There is no doubt that stainless steels are one of the most sustainable of materials available today.
They are manufactured with high recycled content (above 80% in many cases), have low GHG emissions and routinely offer the lowest life-cycle costs of any available materials we have at our disposal. Stainless steels, when correctly specified, will provide service lives of greater than 100 years with minimal or zero maintenance.
They have amazing hygienic properties, supreme corrosion resistance which when combined with their strength characteristics provide an opportunity for significant material light-weighting which few other materials can match. They are also incredibly simple to recycle at their end-of-life and do not carry the need for extensive processing to make them ‘recycling ready’.
Our industry is also at the forefront of shifting to the adoption of low Carbon or Carbon-free manufacturing technologies and several developments are now underway. The production of stainless steels can be aligned to the use of electricity produced from renewable sources and therefore the industry sits at the forefront of the important and needed shift to de-Carbonize our planet. Furthermore the industry continues to develop innovative approaches to both reducing production waste materials and re-using those waste materials either within the production of stainless steels or within other Carbon intensive sectors including safe road manufacturing and building materials.
Stainless steels purvey all aspects of our life today, whether it be in healthcare, food and beverage, domestic settings, in building and construction, in mobility, in communications and in aerospace. Stainless steels can be used, recycled and reused over and over again with no loss of material integrity. They are one of the material families that truly contributes heavily to the circular economy and our world deserves to continue to be sustainable and stainless.
Stainless Works is a member of the NZSSDA, and Boyd is currently on the executive board.