Think sustainability when manufacturing cars. Environmental benefits of high-strength steel in cars
April 03, 2019 14:00 CEST 6 min read
Name: Marita Hane
Title: Docol Global Brand Manager
Location: Borlänge, Sweden
When I started at SSAB six years ago, I was looking forward to representing Swedish industry on the global market. Working for SSAB’s vision of a stronger, lighter and more sustainable world also felt right for me personally. It’s my job to communicate the value of the Docol® brand, which represents our high-strength steels for the automotive industry.
The importance of thinking sustainability when manufacturing and using cars has long been a major element of our communication, and it’s pleasing to see how awareness of these issues is steadily increasing. Virtually all countries have now realized the importance of considering the whole lifecycle of a product. We are also seeing how car manufacturers refer to their choice of high-strength steel in the car as a sales argument.
As for me, I live in the countryside in Dalarna, with all of the qualities that a life in the countryside means for body and soul. In most respects, we can live up to the concept of sustainability, but the distance to work, school and healthcare can be a problem. Many of us are therefore dependent on cars. Without public transport services outside the major cities, private cars will continue to play an important role. But demand for climate-smart vehicles is on the increase, and that is an inspirational challenge for us to take on in the steel industry.
There is a lot of talk about the climate crisis. The word ‘crisis’ is said to come from the Greek language and means ‘decisive turn’. In other words, a crisis means an opportunity for change. So how will the cars of the future be powered? By battery or by some other fuel we don’t know about yet? It is evident that we need to reduce the weight of cars, that there will be tougher requirements for emissions and the introduction of safety features. This trend creates better prospects for growth in the use of high-strength steels in the automotive industry. Whatever fuel is used by cars, steel will have an important role to play in all vehicles. Our knowledge and experience in this area can make a difference for the customer.
We are constantly developing new Docol steels for the automotive industry. In many cases it is the automotive industry that generates development in the steel industry, development that can then generate materials for large parts of society.
SSAB is on an exciting journey of sustainability – Sustainability Expedition. In a series of blogs, some of our employees talk about vthe arious sustainability initiatives under way within the company. How we are working with our vision – A stronger, lighter and more sustainable world.