Liberty Steel: Delivering on its Sustainability Promise
This article is taken from the 2018 ISCA Impacts Report.
Liberty Steel and ISCA are united in their pursuit of sustainable outcomes for Australia’s infrastructure.
Liberty Steel is proud to partner with the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia to facilitate infrastructure that can deliver optimum social and environmental outcomes.
The company is Australia’s largest manufacturer and supplier of structural and reinforcing steel, including hot rolled structurals, pipe and tube, rod, reinforcing bar, wire products and rail. Liberty Steel’s structural and reinforcing steel and rail products enable the construction of steel-framed buildings, buildings framed in concrete and nation-building infrastructure projects.
The company is a key supplier and partner to the construction industry. Approximately 80 per cent of the steel Liberty Steel manufactures is used by the construction industry, which places the company on the front line in the delivery of resilient infrastructure that meets recognised sustainability targets. ‘Sustainability’ is one of Liberty Steel’s core values and aligns with ISCA’s core value of ‘Improving the productivity and liveability of industry and communities through sustainability in infrastructure’.
The important role played by Liberty Steel in delivering better outcomes for communities and the natural environment is recognised by ISCA, with Acting CEO Ainsley Simpson stating: “Liberty Steel actively find ways to play their part as integral partners in infrastructure through the provision of sustainable steel products – this is enabling the delivery of better outcomes for Australian communities.”
Taking the lead in sustainability
Liberty Steel takes a proactive approach to sustainability by striving for continuous improvements in environmental performance and by taking its social responsibilities seriously.
In Australia and around the world, GFG Alliance, owner of Liberty Steel, supports local communities by investing in local industry. The company’s mission here in Australia is to transform metals manufacturing, engineering and mining by building on local resources, sustainable energy, new technology and enhanced skills.
Liberty Steel’s efforts are informed by its GREENSTEEL strategy, which focuses on increasing the use of renewable energy, promoting greater use of recycled materials and operating facilities close to key markets. The results of that strategy can already be seen with Liberty Steel increasing the proportion of energy from renewable sources it uses in its manufacturing mix, and by investing significantly in renewable energy assets through its sister company SIMEC ZEN Energy.
In May of this year, SIMEC ZEN Energy signed a 15-year power purchase agreement to take most of the output from French renewable energy company NEOEN’s Numurkah Solar Farm in northwest Victoria. The landmark deal will supply sufficient renewable energy to operate the Liberty Steel Laverton steelworks in Victoria.
Liberty Steel also makes it easy for its industry partners to understand the sustainability impact of using steel in construction projects by supplying Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) with its range of hot rolled structural, rail, merchant bar and reinforcing products.
Liberty Steel’s EPDs provide transparent information about the environmental impacts of the company’s steel products throughout their life cycle. Liberty Steel’s construction partners can boost their projects’ sustainability ratings by procuring Liberty Steel’s products and services, and leveraging these EPDs.
One of the projects currently maximising the benefits of Liberty Steel’s EPDs is Victoria’s $1.6 billion Caulfield to Dandenong (CTD) Level Crossing Removal project. Liberty Steel has supplied 4000 tonnes of prefabricated reinforcing steel to the project, which is elevating sections of rail line and removing nine dangerous and congested level crossings. The use of Liberty Steel’s Australian-made reinforcing steel is helping the CTD project accrue points in the materials category of the IS rating tool, with the project targeting an ‘Excellent’ sustainability rating.
Collaboration with ISCA
Liberty Steel’s Rob Johnson says the ISCA framework is central to the drive for more sustainable outcomes for steel.
“The ISCA framework provides a platform for early engagement and collaboration at all levels of the supply chain which, in turn, provides opportunities to develop and deliver more sustainable outcomes for projects and for steel.”
He says Liberty Steel is pleased to act as an Australian and New Zealand official partner for ISv2.0 launch events.
“ISv2.0 represents a great step forward in respect to sustainability ratings for infrastructure, incorporating a more holistic approach to sustainability via the inclusion of key elements such as economic and social sustainability, as well as a focus on sustainable procurement,” Rob says.
“ISv2.0 encourages and promotes greater collaboration and communication across all supply chain partners for infrastructure projects. Collaboration, early engagement and communication are fundamental to successfully driving improved sustainability outcomes.”
He says Liberty Steel will continue in its collaboration and communication efforts as it seeks to invest in renewable energy, support local communities, and embed and enhance the company’s core values of Family, Sustainability and Change.
“Our intention is to operate our business for the long term and build a legacy for the future,” he says.