Nucor Announces Emissions Reduction Plan

Nucor has unveiled a plan for reaching net-zero emissions within 30 years.

The company announced Nov. 13 a goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas output by 2050 and an interim target for 2030, aligning with the Global Steel Climate Council’s (GSCC) “Steel Climate Standard” similar target date for emissions reduction across the steel industry.

The targets include scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions from hot-rolled steel production as defined by the GSCC. In setting them, Nucor became the first diversified steelmaker in the U.S. to establish greenhouse gas reduction targets across all three scopes. The new targets are more rigorous than Nucor’s 2021 goals, which called for a 35 percent reduction in steel mill scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas intensity by 2030.

Nucor plans to achieve its net-zero emissions goals by using more clean electricity; carbon capture and sequestration; and near-zero greenhouse gas iron making. It will also invest in technology to reduce its injection and charge carbon consumption and natural gas usage in its steel production processes.

“These targets further highlight our leadership role in developing clean solutions for the entire steel industry, as well as empowering our customers to meet their business and environmental goals successfully," Nucor President and CEO Leon Topalian said. "In recent years, we have made purposeful investments to increase the availability of carbon-free electricity and to support other emerging technologies that will help lead the way to a clean industrial future."

Nucor is one of the cleanest steel producers in the world. Its circular production process uses about 80% recycled scrap metal (and around 93% recycled content for wide flange products) and produces one-third the greenhouse gas emission intensity as a traditional steelmaking process using a blast furnace.