Steel is a material that fully satisfies the parameters of “environmental sustainability”, including durability and recyclability.
It is considered a sustainable material, as it can count on both factors:
- it is durable, that is, it remains functional with excessive maintenance or repair operations, under normal conditions of its life cycle;
- it is recyclable, or rather, it is the most recycled material in the world, with 14 tones recycled per second.
The recycling of this material is possible after it has exhausted its structural functions. This operation allows the recovery of 100% of the starting steel (without loosing the property itself).
In the case of the profiles, it is possible to recover 99% of steel as it can easily be separated from other materials.
In this sense, Italy is a protagonist. This is confirmed by the Report from the Steel Promotion Foundation, which sees it as the first European country to recycle ferrous scrap with an average of about 20 million tons of material annually re-used in domestic steel mills.
Steel therefore contributes significantly to the conservation of natural resources.
An equally important role is played in the construction of energy installations, with particular attention paid to plants for the production of energy from renewable sources. According to a study carried out by the Siderweb study office (portal of steel industry), by 2030 approximately 305 million tons of steel will be absorbed, divided into different types. About 40% will be allocated to renewable energy.
From this it follows that the greatest importance that steel can have in the coming years will be precisely for the construction of installations for the self-production of energy: from wind plants to biomass, to photovoltaic energy, especially in thermodynamic solar, as well as its use in hydroelectric and geothermal.