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Steel Producer

Arrium: OneSteel

Arrium: OneSteel

Arrium, with headquarters in Australia, is a diverse portfolio of international mining, recycling, mining consumables, manufacturing and distribution businesses. In addition to its Australian operations, Arrium operates over 50 facilities overseas, including North and South America, New Zealand and Asia.

Arrium's steel and recycling operations include its integrated OneSteel business. OneSteel exports iron ore and scrap metal, and is the largest manufacturer and supplier of grinding media to the global resources sector. The company manufactures and distributes a wide range of steel products in Australia and New Zealand, including structurals, rail, rod, bar, wire, pipe and tube products, and distributes sheet, coil, piping systems and plate products.


To develop sustainable market offers, OneSteel engages in various activities and programmes to improve the comparability and sustainable use of steel products. Programmes include lifecycle analysis, Australian steel value chain footprint and certification studies, waste reduction for product in-use, promoting tools and techniques for more sustainable construction design, green building and infrastructure rating tools, and Australian Standards development. OneSteel also collaborates with customers to encourage sustainable product use.

Lifecycle inventory

Building products used in both commercial and domestic construction make up a significant portion of OneSteel's domestic steel output. In February 2011, OneSteel's lifecycle inventory (LCI) data for key building products was updated and provided to the Building Product Innovation Council (BPIC) project.


OneSteel promotes a waste hierarchy to drive lifecycle thinking and decision-making in the downstream use of steel. This comprises reduction, reuse and recycling. The first aspect of the waste hierarchy is to reduce the amount of steel required for a given application. Like any material, less steel in use means less environmental impact throughout the supply chain during manufacture and production. This can be achieved through the use of a stronger grade of steel with appropriate design adjustments.

Next is reuse. While recycling has an important environmental benefit, it is more advantageous if these products can be reused in another building in exactly the same way. It is the strength and durability of steel that makes this possible. When a building reaches the end of its life, it is usually demolished and the structural members such as steel beams, columns and trusses are recovered and recycled. However, if pre-planned deconstruction is adopted as an alternative to demolition, it is also possible to extract a portion of these steel members and reuse them in another building.

Steel's ability to be recycled is, perhaps, the material's most well-known sustainability feature. Steel can be recycled many times over to produce new steel products, consuming considerably less energy than required during its original production. The fact that steel has these properties gives scrap steel a very high intrinsic value and makes it a highly recyclable material. In 2011, OneSteel recycling collected 2.2 million tonnes of scrap metal and the company used 1.3 million tonnes of scrap steel in its raw steel production. Approximately 55% of the company's Australian steel production is produced from recycled post-consumer and non-site (pre-consumer) industrial scrap.

OneSteel's reinforcing division introduced a new range of products in 2011 to target waste reduction. The range includes ECOBAR™, ECO-REO™ and ECO-MESH™. These products are designed to create the most efficient use of steel in particular applications reducing the material needed, as well as generating less waste and scrap on site.

Sustainability initiatives

  • Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) – to improve its measure of performance and innovation, OneSteel has worked closely with the GBCA to revise its material steel credit structure for the Australian Green Star rating tool.
  • Australian Steel Institute (ASI) Environmental Charter – OneSteel is committed to this Charter, which is designed for downstream enterprises associated with steel manufacturing, fabrication and services to demonstrate a sound approach to environmental improvement. The Charter is expected to help steel fabricators earn credit points under the Australian Green Star environmental rating tool, and assist steel buyers to recognise and identify a steel supplier with established credentials. To view the ASI Sustainability Charter, please go to
  • Steel Reinforcement Institute of Australia (SRIA) Sustainability Committee – OneSteel subscribed to the SRIA Sustainability Policy and provided information to the SRIA Australian Industry Average Data on lifecycle inventory.
  • Australian Green Infrastructure Council (AGIC) – as a member of AGIC, and in conjunction with the ASI Sustainability Committee, OneSteel has been working with AGIC on its rating tool for infrastructure projects. The AGIC tool seeks to produce more sustainable outcomes from the design, construction and operation of Australia's infrastructure.
  • Steel Stewardship Forum (SSF) – OneSteel is a founding member of the SSF in Australia. The forum contains members from across the Australian steel lifecycle from mining, steelmaking, steel product manufacturing, galvanising, welding and recycling.
  • Build with standards – OneSteel has established a website ( to promote the importance of meeting building industry standards in sustainability, manufacturing and design using a full range of OneSteel structural steel products. This website provides information on compliance with Australian Standards, Green Star ratings and includes a range of free design tools and information. Compliance with Australian manufacturing and design standards ultimately reduces waste by avoiding possible rework to rectify faults and to address safety issues.