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Miele opts for green steel from Salzgitter AG

Gütersloh/Salzgitter, 21 October 2021 No. 083/2021
  • Low CO₂ steel is being used for the first time in its cookers and ovens

  • Close cooperation with Salzgitter AG geared to reducing carbon footprint

The Miele Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of premium domestic appliances, has opted for Salzgitter AG’s green steel in its drive to reduce its carbon footprint. From November onward, the domestic appliance group will be sourcing just under 24 tons of low CO₂ steel a month as part of a pilot project. The steel will then find use in all cookers and ovens with a diameter of 60 centimeters. The CO₂ emissions generated by the manufacturing process are reduced by more than 66% in this material by harnessing climate-friendly energy sources and reusing steel scrap. In introducing this change, Miele is making an initial contribution to further reducing emissions from purchased goods and services (Scope 3.1) and taking an important step towards achieving its ambitious sustainability targets.

This year, Miele has already announced its intention to operate in a CO₂-neutral manner across all its production locations in terms of greenhouse gas emissions from its own combustion processes (Scope 1) and the emissions of its energy suppliers (Scope 2). At the start of September, the company also announced a specific target for emissions from the utilization phase of Miele appliances, which account for the bulk of what is referred to as Scope 3: by 2030, these emissions will be reduced by 15 % compared with 2019 with reference to the total consumption of all appliances in active use. “At the same time, we are intensively engaging in investigating options for optimising purchased goods and services,” says Miele’s Executive Director Technology Dr Stefan Breit. These emissions account for almost 13% of all CO₂ emissions that are connected to Miele.

Starting from November, Miele will be using “green steel” in a cover plate for cookers and ovens, all of which are produced at its Oelde plant. Tests are currently under way to identify potential for its use in other Miele appliances. “We are delighted that we have a strong and competent partner in Salzgitter AG whose support will help us to reduce the CO₂ footprint of our products even further,” explains Breit. At the start of October, he visited Salzgitter AG to gain first-hand experience and, together with Hans Krug, Senior Vice President Procurement at Miele, presented the company with one of the first ovens made with green steel.

The low CO₂ steel grades are produced in Peine’s mini mill and processed further in the rolling mills and galvanizing plants in Salzgitter. When steel scrap is melted, and through the deployment of climate compatible energy sources, the CO₂ footprint of the galvanized material is 66% lower compared with the conventional production of steel via the blast furnace route. This has been verified by TÜV SÜD (German technical inspectorate) based on data from 2018 on the various process routes for producing strip steel.

Ulrich Grethe, Chairman of the Management Board of Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH and member of the Group Management Board of Salzgitter AG stated: “Green steel products are eliciting ever keener interest from our customers operating in a wide range of sectors. Miele has always stood for durable premium products. We are pleased that our low CO₂ steel products meet the company’s high-quality standards.”

Going forward, hydrogen and power from renewable sources will be able to completely replace the carbon that has always been needed to manufacture steel and in so doing reduce CO₂ emissions from steel production by more than 95%. Salzgitter AG is working towards this ambitious target with its transformational project Salzgitter Low CO₂ Steelmaking (SALCOS), the central elements of which are the generation of electricity from renewable sources and its use in the production of hydrogen through electrolysis. This green hydrogen is intended to replace the carbon that is currently used in the conventional blast furnace process.

 

Company profile: Miele is the world's leading manufacturer of premium domestic appliances including cooking, baking and steam-cooking appliances, refrigeration products, coffee makers, dishwashers and laundry and floor care products. Their product portfolio also includes dishwashers, air purifiers, washing machines and tumble dryers for commercial use as well as washer-disinfectors and sterilisers for use in medical and laboratory applications (Miele Professional). Founded in 1899, the company has eight production plants in Germany, one each in Austria, the Czech Republic, China, Romania and Poland as well as two production plants belonging to its Italian medical technology subsidiary Steelco. Sales in the 2020 business year amounted to around € 4.5 bn (thereof 29.5% in Germany). Miele is represented with its own sales subsidiaries and via importers in
almost 100 countries/regions. Throughout the world, the family-run enterprise, now in its fourth generation, employs a workforce of around 20,900, of which approx. 11,050 employees work in Germany. The company has its headquarters in Gütersloh in Westphalia.

 

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Carsten Nagel
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Looking forward to continued collaboration and the introduction of “green steel” in Miele’s production processes: Hans Krug, Senior Vice President Procurement at Miele, Gunnar Groebler, Chairman of the Executive Board of Salzgitter AG, Dr Stefan Breit, Executive Director Technology at Miele, Ulrich Grethe, Chairman of the Management Board of Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH and member of the Group Management Board of Salzgitter AG, and Dr. Sebastian Bross, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH (Sales and Logistics), Member of the Group Executive Board (f.l.t.r.). (Photo: Salzgitter AG)

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Almost 24 tons of low CO₂ steel will be used in the production of cookers and ovens at the Oelde plant starting from November. (Photo: Miele)

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One of the first appliances to feature the use of green steel from Salzgitter AG: the H 7860 BP oven, which will be displayed in the showroom at Salzgitter AG. (Photo: Salzgitter AG)

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