Harsco Corp. joins in worldwide environmental effort

Michael Yoder//December 9, 2019

Harsco Corp. joins in worldwide environmental effort

Michael Yoder//December 9, 2019

Harsco, formerly Harrisburg Steel Corp., used to make steel products at a factory at Herr and Cameron streets in the capital city. (Photo: Amy Spangler)

Cumberland County’s Harsco Corp. announced Monday that its environmental division has joined with other corporations around the world to be involved in the first sustainability standard for the steel industry.

ResponsibleSteel, based in the United Kingdom, is the industry’s first global multi-stakeholder standard and certification initiative. The nonprofit set up by the Steel Stewardship Council is designed to promote responsible industry practices to improve greenhouse gas emissions during production, water stewardship, human and labor rights, community relations and business integrity.

The Wormleysburg-based company is joining the likes of ArcelorMittal, Daimler and BMW in the sustainability effort.

“We are pleased to join ResponsibleSteel and to have the opportunity to partner with our global steel customers and other key stakeholders to support the implementation of sustainability standards for steel production,” said Cope Willis, Harsco’s sustainability and environmental solutions vice president. “This collaboration is another step in Harsco’s continuing efforts to lead the steel industry into a more sustainable future.”

Companies using steel in manufacturing are under increasing pressure to ensure materials are responsibly sourced and environmentally friendly, officials said. ResponsibleSteel’s standards were created to provide guidelines for large companies to follow.

The standard consists of 12 principles, including:

  • Corporate leadership.
  • Social, environmental and governance management systems.
  • Occupational health and safety.
  • Labor rights.
  • Human rights.
  • Stakeholder engagement and communication.
  • Local communities.
  • Climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Noise, emissions, effluent and waste.
  • Water stewardship.
  • and decommissioning and closure.

The standards were approved by a ballot of the nonprofit’s membership and was ratified in November by its board of directors.

“This is a huge milestone for both ResponsibleSteel and for its members and supporters,” said Matthew Wenban-Smith, executive director of ResponsibleSteel. “The ResponsibleSteel Standard has been developed through a rigorous process of public consultation, membership approval and board ratification, and we are pleased it is now available to support the responsible sourcing and production of steel.”

Harsco’s environmental division is a worldwide provider of onsite material processing and environmental services to the global metals industry, at more than 130 customer sites across 32 different countries. The division works to provide cleaner, more efficient metal production and environmentally viable solutions.