Carbon Neutral Vision 2050

When Nippon Steel announced its Carbon Neutral Vision 2050 in March 2021, the Company positioned climate change issues as the priority management challenge for the Medium- to Long-Term Management Plan.

We have taken up the challenge to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050, and are striving to reduce CO2 in our value chain by providing two types of value: by providing high-performance steel products and solutions that contribute to reducing CO2 emissions throughout society, and by providing carbon neutral steel through decarbonization of the steelmaking process.

Related materials

You can watch videos of our initiative toward the realization of a carbon-neutral society from here.

Providing two type of values targeted by the Carbon Neutral Vision 2050

In support of the ambitious government policy to realize a carbon neutral society in 2050, we announced the Carbon Neutral Vision 2050 as a part of the Medium- to Long-Term Management Plan in March 2021.

Decarbonization of steelmaking process for providing carbon neutral steel

We have formulated a target of reducing total CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030, compared to the 2013 baseline and of achieving carbon neutrality in 2050. We are working to develop and actually implement breakthrough technologies in steelmaking process ahead of steel companies in other countries.

Our plan is ambitious compared to those of our global peers, and is intended to significantly contribute to the Japanese government’s plan. With the assistance of the Green Innovation Fund1, we are working on specific plans of the roadmap of development and practical implementation.

1  Commissioned and grant projects of New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), which supports companies to carry out projects aimed at achieving ambitious targets for 2030 in focused areas of the Japanese Government’s Green Growth Strategy, such as CO2 emission reduction.

2030 Target

30% or more reduction in total CO2 emissions vs. 2013
30% reduction in total CO2 emissions vs. 2013 by implementing the COURSE502 in the existing BF and BOF process, reducing CO2 emissions in existing processes, and establishing an efficient production framework.
2  COURSE50: Abbreviation for CO2 Ultimate Reduction System for cool Earth 50

Vision 2050

Ambition to become carbon neutral
Ambition to become carbon neutral by taking up the challenge to mass produce high-grade steel in large size EAFs and to realize hydrogen steelmaking (i.e., Super COURSE50 use of BFs; Hydrogen direct reduction of iron), and with multi-aspect approach, including CCUS3 and other carbon offset measures.
3 Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage
Total CO2 emissions (million tons/year)4

Total CO<sub>2</sub> emissions (million tons/year)

[Scope of scenario]
SCOPE 1+2 (direct emissions in our production sites + indirect emissions from purchased electricity)

4 Including Nippon Coke & Engineering Co., Ltd. and Sanso Center Co., Ltd.

Carbon neutral steel production process (conceptual)

Three breakthrough technologies

Three external conditions required to achieve carbon neutrality

For smartphones, please enlarge the figure.

Carbon neutral steel production process (conceptual)

Roadmap to achieve the Carbon Neutral Vision

For smartphones, please enlarge the figure.

Roadmap to achieve the Carbon Neutral Vision

* BF: Blast Furnace, BOF: Basic Oxygen Furnace, EAF: Electric Arc Furnace

Technological challenges and required external conditions

Production of high-grade steel in large scale EAF

Technological challenge
  • Scrap: Elimination of the effect of hazardous impurities using DRI
  • EAF: Improvement of productivity with larger scale and higher efficiency
External conditions
  • Cost-effective fossil-free power

Hydrogen injection into BF (COURSE50, Super-COURSE50)

Technological challenge
  • Preheating and injection of high-temp hydrogen for endothermic reactions
  • Stable gas flow in BF with less coke
  • Scaling-up from experimental to actual super-large-scale BF
  • Establishment of the technology to offset remaining CO2 emissions (CCUS)
External conditions
  • Implementation of CCU and CCS
  • Large supply of carbon-free hydrogen

Hydrogen direct reduction of iron

Technological challenge
  • Establishment of the technology of hydrogen direct reduction
External conditions
  • Large-amount supply of carbon-free hydrogen

Progress of Carbon Neutral Vision 2050

We are proceeding with various technological developments in order to implement the three breakthrough technologies of Carbon Neutral Vision 2050.


Collaboration with society, policy proposals, and industry activities to achieve carbon neutrality

Decarbonization of steelmaking is an extremely ambitious challenge. In addition to development of carbon neutral technology options, carbon-free hydrogen and electricity, the CCUS, and other factors of social infrastructure are indispensable.

The realization of carbon neutrality in the steel industry is not just a challenge for steelmakers, given that steel as the basic material underpins international competitiveness in manufacturing. It is a national challenge that the whole nation should take it up, based on the policy of aiming at achieving the industry’s international competitiveness and carbon neutrality, as well as the national strategy that provides strong, continuous fiscal and other support.

The realization of carbon neutrality in the steel industry requires huge R&D expenditures and capital expenditures for practical use. Nippon Steel alone is expected to roughly require ¥0.5 trillion in R&D expenses and ¥4–5 trillion in capital expenditures. The decarbonizing technology development for the steelmaking process is presenting an appearance of a state-to-state competition. In order to continue to lead the world and maintain and strengthen Japan’s overall industrial competitiveness, longterm, continuous government support is indispensable for “discontinuous” innovation and other R&D efforts and equipment implementation.

Europe, the United States, and China have adopted a variety of policies aimed at achieving carbon neutrality on the premise of securing international competitiveness in the steel and other basic materials industries. Japan also needs to introduce a drastic policy system based on national strategy under strong government leadership in order to achieve carbon neutrality ahead of those countries and to maintain and strengthen the international industrial competitiveness.

For realizing these policies, Nippon Steel is determined to take every opportunity to make various proposals on Japan’s climate change measures and energy policies based on the Paris Agreement, and to spearhead activities through industry organizations.

Investments needed for the carbon neutral steel project

Investments needed for the carbon neutral steel project

1 Minimum level estimated to be required for the time being

Policy recommendations for realizing a carbon neutral society

President Hashimoto of Nippon Steel is a member of the Strategic Policy Committee, under the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Vice Chairman of Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), and a member of the Green Transformation (GX) Implementation Council. The Executive Vice President in charge of Environment is also a member of the Central Environment Council of the Ministry of the Environment, representing Keidanren.

In meetings of these government councils and committees and Keidanren, we express our commitment and determination of the steel industry for achieving carbon neutrality. We have also recommended to promptly create Japan's policy package that combines climate change measures and measures to maintain and enhance international competitiveness of industries, led by the government.

In addition, we have been arguing for the need for a policy to change the energy supply structure including active promotion of nuclear power utilization, for promotion of policies to achieve carbon neutrality in the materials industry, for robust and continuous measures to promote public and private investment across all stages for the decarbonization transition from research and development to equipment implementation, for measures to ensure equal footing to deal with hydrogen, electricity, and raw material operation cost increases, and for the need to develop a roadmap to realize CCUS implementation. We contribute to policy formulation, as exemplified by the recently passed GX Promotion Act and GX Decarbonization Electricity Act, which reflected these recommendations.

Moreover, we are actively developing policy proposals to achieve carbon neutrality by making use of all opportunities with the government, relevant ministries and local governments, etc. other than the above-stated councils and committees.

Efforts to address climate change through industry organizations

To promote Japan's efforts to achieve the mid-term goal of the Paris Agreement, the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF) declared that Japan's steel industry would take up the bold challenge of achieving carbon neutrality. In March 2022, the JISF set the goal of “reducing energy-derived CO2 emissions in fiscal 2030 by 30% compared to fiscal 2013 levels,” an ambitious goal even from an international perspective.

In May 2022, Keidanren announced its initiative, Towards Green Transformation (GX), recommending measures needed to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050 (GX policy package) and other agendas. We are also taking a leading role in the JISF and Keidanren formulating their climate change measures.

Meanwhile, we participate in climate action of the global steel industry, led by the worldsteel association, serving as the worldsteel Climate Action data provider to calculate and report CO2 emissions from steelworks using universal methods.

Sustainability MENU

Sustainable Finance