Hot-dip galvanized steel strip with reduced carbon footprint

Hot-dip galvanized steel is corrosion-protected by the applied zinc layer, durable and a versatile material that can be found in countless products and applications. However, a considerable amount of CO2 is emitted in the various stages of the value chain that are necessary to produce galvanized steel. Therefore, conventional hot-dip galvanized steel strip burdens the CO2 balance of the products made from it with about 2.2 t CO2-eq. / t of galvanized steel used. In addition to the product CO2 footprint, these emissions are also taken into account in the CO2 footprint of the processing companies in the area of so-called Scope 3 emissions. These are emissions that a company causes through purchased products or services.

Wuppermann now provides its customers with steel products with a significantly lower CO2 footprint with a corresponding certificate. The name WTopCarb stands for a galvanized hot strip with a physical reduction of the CO2 footprint to a value of less than one tonne of CO2 equivalent per tonne (1 t CO2-eq. / t) of galvanized hot strip.

CO2 footprint in t CO2-eq. / t for WTopCarb significantly lower than market standard (Reference)

WTopCarb stands for real CO2 savings

"Physical reduction" means that technical measures along the value chain bring about an actual reduction in the CO2 footprint of the concrete product, instead of "collecting" general CO2 savings with the help of accounting models and allocating them virtually later. In doing so, Wuppermann uses CO2 savings opportunities in the most important input materials hot strip and zinc, in the galvanizing process itself, as well as in transport and packaging. These savings are documented accordingly: For each delivery, the CO2 emissions are calculated individually per item, using a calculation methodology verified by the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT). The result is sent to the customer in the form of a certificate.

Steel and zinc input material

On average, the CO2 footprint of hot rolled coil in Europe is 2.08 t CO2-eq./t (source: GaBi SP43 "EU: Steel hot rolled coil"). For WTopCarb, Wuppermann uses only physically CO2-reduced hot rolled coil. As a rule, physical savings are currently only achieved via the DRI (Direct Reduced Iron) and/or the EAF (Electric Arc Furnace) route. High levels of renewable electricity and increased scrap levels are key levers to physically reduce the carbon footprint. At WTopCarb, we designate this hot strip as a low-carbon steel input material.

The average CO2 emissions of zinc are 2.51 t CO2-eq./t (source: GaBi SP43 Zinc EU28). Here, too, for WTopCarb we rely on input material with physical CO2 reduction. This is also based on the use of renewable energies and/or a high recycling share.

Galvanizing process

The galvanizing process including post-treatment, excluding steel and zinc, causes 0.007 t CO2-eq./t at the Moerdijk site in the Netherlands (WSN). The standard market process causes CO2 emissions of 0.102 t CO2-eq./t. This results in a CO2 saving of 93%. At the Judenburg site in Austria (WA), 0.010 t CO2-eq./t of CO2 emissions are produced, which corresponds to an advantage of 90%. At the Győr site in Hungary (WH), there are CO2 emissions of 0.053 t CO2-eq./t, giving an advantage of 48%. This was confirmed by the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT) with an assessment of the environmental impact of the Wuppermann Group's heat-to-coat strip galvanising process in 2022.

Transports & Packing

For transports from suppliers to Wuppermann, and from Wuppermann to you, our customers, there are three options with different emission factors. Depending on the route and availability, there is the option of CO2-neutral rail transport. The CO2 footprint of the packaging is included on a flat-rate basis, with an average value per Wuppermann production site, due to its insignificance.

Calculation and certificate

Wuppermann calculates the CO2 emissions for each invoice item individually depending on the quantity of galvanized steel strip delivered, taking into account the individual weight ratio of steel to zinc. The transports from the input material suppliers to the Wuppermann sites and then from Wuppermann to the destination are also calculated specifically, taking into account distance and means of transport. The calculation methodology used in this process was tested by the Fraunhofer institute UMSICHT and its correctness confirmed. The result of the calculation is communicated in the form of a certificate issued by Wuppermann.

Product portfolio

  • WTopCarbWuppermann Staal Nederland B.V.

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