Oct. 26, 2020
Nippon Steel Corporation
Nippon Steel Corporation (‘Nippon Steel’) has obtained the ‘EcoLeaf’ Ecolabel *1 (shown on the right) certified by the Sustainable Management Promotion Organization (SuMPO) complying with the ISO 14025 international standard, for three of its products: tinplate, tin-free steel, and laminated steel sheets (‘tinplate’). These are ultra-thin steel materials used for beverage packaging such as steel cans and other container products. These were the first steel products for packaging to receive the certification in Japan.
EcoLeaf is an EPD*1 certification program operated in Japan to disclose quantitative environmental information in view of entire life cycle of a product, from mining of ores, manufacturing of steel products, to disposal and recycling. This allows our customers to assess the environmental impact of the products.
Complying also with the ISO 20915 standard published in 2018, we can now provide environmental impacts of our tinplate not only in the production phase but also in the recycling phase with EcoLeaf. Inclusion of recycling effect is very important for the steel products because almost all the steel products including tinplate used for steel can are recycled. The calculation methodology of environmental impact including recycling is established and internationally standardized as ISO 20915 standard only in steel products.
The tinplate used in steel cans has low environmental impact in production phase, and also is highly recyclable, i.e. highly recovered and recycled to variety of steel products again and again. The recycling effect of the steel products is also very high in steel products, resulting in lower life cycle CO2 emissions in the steel products than those in other packaging materials.
Recognizing the ISO standard, Nippon Steel proactively discloses the emissions of tinplate to our consumers using the EcoLeaf ecolabel.
In recent years, in addition to climate change issues which have been attracting worldwide attention for a long time, marine pollution caused by micro plastics, and waste plastics, caused by insufficient capacity for disposal of plastic waste, illegal exports, and dumping of waste plastics has become increasingly serious, and concerns regarding global environmental problems has been growing even more. The steel can be easily recycled and recycling effect of steel is high because of its high recovery rate. Steel packaging is extremely environmentally friendly in view of pollution, as it will eventually rust and return to the soil even if it is accidentally thrown away in the field or ocean.
Nippon Steel believes that the choice of steel can packaging is an environmentally friendly action for us. We would like as many consumers as possible to be aware of this. As a way to support this action, we use EcoLeaf ecolabel for our tinplate products to contribute to building a sustainable society.
The EcoLeaf certification obtained by Nippon Steel includes the following features.
1. Complying with standards including ISO 20915 and JIS Q 20915: Life cycle inventory calculation methodology for steel products
The certification complies with the international standard ISO 20915:2018 published in 2018, and JIS Q 20915:2019 "Life cycle inventory calculation methodology for steel products" published in June 2019. The JIS standard requires that the effects of scrap recycling be included in the calculation of the environmental impact of steel products. The EcoLeaf ecolabels certified this time indicate the environmental impact of tinplate over their entire life cycle, including the effect of recycling of tinplate, which can be recycled into various kinds of steel products. Including the recycling effect, the environmental impacts of the tinplate in lifecycle becomes significantly lower than the environmental impact in manufacturing phases only.
2. Certification based on the PCR*2 for steel products established by the Japan Iron and Steel Federation
In August 2019, the Japan Iron and Steel Federation leaded in formulating PCRs for all steel products, which function as rules for calculating environmental impacts for the EcoLeaf label. Our EcoLeaf ecolabels are complying with these PCRs.
Nippon Steel continues to pursue the state-of-the art technology disclosing certified environmental impacts of our variety of steel products, which are highly recyclable, environmentally friendly, sustainable, and in compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations.
*1 EcoLeaf / EPD (Environmental Product Declaration)
EcoLeaf is a type III ecolabel program that discloses quantitative environmental impacts in life cycle of products, including ore mining, manufacturing, transportation, use, waste disposal, and recycling phases. Type III ecolabel as defined in the ISO 14025 standard is generally called EPD, and is designed to disclose quantitative environmental data certified by a program operator. EcoLeaf is an EPD operated by Sustainable Management Promotion Organization (https://ecoleaf-label.jp/english/) in Japan.
*2 PCR (Product Category Rule)
A standard specifying the calculation methodology and disclosure method of environmental impact for each type of product under the EPD/EcoLeaf. PCRs for all the steel products complying with JIS Q 20915 standard were published in August 2019 for EcoLeaf.
For inquiries: Public Relations Center, General Administration Div.
Phone: +81-3-6867-2146, 2135, 2977, 3419