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European steel producers need to increase energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions to meet requirements set by European policies. Robust indicators are needed to follow up these efforts. This bottom-up analysis of traditional energy and climate indicators is based on plant-level data from three Swedish steel producers with different product portfolios and production processes. It concludes that indicators based on both physical and economic production are interlinked with aspects both within and outside the company gates. Results estimated with partial least squares regression confirm that steel production has complex relationships with markets, societal context, and operational character of the industry. The study concludes that (i) physical indicators (based on crude steel production) may be useful at the process level, but not at the industry-wide level, (ii) the value added is not a reliable alternative since it cannot be properly estimated for companies belonging to larger international groups, and (iii) structural shifts may influence the results significantly and veil improvements made at the process level. Finally, harmonised system boundary definitions are vital for making indicators comparable between companies. The use of traditional indicators, as defined today, may lead to uninformed decisions at the company as well as policy levels.
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- Economic and operational factors in energy and climate indicators for the steel industry
- Springer Netherlands