenhouse Policy Principles

BlueScope has developed greenhouse gas policy principles against which it will assess policies aimed at reducing GHG emissions.