Global Sustainable Steel Market 2021

Market Overview

The global sustainable steel market is expected to reach $795.8 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 8.97% during the forecast period from 2022 to 2031. The market growth can be attributed to factors such as stringent government regulations, carbon neutrality targets, energy and cost efficiency achieved through the use of recycled steel, and an increasing demand for steel due to the scarcity of raw materials and energy. However, there are certain limitations that impact the market, including impurities in recycled steel, complex product design, high infrastructure costs, and expensive green hydrogen prices, which hinder the development of green steel.

The sustainable steel market is driven by regulations imposed by governments worldwide to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure environmental sustainability. Steel production is known for its high carbon footprint and energy consumption. As a result, countries have implemented regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions. The sustainable steel market aims to achieve a greener future by decarbonizing the entire value chain. Companies in the steel industry are implementing various solutions to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption. Despite these driving factors, impurities in recycled steel due to incomplete separation and complex product design pose challenges. Additionally, the high cost of producing green steel, which is influenced by infrastructure costs and green hydrogen prices, hampers its development. To meet the growing demand for sustainable steel, extensive research and development activities are underway to lower production costs and develop new purification technologies.

Product Type

Market Report

No. of Pages


Release Date

January 2023

Base Year


Forecast Period


Market Size

USD 327.3 billion in 2020

Market Segments

End-Use Application, Product Type, Technology, Region



No. of Companies Mentioned


The adoption of sustainable steel is observed across various end-use applications, including transportation, building and construction, furniture and appliances, packaging, and others. The building and construction industry is the largest consumer of sustainable steel globally due to its unique properties such as high tensile strength, versatility, durability, and recyclability. The growing global population and rapid urbanization drive the demand for buildings and infrastructure. Concerns about natural resource scarcity and greenhouse gas emissions further contribute to the increased demand for sustainable steel in the building and construction sector. The automotive industry is also a significant consumer of green steel, with companies focusing on innovative technologies to meet sustainability requirements. Governments and companies worldwide are setting sustainability goals and taking steps towards achieving them. For example, HBIS GROUP has partnered with BMW Group to produce CO2-reduced steel for BMW plants in Shenyang starting from 2023.

The global sustainable steel market is currently in a growth phase. Emerging trends such as increased investments in green technologies, changes in business models due to climate action, growing demand for green steel across the value chain, and advancements in economic and environmental technologies are expected to create opportunities for market expansion in the coming years.

There is a global shift towards environmentally friendly, high-quality, recyclable, and sustainable materials. This shift is particularly prominent in industries such as building and construction and transportation in regions like China, Europe, and North America.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a mixed impact on the global sustainable steel market. While sectors like packaging and furniture and appliances experienced positive growth, the demand from industries such as building and construction and transportation was negatively affected due to the economic slowdown.

Market Segmentation

The market is segmented based on various factors, including end-use application, product type, technology, and region.

Segmentation by End-Use Application
Building and Construction
Furniture and Appliances

Segmentation by Product Type
Recycled Steel
Green Steel

Segmentation by Technology
Electric Arc Furnace (EAF)
Blast Furnace-Basic Oxygen Furnace (BF-BOF)

Segmentation by Region
North America – U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Europe – Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Rest-of-Europe
Asia-Pacific and Japan – Japan, India, South Korea, and Rest-of-Asia Pacific and Japan
Rest-of-the-World – Middle East and Africa and South America

During the forecast period from 2022 to 2031, the building and construction sector is projected to be the largest application for sustainable steel. The demand for sustainable steel in this industry has been driven by the need for various components such as steel beams, ductwork, stairs, handrails, lighting fixtures, roofing, and railing. Building and construction account for over 50% of the global steel demand and will continue to grow due to factors such as population growth and urbanization.

According to a United Nations report, the global population is expected to increase from 7.7 billion in 2019 to 9.7 billion by 2050. This population growth, along with rapid urbanization, will lead to increased demand for buildings and infrastructure worldwide. Additionally, concerns about scarcity of natural resources and greenhouse gas emissions have contributed to the demand for sustainable steel in building and construction applications.

Recycled steel has gained popularity among end users seeking sustainable solutions. By recycling steel, approximately 1.1 tons of iron ore, 630 kg of coking coal, and 55 kg of limestone can be saved per ton of scrap steel used. Furthermore, water consumption can be reduced by 40% and greenhouse gas emissions by 58%. The use of recycled steel also improves cost efficiency and competitiveness by reducing raw material requirements. Recycled steel refers to waste or recovered steel that has been processed into a new material of the same quality for reuse, promoting a circular economy and reducing the consumption of material, energy, and other resources. Conventional methods using non-renewable energy sources are employed to recycle steel. This recycled steel is primarily used in the construction sector for various components.

Steel, which is an alloy of iron and carbon, is the most important material for engineering and construction applications worldwide. It possesses unique magnetic properties that make it easy to recover and recycle from the waste stream. Regardless of how many times it is recycled, the properties of steel remain unchanged. The rate of steel recycling depends on product design and the ability to recover steel. For example, the recycling rate for structural steel in construction is estimated to be over 85%, while in packaging applications, the rate can exceed 90%. Research projects have shown that using steel instead of concrete in construction and demolition can reduce the CO2 footprint by approximately 19%. The automotive industry consumes at least 25% recycled steel, while electrical appliances and packaging can utilize 75% and 25% recycled steel, respectively.

The electric arc furnace (EAF) is an advanced technology used in the large-scale commercial production of sustainable steel. This technology is witnessing a shift from the conventional blast furnace-basic oxygen furnace technology due to the increasing use of scrap-based EAF and new green hydrogen-based direct reduced iron-electric arc furnace (DRI-EAF) technology. About 26.3% of total steel production is carried out using EAF technology, which primarily relies on steel scrap as the main feedstock. However, it can also process solidified iron or sponge iron. The heat required to melt the metal is generated by an electric arc that passes through the charged metal, producing temperatures exceeding 3,500 degrees. This temperature is nearly double the average temperature required for melting metal. The EAF technology enables the production of various steel products, including reinforcing bars, stainless steel, and high-alloyed special steels. With an average capacity of around 1.5 million tons per annum, EAF technology offers flexibility and smaller capacities as advantages.

China currently holds the largest market share in the sustainable steel industry and is expected to maintain its leading position by 2031. As a major producer and consumer of crude steel, China plays a significant role in the sustainable steel market. Europe is the second-largest region, with major sustainable steel manufacturers such as ArcelorMittal, Celsa Group, LIBERTY Steel Group, Tata Steel, and Hybrit increasing their production to meet the growing demand from various industries. Stringent environmental regulations and targets for achieving a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 are also driving the growth of the sustainable steel market in Europe.

Competitive Landscape

The selection of the featured companies was conducted following input from primary experts and through an analysis of their coverage, product portfolio, and market presence.

Key companies profiled in this report include ArcelorMittal, CMC, Gerdau S/A, HBIS GROUP, LIBERTY Steel Group, NIPPON STEEL CORPORATION, NUCOR, Steel Dynamics, Pascap Co. Inc., POSCO, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., Lech Stahlwerke GmbH, Tata Steel, Celsa Group, Kiliclara Inc., Boston Metal, ScrapBuk, f3nice SrL, ElectraSteel Incorporated, H2 Green Steel.

Recent Industry Developments

In October 2022, Tata Steel entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ford, an American multinational automobile manufacturer, in Europe. According to the agreement, Tata Steel Nederland will supply Ford with Zeremis green steel once the IJmuiden steelworks begin operating using green hydrogen-based steelmaking processes. Tata Steel recently introduced a new steel product called Zeremis Carbon Lite, which offers carbon emissions reduction of up to 100%. Ford aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035, and this partnership ensures a future supply of environmentally friendly steel.

In September 2022, NIPPON STEEL CORPORATION announced its plan to launch a certified steel product that reduces carbon emissions under the brand name NSCarbolex Neutral. The company has initiated the Carbon Neutral Vision 2050 as part of its commitment to fight climate change, and the new product is expected to be available in the market by the first half of fiscal year 2023.

In August 2022, HBIS GROUP signed an agreement with BMW Group, a German multinational manufacturer of luxury vehicles and motorcycles, to collaboratively produce low-carbon green steel. Starting from 2023, the company will supply BMW Group’s plants in Shenyang with CO2-reduced steel.

In July 2022, LIBERTY Steel Group announced its intention to invest over $350 million in two hybrid electric arc furnaces at Ostrava steelworks. These furnaces, with a capacity of 3.5 million tons per year, are anticipated to reduce the overall carbon emissions of the Ostrava steelworks by more than 80% by 2027. LIBERTY Ostrava, a subsidiary of LIBERTY Steel Group, signed an agreement with Danieli, a leading global manufacturer of plant and machinery, for the delivery of two state-of-the-art hybrid electric arc furnaces.

Key Questions Answered

What are the primary factors and trends influencing the sustainable steel market?

How has the global consumption/production of the sustainable steel market been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Which end-use applications are leading the rapid adoption of sustainable steel, and what attributes do buyers in each country or region have towards the sustainable steel market?

What are the recent developments in different countries regarding the advancement of sustainable steel, and which key start-ups are focusing on its development?

What are the governmental regulations and initiatives that have contributed to the increased adoption of sustainable steel?

Global Sustainable Steel Market 2021

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Global Sustainable Steel Market 2021

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Global Sustainable Steel Market 2021

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