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Steel and sustainability: how ethical investing is involved
Investment Specialist Bridgette McDonald

Carbon emissions are a hot topic at the moment, even playing a significant part in the latest Australian political leadership spill. With Australia’s carbon emissions heading in the wrong direction (climbing 1.3 per cent in the year to March 2018*), it’s important for all corners of the economy to curb greenhouse gas output.


Sustainable steel - BlueScope

BlueScope (BlueScope Steel Ltd) is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of engineered building solutions and a leading supplier of steel building products. As part of our investment portfolios, BlueScope is playing its part in meeting emissions targets through embracing sustainable business practices.

As a steel producer, you might assume that BlueScope is ineligible for investment, given its reliance on high impact fossil fuels (metallurgical coal) to generate steel products. However, BlueScope is making inroads in adopting a range of sustainable initiatives to reduce its energy usage and greenhouse gas output. Over the last seven years, BlueScope has changed its manufacturing process to use residual heat from drying and baking to pre-heat its forges for the next batch of steel. This simple change has reduced its carbon emissions by over 4,800 kilotons.

Another initiative includes a recently signed solar power offtake agreement. This will represent 20 per cent of the company’s electricity needs in a first step towards transitioning to more renewable energy sources. Moreover, BlueScope is a strong proponent of a circular economy emphasising its long-lasting, continuously recyclable steel solutions.

But we don’t only focus on a company’s carbon emissions performance – BlueScope has a strong overall ‘AA’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) rating, supported by high rankings for corporate governance and safety performance.


Sustainable production, sustainable development

BlueScope’s sustainability journey is important as a pathway to align with several of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – specifically, SDG 11 and SDG 13.

SDG 11 focuses on sustainable cities and communities. BlueScope has a clear focus on lowering its carbon footprint through sustainable product and process design. Its buildings and infrastructure products are helping to literally build the world’s sustainable cities.

The company is also taking strong strides towards climate change action (SDG 13). It has adopted the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), examining three scenarios of climate change impacts on their business.

This kind of sustainable, ethical investment is what UCA Funds Management is all about – supporting and emphasising companies with a culture that positively impacts the environment, helping us work together for a better world.

To find out more about BlueScope's commitment to sustainability, visit its sustainability page.