Under the name of Liberty Steel, mining, metals, and energy giant GFG Alliance is to re-organise its steel businesses to become "the world's first carbon neutral steel company" by 2030. Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman at the family owned multinational, announced the move at the World Steel Dynamics' European Conference in Milan.
Sanjeev Gupta confirmed in an interview that the reorganisation was designed to ensure the new business is ready for a potential IPO in the future - an approach he intends to replicate for all the conglomerate's businesses.
"Whether it's the steel, aluminium or energy companies... all the companies will be made ready in terms of governance, reporting and transparency, so they'll be ready in every way to go for a listing as and when they want to," he said.
The new company organisation will be incorporated by the end of this year and is expected to employ 30,000 people in 10 countries.
Over the past few years the company has established renewable energy projects, invested in electric arc furnaces to produce recycled steel, and explored the use of hydrogen and carbon capture and storage technologies in the steel manufacturing process. The accompanying commitment to ensure the business is 'carbon neutral' within a decade is central to the new strategy.
Steel from recycled scrap using fossil fuel based energy already generates less than a third of the CO2 emissions compared with primary steel making and that savings can be further maximised through the use of renewable power. However, Gupta argue it is critical the steel industry now pursues full carbon neutrality.
"We are creating a new force in steel with the size, scale and agility to forge a path towards a sustainable future for our steel businesses and the communities in which we operate," he said confident that carbon neutral steel was possible. "Technically it's already been proven, you can make steel with hydrogen, the only question is the economic viability," he said.
He added that there is a moral obligation for the steel industry to tackles its emissions.
"As a responsible business, the legacy we pass on to future generations is every bit as important as our bottom line," he say. "Liberty Steel aims not just to produce top quality steel but to be an agent of change in the industry. In doing so, we can open the door to the re-industrialisation of the developed world by reviving and restoring often neglected industry."
The move was welcomed by Fautine Delasalle, director of the Energy Transitions Commission.
"I am delighted to see pioneering companies like Liberty Group turn vision into practice as there is high demand for zero carbon steel products today."" Delasalle said.