worldsteel assists its members to develop the market for steel, managing major projects in a range of industry sectors, and plays an important role in benchmarking best practice, helping its members improve their businesses.
Representatives from member companies meet regularly in topic-specific committees to exchange information on industry best practices. These activities and discussions adhere to strict antitrust guidelines and are monitored by legal counsel.
A secure benchmarking system is used to collect data to prepare industry-wide performance statistics. The objective of the data collection is to improve the performance of the global steel industry through best practice and technology sharing. Gathered data is subsequently used to create reports, available to participating members, that inform discussions in relevant committees.
The overall outcome sought is to make the industry a safer, healthier, and more environmentally responsible place to work.
worldsteel prides itself on protecting the confidentiality of participating steel companies so all benchmarking systems are hosted on secure dedicated servers with ISO 27001 accreditation.
Access to the benchmarking systems is provided to those members who are nominated to act as the principle person for each specific benchmarking topic. These members are provided with individualised password-protected user accounts. worldsteel permanent staff continually manage these user accounts, validating new access requests and disabling accounts as requested.
Unique site and plant codes are assigned to represent member steel-producing sites. Specific information, such as site type and geographical location is only available to worldsteel permanent staff.
The systems allow members to compare their sites’ performance results a) internally with other sites within their business b) with other anonymised comparable sites or facilities, or c) with a representative reference site. This set-up is designed to give members a comprehensive understanding of the key performance drivers for each facility or process type.
They also enable the user to compare their results against better performing sites and identify the areas for improvement. Some of these systems also forecast the impact of additional technologies and what they may bring to a plant or site.
As of 2020, all worldsteel benchmarking systems are available exclusively to worldsteel member companies.
Data collection at worldsteel
CO2 data collection
The CO2 data collection benchmarking system allows participants to report on a site-by-site basis to give an overall emissions intensity for the production of steel at that site.
The worldsteel CO2 data collection methodology was designed with the input of many industry experts and is continuously refined. The methodology is described in the CO2 Data Collection User Guide.
This methodology was used as the basis for the now published international standard ISO 14404:2013 – calculation method of carbon dioxide emission intensity from iron and steel production.
The data is kept secure and confidential; data is only reported to members that contribute to the benchmarking system and only industry-wide global averages for the entire industry or processes are published. The aim of the project is to obtain a representative base level of emissions for the industry for the main process streams year on year.
The data collection methodology and standard are designed to ensure that sites reporting emissions use comparable boundaries and parameters.
Once data is reported back to the member companies, they can develop their own plan to make reductions in emissions and obtain a level closer to best in class. Based on this, worldsteel develops a representative global CO2 emission intensity average figure for the industry.
For more information on our CO2 data collection programme, follow this link.
Energy constitutes a significant portion of the cost of steelmaking, ranging from 20 to 40%. Thus, improvements in energy efficiency result in reduced production costs and thereby improved competitiveness.
Today’s best available steelmaking processes have optimised energy use. However, there is significant room for improvement by bringing the whole industry to the level of the best performers.
The system provides a mature and robust evaluation system of energy efficiency at site and by process level.
Member companies participating in the energy benchmarking system can submit data and compare their performance with the top 25% reference level for each steel production process, and determine precisely what component in the process is deviating from the reference.
As such, the system enables steel producers to make a fair comparison of their own energy consumption and intensity with reference levels drawn from the rest of the industry.
Maintenance and reliability
In a steelmaking operation, over 60% of production costs (time, buffer stocks, quality losses, energy, product damage, safety) are directly and indirectly influenced by the efficiency and effectiveness of the operation and maintenance activities. worldsteel has a long history of research activities covering maintenance in the global steel industry and has published several reports in the past two decades: 1993 , 2008  and 2014 .
The maintenance and reliability benchmarking system intends to improve the reliability of the process plants by reducing maintenance time and costs and thereby reaching manufacturing excellence. Using predefined performance parameters, it focuses on the losses experienced, Operational Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OOEE), maintenance cost index and manpower.
Users can compare the links in their production chain in their facilities (continuous casters, hot rolling mills, coating lines, etc.) with reference levels to identify the potential for reducing their unscheduled losses and benefit from the extra uptime for running at high speed, quality and throughput rate without unnecessary costs.
The model is based on identifying all losses in time that a process is subjected to over an operating period. It calculates the OOEE and indicates additional opportunities for reducing speed loss without compromising on quality.
The system undergoes regular review by industry experts, with minor developments added and improvements made to the reporting features on an annual basis.
Yield improvement means using fewer resources, which means less energy and processing time, resulting in higher revenue, for the same input. Users of worldsteel’s process yield benchmarking system can compare their yield at facility level starting from ironmaking through to steelmaking and on to rolling and finishing.
The system helps identify the potential for yield improvement. Measures to improve yield can positively influence other key performance indicators (KPIs), such as process control, quality control and general planning.
Yield improvement cannot be pursued in isolation; it needs to be an integral part of a holistic performance optimisation in energy, reliability, environment, and safety.
worldsteel’s policy is to help all our members achieve an accident-free workplace. The safety and health benchmarking system is one instrument guiding our activities in this area and we collect data on members’ safety and health performance. Annual safety reports provide all members with the possibility to benchmark their own safety performance against the global one to identify areas that need improvement.
The most important indicator is the lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR). A lost time injury is any work related injury resulting in the company, contractor or third party contractor employee not being able to return to work for their next scheduled work period The LTIFR shows the total number of lost time injuries per million hours worked.
In addition to this, data collection categorises the safety incidents that lead to lost time injuries. The sickness absence rate is the indicator for health in the benchmarking system.
Safety and health data are kept secure and confidential and only global averages for the entire industry are published. Summaries of data are reported to worldsteel members on a wider regional base or global basis, not on company or country basis.
For more information on our safety and health programme, follow this link.
This project, which operates in collaboration with the CO2 emissions, energy and safety data collection projects, aims to report on the sustainability performance and progress of the steel industry.
To reach this goal, worldsteel established sustainability indicators in 2003, in accordance with its sustainable development policy, which encompasses environmental, economic, and social dimensions.
This initiative, as with all our benchmarking systems, is exclusive to worldsteel members.
Only global averages for the industry are published in the annual steel industry sustainability report as well as on worldsteel.org.
Participating members can receive an individually customised company report which contains not only the company’s performance of the past 5 years but also benchmarking against the global average and the top 15 companies.
 Allwood J M et al., Sustainable Materials: with both eyes open, p99, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-906860-05-9
 Fitzgerald F, et al, Maintenance for the 1990s, 1993 IISI (World Steel Association)
 Tol K and Purvis A, Maintenance for the new Millennium, World Steel Association, 2008, ISBN: 978-930069-52-4
 Behn A et al, Maintenance and Reliability Report, World Steel Association, 2014, ISBN: 978-2-930069-74-6