Marel News


Marel has launched an innovative pilot project to explore the use of sustainably produced “green” steel in manufacturing.

In a symbolic early step, in April 2024, Iris Tryggvadottir and Olafur Fridriksson from Weighing Product Management presented CEO Arni Sigurdsson with a scale manufactured from green steel.

The drive toward sustainability is more crucial than ever, with every industry examining its environmental impact. For Marel, a spotlight falls on the purchasing and use of stainless steel, a material that is vital to create our equipment but associated with high carbon emissions during production.

Less than 5% of Marel’s greenhouse gas emissions come directly from our own operations, while a more sizable portion stems from the steel we purchase. Traditional steel production is one of the largest sources of industrial carbon emissions—for every kilogram of stainless steel produced, an average of five kilograms of carbon emissions is generated.

Sjoerd van der Heijden, Global Supply Chain Program Manager at Marel explains, “When looking at a company’s environmental impact, the full value chain perspective should be taken. Approximately one-third of Marel's greenhouse gas emissions come from purchased goods and services, where stainless steel sheet metal is a large contributor."

Recognizing this, Marel is investigating sourcing steel from suppliers who adopt sustainable production methods such as the use of renewable energy and recycled materials. This approach is part of our broader commitment to achieving our ambitious Science-Based Targets (SBTi), with a particular emphasis on reducing scope 3 emissions, which encompass indirect emissions from activities such as purchased goods and services.

Working with Outokumpu to embrace green steel
Steel production has been developing rapidly in recent years, with significant advancements in sustainability, giving rise to the concept of green steel. While the term can be misused for greenwashing, genuine improvements and choices are emerging.

Marel’s primary steel sheet supplier, Outokumpu, has taken a leading role with its Circle Green® stainless steel product line, which has approximately 90% lower carbon emissions than the European industry average. The Circle Green® manufacturing process uses only renewable sources and low-carbon electricity, making it a highly circular solution. Marel is pleased to collaborate with this forward-thinking supplier.

Navigating roadblocks to find a path forward
Despite many promising developments, a complete shift to green steel is not yet feasible. Outokumpu’s new product line is produced in limited quantities with extended lead times, and it is currently only available in Europe.

Another challenge lies in Marel’s own supply chain. More than two-thirds of the stainless steel sheets we use are purchased indirectly through suppliers as metalworking is often contracted out. Merely changing our direct stainless steel purchases would not have a major impact. Therefore, a full transition would require that all Marel suppliers use green steel in a traceable manner.

Despite these challenges, we are eager to continue exploring this path and are excited about the possibilities ahead.

Learnings from the pilot and future directions
The green steel pilot project has yielded valuable insights and exciting discussions about emission reductions, supply chain limitations and feasibility. With the creation of Marel’s first green steel scales, we’ve demonstrated that we can produce a product with this material, laying the groundwork for future advancements.

Looking ahead, we are committed to engaging with stakeholders and leading the industry toward a more sustainable and responsible future.

Sustainability in Marel's supply chain


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