Sustainable charcoal use for CO2 neutrality
Aware of its responsibility in reducing the carbon footprint in the steel sector, ArcelorMittal has the goal of achieving carbon emission neutrality by 2050, and has been improving the production process and implementing new technologies in its plants around the world. In Brazil, an intermediate goal of 10% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 has also been established, and one of the alternatives implemented to help meet these commitments is the use of sustainable charcoal produced in ArcelorMittal BioFlorestas units to neutralise carbon emissions generated in ArcelorMittal Juiz de Fora’s production process.
ArcelorMittal BioFlorestas units produce charcoal from hybrid eucalyptus species planted in areas that did not have native vegetation, in addition, they are certified in the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), a multi-stakeholder standard that is an international reference in environmental conservation, sustainability, social and economic justice for the forestry industry. The BioFlorestas is considered a source of environmental, economic, and social wealth because the forests in the sites generate jobs and mobilise various socio-environmental responsibility actions, such as the forest fire prevention and environmental education programmes, as well as the implementation of ecological corridors, conservation of protected areas, and reintroduction programs for animals that were victims of illegal trafficking.
Obtained from sustainable planted forests, the charcoal produced at ArcelorMittal BioFlorestas is considered a clean, renewable energy source, besides contributing to the fight against the greenhouse gas effect and, consequently, global warming, due to the forests’ high capacity to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, being a carbon-neutral fuel.
In order to measure and prove the efficiency in terms of carbon neutrality of using charcoal in steelmaking production, a case study was carried out at the Juiz de Fora unit that uses charcoal produced at ArcelorMittal BioFlorestas as raw material since 2011. The study, based on internationally recognised methodologies, consisted in balancing the volume of CO2 retained by sustainable forests from planting to harvesting period and in measuring GHG emissions from the production process, covering the entire charcoal cycle, including the logistics for