Steel produced by electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmakers in the U.S. has a carbon intensity that is approximately 75% lower than traditional blast furnace steelmakers, according to an independent study of steelmakers worldwide conducted by CRU Group, a global business intelligence firm specializing in metals manufacturing. The study was released by the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), the largest steel association in the U.S. representing the EAF steel industry and over 70% of steel made in the U.S.

The study was conducted from November 2021 to June 2022 and was independently managed by CRU. This included researching a majority of the world’s steelmaking companies and industry data sources; surveying various steelmaking players through anonymous methods; and synthesizing data from a multitude of private, industry and government resources. Throughout the study, CRU adhered to definitions and practices established by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. An executive summary of the study is available here.

Among the study’s major findings, the average Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions intensity at the crude and hot-rolled steelmaking phases is 75% lower for EAF steelmakers compared with blast furnace steelmakers. 

“Using an established, proven steelmaking process, EAF producers are making steel at far lower carbon-intensity levels than traditional steelmakers around the globe,” said Philip Bell, president of SMA. “There is a lot of inaccurate and misleading information about steelmaking, and we believe this independent study will help further our efforts to achieve a low carbon future.”