Rio Tinto has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China’s largest steel producer, China Baowu Steel Group, and Tsinghua University, one of China’s most prestigious and influential universities, to develop and implement new methods to reduce carbon emissions and improve environmental performance across the steel value chain.
The China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) invited all three to sign the MOU at its China International Steel and Raw Materials Conference, held in Qingdao.
The MOU will enable the formation of a joint working group tasked with identifying a pathway to support the goal of reducing carbon emissions across the entire steel value chain, which accounts for 7-9% per cent of the world’s carbon emissions, according to 2017 figures from The World Steel Association.
The working group will establish a joint action plan on how to best use the three entities’ complementary strengths in research and development, technologies, processes, equipment, logistics, industry coordination and policy advisory capacities to combat climate change and improve environmental performance, Rio, one of the world’s biggest iron ore producers with one of the largest operations in the Pilbara of Western Australia (pictured), said.
Rio Tinto Chief Executive, J-S Jacques, said: “This pioneering partnership across the steel value chain will bring together solutions to help address the steel industry’s carbon footprint and improve its environmental performance.
“The materials we produce have an important role to play in the transition to a low carbon future and we are committed to partnering with our customers and others to find the most sustainable ways to produce, process and market them. We are already doing this in aluminium and now, through this partnership, we will be doing it in the steel industry.
“We thank CISA for its support and look forward to collaborating with China’s largest steel producer, China Baowu, and Tsinghua University, a global leader in climate change research and collaboration.”
China Baowu Chairman, Chen Derong, said: “China Baowu is committed to ecological and sustainable development. We will promote sustainable production through intelligent manufacturing. We want to make a difference to the iron and steel ecosystem by developing greener factories and enterprises to deliver a cleaner, more sustainable steel industry.
“We hope to jointly address climate challenges with our partners, and create a model of harmonious coexistence between cities and steel mills.”
Tsinghua University Vice President, You Zheng, said: “Tsinghua is committed to providing solutions to climate change challenges and contributing wisdom to sustainable development. Initiating the Global Alliance of Universities on Climate is an important milestone, and just one example. The signing will enable us to work closely with the upstream and downstream of the steel industry value chain to jointly find the solution to the industry’s low-carbon transformation.”