Gerdau Is Shaping A Extra Collaborative, Inclusive, And Sustainable Future

Gerdau is a multinational metal producer that focuses on recycling scrap metal. Every year, the corporate transforms tens of millions of tons of scrap into new metal merchandise, selling sustainability whereas on the similar time decreasing manufacturing prices.

I latest caught up with Gustavo Werneck, CEO of Gerdau, about why sustainability and environmental points are so necessary to Gerdau, the corporate’s labour practices, and likewise how being publicly traded shapes the corporate’s resolution making.

Werneck has been CEO of Gerdau since January 2018 and a member of its board of administrators since 2019. Beforehand, he was head of Gerdau Aços Brasil, the corporate’s flagship enterprise in Brazil. See under for our edited on-line dialogue.

Christopher Marquis: Why are sustainability and environmental points necessary to Gerdau?

Gustavo Werneck: Gerdau’s enterprise is constructed round recycling and sustainability. A lot of our mills use scrap-based electrical arc furnace (EAF) expertise, decreasing the demand for pure assets and minimizing the discharge of greenhouse gases, along with decreasing the quantity of fabric discarded in landfills. Every year, we rework tens of millions of tons of scrap into a wide range of new metal merchandise, selling sustainable improvement.

Marquis: Metal manufacturing is notoriously vitality intensive and standard manufacturing nonetheless depends extensively on fossil fuels like coal/coke. I do know Gerdau focuses loads on recycled content material. What are you doing to vary the metal provide chain to attenuate use of fossil gas? How are you excited about your manufacturing of metal from non-recycled uncooked supplies?

Werneck: One instance is our symbiotic relationship with the renewable vitality sector, an necessary and rising marketplace for the metal business. Metal manufacturing is an energy-intensive course of. The presence of extra renewable vitality sources on the grid makes metal merchandise even cleaner. The environmental footprint of our operations will proceed to enhance as extra renewable vitality sources come on-line. Gerdau just lately partnered with a number one photo voltaic vitality developer to construct one of many largest behind-the-meter (BTM) photo voltaic amenities within the U.S., adjoining to Gerdau’s Midlothian, Texas metal mill. The BTM system will present energy on to the Midlothian metal mill, creating price and vitality consumption advantages. The Gerdau Photo voltaic venture options Gerdau’s business main photo voltaic beam pilings, offsets the emissions of greater than 13,000 common Texas households and can generate $19 million in tax income for the encompassing group over the following 30 years. In Brazil, we’ve signed a memorandum of cooperation with Shell Vitality Brazil to develop photo voltaic farms within the nation. Our Heze Photo voltaic Farm, within the south-eastern state of Minas Gerais, has an put in capability of 260 MWp and from 2024 will provide a part of the electrical energy necessities of our steelmaking amenities within the area.

Marquis: Within the recycling business, there’s heavy use of scrap gathers, scrap sellers, and so on. I am curious the way you get hold of the scrap and make sure the labour within the scrap provide chain is being handled equitably.

Werneck: Gerdau maintains a Code of Ethics that displays the moral ideas we use in our interactions with varied stakeholders: suppliers, clients, opponents, shareholders, authorities officers, communities, and the setting. Our enterprise companions are held accountable to those requirements in the event that they want to conduct enterprise with Gerdau.

Marquis: As a publicly traded firm, how do you weigh want for brief time period monetary efficiency, with the long run funding wanted to be environmentally sustainable?

Werneck: I consider {that a} hyperlink exists between monetary efficiency and being a accountable firm. We’re dedicated to offering our shareholders with robust, sustainable outcomes. Along with being the suitable factor to do for the communities the place we work and stay, quite a few stakeholders – together with staff, clients, buyers, and governments – are calling on producers to enhance their environmental efficiency. This can be a main driver behind Gerdau’s pursuit of certification as a B Corp, growing our sustainability requirements on the trail to turning into a greater firm.

Marquis: Remodeling the metal business to be environmentally sustainable is multiple firm can do. How are you working with business companions to collectively resolve environmental points?

Werneck: We’ve quite a few inside initiatives to enhance our environmental efficiency. Whereas our present greenhouse gasoline emissions are a fraction of the worldwide common for the metal business, Gerdau has established public targets to cut back our emissions within the near-term, with an ambition to make our operations carbon impartial by 2050. We’re additionally working to enhance the environmental efficiency of the metal provide chain. This contains the initiatives of Gerdau Subsequent, a brand new enterprise division that’s diversifying Gerdau’s portfolio to enrich the metal chain and our clients’ companies, venturing into segments equivalent to renewable vitality, contecs, logistics, and graphene.