worldsteel members have been providing data for the eight Sustainability Indicators every year since 2004, spending significant resources to measure their performance and collect the accompanying data.

The eight indicators are aligned with the principles outlined in our Sustainability Charter by systematically measuring key aspects of the industry’s economic, environmental and social performance.

Sustainability reporting at a global level is one of the major efforts the steel industry undertakes to manage its performance, demonstrate its commitment to sustainability and enhance transparency.

Our Sustainability Indicators inform stakeholders about the steel industry’s performance; they aim to show progress in fulfilling our sustainability commitments and demonstrate improved performance trends across the industry over time.

Institutional investors and investment funds increasingly use sustainability indicators to develop high-level evaluations of industry groups and can factor them into NGOs and regulators’ decision-making processes.

In 2022, 104 steel companies and associations contributed to the data collection. The companies who reported on one or more indicators for fiscal year 2021 produced 1,1 billion tonnes of crude steel, representing 56% of global crude steel production.

Environmental performance UNIT 2019 2020 2021
1 CO2 emissions intensity Tonnes CO2/tonne crude steel cast 1.85 1.89 1.91*
2 Energy intensity GJ/tonne crude steel cast 20.08 20.70 21.31*
3 Material efficiency % 97.49 97.86 97.34
4 Environmental management systems % 97.16 96.13 95.50
Social performance 2019 2020 2021
5 Lost time injury frequency rate Injuries/million hours worked 0.83 0.85 0.81
6 Employee training Training days/employee 6.90 7.15 6.71
Economic performance 2019 2020 2021
7 Investment in new processes and products % 7.09 8.03 6.41
8 Economic value distributed % 98.27 97.77 93.83

Data published in December 2022.

* For details relating to indicators 1 and 2, please read below or refer to page 3 of the Sustainability Indicators 2022 report.

2021 CO2 emissions and energy intensity

Since 2007, worldsteel has published a single annual global CO2 emissions intensity together with an energy intensity metric. These numbers are weighted based on the % split between the Blast Furnace – Basic Oxygen Furnace (BF-BOF) and scrap-based Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) global steel production routes.

As of this year’s publication, for the 2021 data onwards, this global average value for both intensities now also incorporates a contribution from Direct Reduced Iron (DRI)-based EAF steel production, given its rising importance as a key steelmaking process.

The slight increase in the reported figures is largely explained by this adjustment in the methodology and does not represent an increase in the global trend of CO2 emissions and energy intensity, both remain largely stable.

We consider that this new approach to calculating the global metric more accurately reflects global steel production today and in the future. Both the CO2 emissions and energy intensity for previous years have not been recalculated to reflect this change.

Further information on the worldsteel CO2 data collection methodology (including scope, boundaries and emission factors) can be found here: Climate Action data collection –

CO2 emission intensity by
production route
Energy intensity by
production route
tonnes CO2 per tonne of crude steel cast GJ per tonne of crude steel cast
Global average 1.91 21.31
BF-BOF 2.32 24.43
Scrap-EAF 0.67 10.04
DRI-EAF** 1.65 25.29

Data concerning global crude steel production using DRI is not currently collected, the denominator in this calculation is therefore calculated by the worldsteel data management team based on information contained in worldsteel’s collective databases.

The Sustainability Report 2022 can be downloaded via the below link. worldsteel members can access further information on data provision via our Sustainability Indicators User Guide, accessible for members only via the extranet.


Indicators 2012 – 2021 (10-year trends)


Environmental sustainability indicators

Note related to indicator 1: Please refer to the above note. More details are also available in the Sustainability Indicators 2022 report.

Notes relating to indicators 2: Please refer to the above note. More details are also available in the Sustainability Indicators 2022 report.

Social sustainability indicators

Notes relating to indicator 5: Lost time injury frequency rate includes fatalities and is calculated based on figures including contractors and employees.

Economic sustainability indicators


Indicator 7: Investment in new processes and products includes capital expenditure and R&D investment.


Indicator 8: Data collection for Economic Value Distributed started in 2007.