OUTOKUMPU OYJ PRESS RELEASE: Outokumpu sites in Finland recognized as prime example of circular economy (April 22, 2016)

Outokumpu’s ferrochrome and stainless steel production sites in Tornio, Finland, have worked systematically towards a zero-waste-to-landfill production system for decades. Outokumpu’s business is in fact based on recycled steel scrap as main raw material of the produced stainless steel.

The goal of circular economy is to put an end to waste through recycling and salvaging valuable materials from processes. In the 2015 Paris Climate Talks, the Kemi-Tornio area of Northern Finland was presented by research institute Nordregio as a prime example of an industrial region implementing the circular economy approach.

Today, the Tornio mill is able to commercialize a full 100% of slag side streams which can be sold to private companies and households or reutilized in Outokumpu’s own processes and construction projects.

Says Juha Ylimaunu, Outokumpu’s Vice President, Sustainability and Environment: “Outokumpu has put great effort into commercializing the by-products of our plants. For instance, the side streams from ferrochrome production have been utilized since the Tornio plant first started operating in 1968. Outokumpu’s ferrochrome furnace has a unique clean-tech design, which produces both ferrochrome and a commercially viable slag product.”

Slag is the mineral based by-product which is essential material in ore melting process. Slag products can be utilized to replace virgin materials such as crushed stone, for instance in road foundations.

“We study all material streams from production in order to find means of fully reusing or selling them as products on the market. According to estimates, the use of Outokumpu’s slag products has saved over 20 million cubic meters worth of virgin materials in natural gravel in Northern Finland”, Ylimaunu says.

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Outokumpu Group

Outokumpu is a global leader in stainless steel. We create advanced materials that are efficient, long lasting and recyclable – thus building a world that lasts forever. Stainless steel, invented a century ago, is an ideal material to create lasting solutions in demanding applications from cutlery to bridges, energy and medical equipment: it is 100% recyclable, corrosion-resistant, maintenance-free, durable and hygienic. Outokumpu employs 11,000 professionals in more than 30 countries, with headquarters in Espoo, Finland and shares listed in Nasdaq Helsinki.