AISC Celebrates Earth Day with Updated EPDs

April 22, 2022


CHICAGO - To help celebrate Earth Day, the domestic structural steel industry has issued updated environmental product declarations (EPDs) to help designers and building owners design more environmentally friendly buildings and bridges.

The American Institute of Steel Construction develops industry-average environmental product declarations (EPDs) for three products: fabricated hot-rolled structural sections, fabricated steel plate, and fabricated hollow structural sections (HSS), with the latter developed in conjunction with the Steel Tube Institute.

These documents are designed to facilitate an accurate, apples-to-apples comparison of the structural materials on the market today. We update these EPDs every five years, and the most recent editions are hot off the presses. Learn more at

These EPDs illustrate what the industry has achieved through decades of innovation. 

"Many people associate steel with old smokestacks and air pollution, but structural steel is now the premier green building material," said AISC President Charles J. Carter, SE, PE, PhD. "Over the past three decades, the steel industry has reduced greenhouse gas and overall emissions by 36%. And the American structural steel industry is leading the way to a greener future with a carbon footprint nearly half the world average. By comparison, Chinese structural steel has three times the global warming potential of domestic steel."

The domestic steel industry has the capacity to provide all of the material needed to build our buildings and bridges–and steel has proven to be economical, fast, high quality, and sustainable. 

America's steel mills rely on steel scrap rather than mined raw materials. In fact, today almost 93% of a typical wide flange member is recycled material–old cars, refrigerators, and even old buildings, melted into new steel with pure electricity. Steel is the most recycled material on the planet, and structural steel leads the way. Structural members can be recycled over and over again with no loss of quality. Learn more at

And the industry isn't stopping there. As America's energy grid increasingly relies on sustainable electricity, experts expect steel's carbon footprint to shrink by 41%. Steel mills also are building sustainable power fields, installing carbon scrubbing equipment, and taking other measures to make structural steel a truly carbon-neutral building material. And AISC's member fabricators are taking steps to reduce their energy consumption, such as by adding solar roofs.

When it comes to the environment, though, today isn’t what really matters. America’s fabricated structural steel industry continues to dedicate itself to building a greener tomorrow. 


For more information contact:

Dani Friedland
Director of Marketing Communications

American Institute of Steel Construction

The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a non-partisan, not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC's mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, market development, and advocacy. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

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