Sustainability and the Drive for Green Steel: Insights from Salzgitter AG and SAP

In this episode of the Futurum Tech Webcast, I had the chance to have a conversation with Sandrina Sieverdingbeck, Head of Strategy & Corporate Development for Salzgitter AG, and Stefan Weisenberger, head of the Mill Products & Mining business unit for SAP about the drive for green steel for a fascinating conversation about sustainability and the drive for green steel, and how Salzgitter AG is leading the transformation to a low carbon steel industry.

Sustainability and the shift to a low carbon industry is a topic that’s top of mind in the mill & mining industry, so it was exciting to have the opportunity to hear from Salzgitter AG on how they are embracing and driving this transformation.

Our conversation covered the following:

The Drive Toward Sustainability for the Mill Products & Mining Industry

  • Sandrina shared that the contributing factor to the drive for an increased sustainability effort is the company’s customers — which is in line with what we see in our research as well. In recent years, the demand for a more sustainable company focus has become more evident. Sandrina shared that government requirements and regulations are of course also playing a big role, as are commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN Sustainability goals, all of which have led to increased legislative momentum. This is especially true for energy-intensive industries.
  • She also shared that Salzgitter AG employees are also a big driver of sustainability initiatives, with employees showing a high degree of proactivity. They have done things like founding an employee co-op to financing a photovoltaic system, to trainees engaging in a tree planting initiative in the Harz mountains.
  • Stefan shared that in his work at SAP he also sees other pressures, including from the financial markets, as well as specific countries requiring bidders on a project proving sustainability commitments and things like a use of recycled content and beyond.

Sustainability and Green Steel

  • Sandrina shared what it means for an organization like Salzgitter AG to be a pioneer in sustainability and green steel, which is all about the prudent utilization of resources, as well as being committed to transforming the various aspects of the supply chain that creates and delivers green steel.
  • She shared insights on the steps the company is doing to deliver on their mission, which are comprehensive and impressive.

Salzgitter AG’s Deal with BMG and Insights on Decarbonization of the Entire Value Chain

Salzgitter AG signed a deal with BMW to produce low carbon steel in 2026. Sandrina shared how this project is moving ahead, some of the funding that is a part of the program, the successes they’ve achieved so far on this project, as well as what the time frame for the initiative is.

Stefan shared insights on the decarbonization of an entire value chain, and how Mining companies downstream are driving collaboration with metal companies, including establishing partnerships further down the value chain into automotive OEMs. This is happening for green steel, and also for battery minerals. They are also seeing car makers, as they shift to EVs, where the main area for decarbonization are the inbound materials, like steel, alu, plastics, and glass. Because of this, decarbonization efforts require companies to have a clear view of their own emissions and also be able to exchange sustainability-related information with suppliers and customers – beyond mere ESG reporting requirements.

Stefan shared the work SAP is doing with WBCSD called the “Partnership for Carbon Transparency” (PACT), which is designed to address two fundamental problems that need to be addressed to strengthen the credibility of sustainable companies and their decarbonization activities: data quality and data access. What is being built here,= is a harmonized approach for carbon footprint calculations and how data is shared in an open, digitally enabled, flexible manner. You can find more on the Partnership for Clean Transparency here.

Digital Transformation: The Key to a More Sustainable Business

  • Sandrina shared some insights about the challenges organizations face in the digital transformation process, especially as it relates to limited resources and the need to establish new processes, and the important role IT plays in successful digital transformation.
  • She shared the role that SAP plays for Salzgitter AG in their transformation journey, the role that data is playing and what led Salzgitter AG to develop what they call the ‘produce passport’ and how they link environmental key figures to the company’s products.
  • Stefan talked a bit about circularity and some of the innovations he is seeing in the market, including from CatenaX and GBA.
  • Lastly, Sandrina and Stefan covered the benefits of digital transformation include attracting younger generations of workers who care deeply about a more sustainable future.

It was an insightful conversation and a deep look at what Salzgitter is doing to drive the green steel movement forward and the impressive role the company is playing on a global basis in that regard, as well as the role that SAP’s Mill Products & Minings team is able to play supporting those efforts.

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Disclaimer: The Futurum Tech Webcast is for information and entertainment purposes only. Over the course of this webcast, we may talk about companies that are publicly traded and we may even reference that fact and their equity share price, but please do not take anything that we say as a recommendation about what you should do with your investment dollars. We are not investment advisors and we do not ask that you treat us as such.


Shelly Kramer: Hello and welcome to the Future and Tech Webcast. I’m Shelly Kramer, principal analyst here at Future and Research. And today, I’m joined by Sandrina Sieverdingbeck from Salzgitter and Stefan Weisenberger from SAP and we are going to have a conversation about the drive for green steel. And I can promise you we had a little bit of a prep call yesterday to talk about what’s happening in the steel manufacturing industry and there were things that I had no idea that given my interest in and focus on sustainability, I walked away from really excited about. And I have a feeling you will as well. So with that, let’s get started with our show. Sandrina, welcome. We’re so glad to have you.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Hi together. Nice to meet you today.

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely. So I know that you are the head of strategy and corporate development at Salzgitter. Would you tell us a little bit about your role there?

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yes, of course. As head of strategy and corporate development, I’m a driver of industrial and transformation at Salzgitter AG, the organization project, Geico, circular Economy and Sustainable Corporate Management belonged to my latest core topics. I started my career at Salzgitter AG in 2003 as project manager is the corporate group branch rolling. In 2012, I moved to the strategy and corporate development department at Salzgitter AG which I’m healing since 2015. In the last two years I was also leading the commercial management at Zico program, which covers Salzgitter AG’s transformation to a low steer industry since the beginning of last year, I’m also management director of Salzgitter AG subsidiary DEUMU, which is responsible for recycling activities.

Shelly Kramer: So in essence, you have no small job.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Indeed.

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely well you are doing a lot of amazing things. Stefan, tell us a little bit about yourself if you would.

Stefan Weisenberger: Yeah, hello. Thank you for having me. I’m Stefan Weissenberger. I’m part of SAP. Within SAP, I’m responsible for one of the larger industries milk products and mining and that includes of course steel industry. I know Salzgitter for very long. Actually, when I joined SAP96, which is eight years ago, I actually was working with colleagues from Salzgitter developing together the industry solution for metal trading and metal manufacturing. And I remember still being at the plant there. It was very impressive.

Shelly Kramer: Well, that’s terrific. Thank you both. So we are going to now talk a little bit about, it’s no secret that the world over, we are navigating some significant business pressures, macroeconomic challenges, a drive for all businesses of all kinds, and of course the steel industry in particular towards sustainability. And we’ve got demand from customers, we’ve got demand from stakeholders, we’ve got demand from employees. So this is a really, really important point in time. So Sandrina, if you would tell us a little bit about what’s driving the increased sustainability effort in your world, in your organization and what you’re seeing in the industry.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yeah. Well, the first contributing factor to an increased sustainability effort is our customer of course. In recent years the demand for more sustainable company focus has become more evident in that we are already current multiple industries and of course their consumer branches. This include the automotive sector, the bottling machinery, steel trade, and as well as beams.

Shelly Kramer: I see. Yeah, I see. And one thing I wanted to touch on, I know something that you are impacted by of course as we all are government regulations and government requirements and we’ve got the commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, UN sustainability goals and all of these things have led to increased momentum and especially for energy intensive industries like yours. So one thing I’d love for you to touch on is the role that your employees are playing in this drive to sustainability. So we’ve got customers, we’ve got government requirements and regulations, and we’ve also got employees. Talk with us a little bit about the role that they’re playing there.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yes. Our employees are also an important driver of sustainability with Salzgitter group. We are seeing in a cultural change in which employees are showing a high degree of proactivity. You see everywhere within our organization we find encouragement for a sustainable business approach.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah, absolutely. Well, and of course we’ve got financial markets which are playing a big role right now and that’s going to continue. Stefan, you and your role at SAP. You work with other companies in multiple industries. Are there other pressures or specific regulations that you are hearing that are driving action as it relates to sustainability initiatives?

Stefan Weisenberger: Well, there’s actually quite a lot moving. That’s coming back from a conversation with another customer around that actually… I mean, it depends on the material. I’m responsible for the packaging industry, just one example and the whole topics of single use plastic is a huge thing. How much ocean plastics are floating around. And one way to address this is to basically faze those out. And there are legislation in the EU and also in other countries that address just that as a UK plastic tax that is looking at that.

So companies are basically in a way forced to report what plastics they’re using and basically need to pay a tax on that. In a way, we also have that with carbon pricing that is of course also regulation that is affecting us in the steel industries and in others. And we have topics around green procurement, which are quite big. You have in the US the Federal Buy Clean Initiative, in the EU, we have topics like green public procurement, we have green building codes. There are a number of things and these affect different materials in different ways, but typically it’s about the carbon footprints, about recycled content that you need to prove to actually claim a market.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah, there’s a lot going on, isn’t there?

Stefan Weisenberger: And it’s not getting easier.

Shelly Kramer: It is not any and nor will it, right? I mean there are some technology solutions that help along the way, but the reality of it is this is a complex field we’re playing in and I really don’t expect it to get any easier. Okay. Sandrina, I think that we’ve mapped out the fact that there are massive pressures in all of this, and we also can see that Salzgitter has massive aspirations as well. And I know that the company’s mission to be a pioneer in sustainability and green steel. Green steel. That’s so exciting. So tell us what this means, and I know this is a complex story, but tell us what this means if you would.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Okay, yes. What does green steel mean? You have to know that we are currently producing each year here in Salzgitter production site, 4.5 million tons of steel. And we also emit 8 million tons of CO2 emissions and these CO2 emissions we want to avoid in the future. And therefore we have already started in 2016 the SALCOS-program. SALCOS stands for Salzgitter Low CO2 Cteel making. And by this we have completely to switch the raw steel processing to completely new production process with different materials. And that’s a very intensive investment.

Shelly Kramer: Right, absolutely. So talk a little bit about these processes that you’re going to implement. I think you’ve got it broken up into stages. Will you walk us through that?

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yeah, yeah, sure. Yes. We will implement the new cycles production process in three stages. In stage one direct reduction plant and one electric arc furnace will be implemented as well as 100 megawatt electrolyzer capacity for the production of hydrogen. They shall be done until end of 2025. So it’s not a long time anymore. It’s almost tomorrow we are able to produce 1.7 million tons of green rolled steel and we aim to reduce our scope one and two CO2 emissions by already 30% in total.

Shelly Kramer: By 2025. That’s impressive. That’s very impressive. Okay, take us to stage two.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yes. Stage number two, we will implement further direct reduction plant and a further electric arc furnace as well further electrolyzer capacity for the production of hydrogen. And we will implement it in the same steel production capacity as stage one. So we are able to produce almost 3.4 million tons of green steel until 2030. And by this we are able to reduce more than 50% of our current CO2 emissions.

Shelly Kramer: So a little more than six years?

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yeah.

Shelly Kramer: 50%.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Further under 2033, a further electric arc furnace will be implemented by each stage the corresponding plus furnace capacity will be shut down and at the end 5.4, sorry, 4.5 million tons of raw steel will be produced in Salzgitter via a CO2 less production process. By running the new direct reduction plant with 100% hydrogen, we are able to reduce our CO2 emissions by 95%.

Shelly Kramer: That’s very impressive. So talk with me a little bit, I can guess what your answer is, but talk with me a little bit about your plans for scope three emissions.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yes, we have currently addressed our plans on scope three emissions, yet we are working with our group companies on this topic. And yes, I can say let’s stay tuned. We will give you a follow-up to this soon.

Shelly Kramer: That’s great. That’s great. I can’t wait. All right. Yesterday, one of the things your team shared with me is information about the deal that Salzgitter assigned with BMW and this deal is around producing low carbon steel in 2026. And talk with us a little bit if you would, about this agreement with BMW and where you are in this transformation and the impact that that’s having on Salzgitter now.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yes, we got last year green light from important relevant authorities to start the transformation, yes. And in July, last year we got from our supervisory board the approval of funds of more than 700 million euro for implementing the first stage of cycles. And in October last year we got from the EU commission a further approval for the funding of 1 billion euro. So this, approvals was necessary preconditions to start the order process for our key materials. And so we were able to order the first big materials in August. The electric arc furnace was an capacity of one point million tons. And in October last year we have done the commissioning of switching stations and transformers. Currently, we are in the final stage of the order placement of our direct reduction plant and in the second quarter we will make the order placement for the huge electrolyzer as to say it in a few words, transformation happens at Salzgitter.

Shelly Kramer: Transformation is happening at a rapid pace, isn’t it? One thing, Sandrina that became clear when I was talking with your team and preparing for this conversation is that the Salzgitter get a premise, has an IT kind of become a large construction site and so the existing processes continue and this change is happening. Some refer to it as maybe open heart surgery here future. And we call it building the plane as we’re flying it. So I think either descriptor is fairly appropriate. So do you want to tell us a little bit about what that’s like actually doing the open heart surgery while all these, while business as usual is happening, but yet these massive transformational change is also happening?

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yeah. Yes. As already taught that Salzgitter location is currently a large construction site, but transformation here does not mean only the implementation of new materials in our premise. It’s also the challenge of change in the supply chain has to make it simple. We have to change coal by green electricity and hydrogen. So we have to build new partnerships and have to be set in the mind of transformation that rules for our suppliers as well as for our customers and our customers like BMW. They will tell us what conditions and in what amounts in the ramp up phase. That’s the question.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah, absolutely.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yeah. And true to the strategic model partnering for transformation, the Salzgitter organization has started last year, this journey along its supply chain. We are aiming by this for circularity partnerships following our vision, pioneering for circular solutions.

Shelly Kramer: So what are you thinking will happen with Salzgitter flat steel in terms of the whole steel production plant.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: As we basically replace the whole steel production plant as already described, and as we need a lot of investments, 1.7 billion, we get the support of… We get some funding support that’s necessary and we are already in the midst of transformation to provide our customers, especially our core customers, like BMW as early as possible with green steel.

Shelly Kramer: I see. So there are some visible changes taking place at Salzgitter. I know that the skyline has changed, I know things are happening within the organization. Walk us through a little bit of those changes Sandrina, if you would.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yes, we are doing steps, transformation steps since years. We started in 2017 for example, to build electrolyzer capacity. So we start together with our team, the development process to understand better the production of hydrogen to scale it in bigger amounts. And of course, our skyline has changed. We implemented a wind power in our location site and yes, so we are able already today to produce clean electricity, not in that amount we need, but in smaller yes portions. And we are also preparing for our huge direct reduction plant. Yes, we have built a direct reduction plant to make research and development to learn about the best mix of hydrogen and natural gas and to prepare on the best mix of the necessary raw materials we need level.

Shelly Kramer: I see. And so on thing’s for sure, there’s a lot of work and development that’s going on behind the scenes. I know that you’re testing new technologies before you scale up and all of that sort of thing. And so you absolutely have a lot on your plate leading digital transformation in initiatives here, Stefan. Right. I would guess there’s never a boring day and never a day without its own set of challenges. Stefan, hello? Salzgitter is right in the middle of a critical cross industry process and it impacts in a massive way the ability to reduce emissions. Can you talk with us a little bit about the front and the back end of this process and starting with mining and because I don’t think when people think about their vehicles that they drive, most of us aren’t thinking about all that’s involved, including beginning with mining that makes those vehicles happen. So will you talk with us a little bit about that?

Stefan Weisenberger: Sure, yeah. And you said right Salzgitter in the middle, meaning in the middle of a value chain, it starts maybe somewhere in Australia or somewhere in Brazil where is produced and then transported across the globe. And then we come to the point of steel making and then we are producing car parts and then comes the automotive manufacturer themselves. And even then they actually, the value chain doesn’t end because the car will be in use, it will be maybe no longer run with a combustion engine but with an electrical engine and then it will be recycled as the answer. It’s a very long supply chain actually that we are, or value chain that we are looking at. And if you want, want to decarbonize the whole value chain. I discussed it this morning with a mining company sitting together and now we are talking about steel.

You can look from the mine upstream and actually see how do I decarbonize anything coming downstream? And the automotive guys are looking in the other direction and basically looking downstream and what is Salzgitter and other metal companies supplying? So the interesting point is they are basically just decarbonizing their usage by switching from gas to electrical so they can bring this part of the footprint quite nicely down. So for them, a significant part now if you look at the full life cycle of the car is coming from the raw materials. So there’s a much higher interest now into on one side the battery minerals. But of course also materials like glass and plastics and of course steel.

Shelly Kramer: Right, absolutely. So when you embark upon decarbonization efforts, what does it require companies to do? Where do you start when you’re thinking about this?

Stefan Weisenberger: That’s actually interesting because it depends a little bit on what you would like to achieve. What we’ve seen is that there is of course the regulatory parts. You have your corporate footprint that you need to look into. You have the discussion about if you want to discuss with your customers about your product footprint, and you have the aspects of how do I actually share data and share information with the suppliers on one side and with the customers on the other side. So we are discussing that we’re engaged, for example, with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. They have something they call the partnership for carbon transparency, let’s say basically addressing exactly this problem. How can two companies or more companies talk to each other and share information around sustainability? And of course you to standardize that. So they do don’t have to reinvent that every time. So it’s a question about how do you calculate, how do you share and how do you make that in a digital way no longer with facts in a flexible manner that is actually working.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah.

Stefan Weisenberger: I think it’s a lot moving.

Shelly Kramer: It is a lot of moving parts. I think it’s a really important initiative though. And I think the message here is that you don’t have to go it alone. Today, I think that what we see here at Futurum is that smart strategic partnerships are the path forward and be able to share data, share ideas, that sort of thing. I mean that that’s really, I think how we make this happen when as opposed to each company sort of reinventing the wheel along the way that that’s not efficient in any way. So I think that organizations partnerships like this are incredibly important.

Stefan Weisenberger: Totally. Yeah. I think it’s something you cannot solve by yourself and therefore it’s important. And they are multiple standards evolving and luckily they are developing in the same direction. So that makes it a little easier, at least for companies.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah, yeah, that’s great. So Sandrina, I know that of course as we’ve talked about your transformation is in full progress. So I also have been involved in digital transformation initiatives over the course of the last decade. So I have firsthand experience and I know that this does not come without challenges. Talk with us a little bit about just a few of the challenges you face in this process.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yes. First of all, the resources are certainly limited. So the implementation of transformation requires different distribution and new processes must be established and we need to be well-prepared for those. And of course our team has also to do its normal work of today and in parallel we have to prepare for transformation. It’s quite a challenge. And yes, in this process it will be aware, supporting medium, it is also a chance for the transformation and also to integrate a new IT generation.

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely. Absolutely. There’s lots of balls in the air here. So let’s talk if we could a little bit, Sandrina about the infrastructure side and how technology is actually playing a role in terms of supporting your journey to be more sustainable. And I know that of course involves some of the work that you’re doing with SAP, so I would love to hear a little bit more about that partnership with SAP and how SAP is supporting you on your digital transformation journey at Salzgitter.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yeah. Yes. We cherish a long-standing partnership with SAP. For us digital transformation is a key to a more sustainable business. A good example project is our corporate calm footprint as the help of SAP via are globally collecting and analyzing group data concerning our CO2 emissions. We use this data set for our customers as well as reporting. As well as reporting. Yeah. And increasing number of customers is also asking about more data than just CO2 emissions. As a result, we are also collecting other energy and environmental key figures.

Shelly Kramer: And one thing I will say that when it comes to customers and data, in my experience, when customers see a little bit of data, they get very excited and they want to see more data. So it sounds like you are experiencing just that, right. And so I know all of this has led to something called maybe a product passport. Tell us about that, Sandrina.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yes, that is right. It’s a product passport.

Shelly Kramer: So what is a product passport?

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: So a product passport is an information set which contains all relevant information about the product. Yes. And it’s lifecycle.

Shelly Kramer: Okay, well, and so using that product passport, customers can see the environmental footprint of their product. Is that really what we’re talking about great. Your passport-

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: The two footprint, it’s the footprint of secondary raw materials.

Shelly Kramer: Got it. Got it. All right. Now, I would love to talk a little bit about circularity within Salzgitter and I know that’s something that you spend a lot of time thinking about and I know that’s been a focus of a lot of your efforts. Sandrina, can you tell us a little bit, share with us a little bit about how circularity is evolving within the organization?

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yep. This theory we have for circularity is easy, best material because steel you can recycle every time per hundred percent. And so steel scrap our main topics in circularity right now and we do face an increasing demand from our customers and regulators to include more secondary materials into our products. And so the steel production process can do it very well. Yes, especially our new production process can use more secondaries than before.

Shelly Kramer: Well that’s great.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: So far we do not see any legal requirements for recycling thresholds, but that is surely only a matter of time now you think front-runners are already voicing out where demand of higher scrap content.

Shelly Kramer: I see. So Stefan, circularity, I know you think a lot about circularity on a daily basis. Talk with us a little bit about what other innovations you’re seeing in the industry around circularity.

Stefan Weisenberger: It actually just popped up in my mind thinking of that, I mean one way is of course recycling steel. If you think of construction actually have a step before where we would say if you build more modular, you can actually reuse modular components. You don’t even have to melt them, you can even sell more CO2 by doing that. But of course, there are many other things. I mean one element I mentioned before that we look at an entire value chain and if you look at that for example from the automotive industries, you can become more circular if you know more about the product, if you know more about how it’s being used. And one of the works that we are doing is together with the Global Battery Alliance, it looks for example, at what you do with an EV battery, you have its passport, how it’s manufactured and what is actually inside.

Then you have the time when it’s in use and you try to understand how good it is still. Can it still be used in its first usage or does it actually has to go maybe into a second usage no longer in a car, but maybe as a electrical buffer or possibility to restore more electricity in a house for example, or in a fullback scenario. So there are ways where we say it helps to add a digital layer, digital information to the way how materials flow and how products exist so that you then know how can I recycle that? That is a big element and that goes actually product passport is an essential component, but it goes beyond, it actually comes to the point, “Okay, how can I actually dismantle something? How can I make sure that everything is properly processed? We’ve seen that in construction where we’ve been working with construction companies that wanted to prove that everything has been processed according to regulation.” And they wanted to actually sell the service that they’re processing it and they wanted to reuse the materials.

So there’s a lot of things happening where if you play together, you can do beautiful things. In the automotive industry, there is an alliance, I would say a network of companies that work together on circularity and more topics and how to exchange data around that. It’s called Catena-X, I’m not sure whether you heard of that. In Europe, a big discussion around everyone who supplies in the industry and basically creating a digital network, an open ecosystem to exchange information to enable better exchange of quality information, of demand information, and of course also sustainability and circularity information. And again, it’s helpful to see there is multiple companies coming together in an alliance to solve a big problem together. And it’s exciting. So we can actually drive a big difference there.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah, it is very exciting. So working within an ecosystem is a key part of the… I think the journey here, a key part of success. And I know that many people who are participating in many organizations who are part of the value chain are themselves facing transformation initiatives. So how do you solve for working within the ecosystem? How do you do that in a best case manner? Do you have any thoughts on that?

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Many patients in the value chain are facing transformation right now. Like saying for the industry, the situation is characterized by a certain urgency and we are simply not time for long probing. And I often see that there’s a kind of chicken act problem only brave participants and a closer manner of partnering for transformation can be the solution. This also requires a certain level of investment security or the partners along the supply chain today need.

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely, absolutely. So what groups within Salzgitter are part of this effort, Sandrina?

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: We incorporate all our companies into the process today. Of course, some companies have a particularly larger footprint than others, but since we aim to become climate neutral along the entire value chain, we depend on the contribution of every company of Salzgitter group. And we recently implemented the first group wide of what in which our company submitted initiatives to reduce their CO2 emissions. We were able to record great participation, which shows the aspiration of all the individual companies contributing to towards our sustainability target.

Shelly Kramer: So the Decarb Awards, can you give us an example of one of the companies who entered this awards program?

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yes. Some few words on our winner. And our winner is the solar cooperative of employees of one of our subsidiary that members invest in affordable system on the roof of a production site of the company. And the company rents the system and uses the generated green electricity. This saves hundred 94 tons zero two emissions every year. And the employee driven initiative shows the commitment for transformation on every level of our company.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah, that’s exciting.

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: And the entry on second place is more technical. That’s my second example at slabs are separated by autogenous flame cutting in one of our processing site, replacing this process through the usage of cold circular, so can save 12,060 tons of CO2 emissions combined. And in addition, material efficiency is increased and economic savings, savings are achieved on top of that. The initiative requires an investment at first of course, but it pays for itself, improves quality and contributes towards more sustainability.

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely.

Stefan Weisenberger: I like that.

Shelly Kramer: That is definitely more technical, but it’s really exciting too. As we wrap the show, I’m thinking about… I was onsite at one of our clients’ lab facilities at their R&D facility in the middle of last year, and the gentleman who led the facility was introducing himself to the group of visitors and kind of talking a little bit about his role within the organization. And one thing that he said that really resonated with me, he said, “I feel like I’m surrounded by the best talent, the brightest individuals, people who are working every day to affect change. And they’re very focused in the sustainability space, by the way.” And he said it, “in no instance was it more apparent how fulfilling my job is than when I was talking with my eight-year-old son and he was asking me, daddy, what do you do when you go to work?”

And he said, “I looked at my son and I said, I go to work every day and I try to make the world a better place. I try to save our planet, I try to make things more sustainable.” And that, I mean, I feel like I’m really contributing something. And I walked away from that thinking, what a great thing to be able to tell your child or your family or friends or anybody about what it is you spend your efforts doing. And I think really, Sandrina for you and your team, certainly for you, given your role, that’s what you do too. You really work to drive these efforts forward. So one, I commend you for that, but I also think that this focus by Salzgitter in general can’t help but attract a new generation of talent. I mean, I also have 17 year old twin daughters who are juniors in high school.

They’re math and science nerds. They’re trying to figure out what they want to do, what they want to study at university and all of that sort of thing. And I know they’re very interested in all things sustainability because they realize that we have to change. So do you see the efforts that you’re making, the commitment that you’re making, the passion that you have for sustainability and transformation as it relates to sustainability at Salzgitter, do you feel like that’s helping you attract and retain talent but attract new talent as well? What are your thoughts there?

Sandrina Sieverdingbeck: Yes. First of all, I feel with you because I have also twins, 12 year old, and they are also very interested in everything what sustainable and we’re looking for a sustainable future. And yes, I’m sure it does contribute. Providing an environment in which young potentials are part of shaping the transformation is highly beneficial for both sides. Young generations desire to contribute towards the most sustainable future. We see it from our children and in our group we have the opportunity to do so. The young people, we highly appreciate their commitment and motivation to face the upcoming challenges and drive our transformation.

Shelly Kramer: Yes, absolutely will. And those challenges are significant and they are not getting any less significant over time, right. So with that, I think that this is a good time to wrap our show. Sandrina Sieverdingbeck, thank you so much for spending time with us and sharing all that you are doing at Salzgitter. It’s so exciting. Stefan Weisenberger from SAP, thank you very much for sharing your time with us. It has been a fascinating conversation and I look forward to checking in with you later on this year or maybe next year. And seeing the kind of progress that you’ve made, I know that you know what you’re doing is tremendously exciting and important.



Author Information

Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”


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