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Steel is the most recycled material in the world — and few companies can claim to recycle as much metal as CMC. After being melted in our high-efficiency electric furnaces, recycled scrap metal is transformed into finished products in our rolling mills or fabricated to customer specifications for use in projects around the globe. All told, this vertically integrated manufacturing process saves more than 19 billion pounds of scrap metal from being landfilled annually — enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool 11 times every day for an entire year!

We’re also finding ways to recycle steel more efficiently and cleanly. Our innovative electric arc furnace steelmaking technology consumes fewer natural resources and generates less emissions compared to the traditional blast furnaces. For every ton of steel that’s recycled, we conserve the use of 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone.








At CMC, good business always aligns with good environmental practices. As part of our overall effort to promote environmental responsibility, CMC focuses on these key areas: 

  • Encouraging recycling, recovery and reuse when possible in all of our processes 
  • Improving our energy efficiency 
  • Increasing our water reuse and recycling rate 
  • Encouraging greater environmental awareness and responsibility among our employees 
  • Reducing our overall carbon footprint 

To further reduce energy consumption, CMC has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy to take part in the “Better Buildings, Better Plants” Program. The goal of this initiative is to drive significant improvements in energy efficiency across all U.S. industries. Through our participation, CMC is committed to improving efficiency in our existing operations and making energy conservation a primary factor in purchasing or upgrading equipment at all our facilities. 

Highlights of 2020

  • CMC’s EAF mills use electricity and natural gas as energy sources, making us a large consumer of energy; however, our energy efficiency performance is world class. Our exceptional energy performance is a result of combining skilled operating teams and dedicated in-house technical experts with efficient equipment, including highly automated bucket-charge furnaces and scrap-preheating horizontal charged furnaces. Compared to our industry, we are not a significant emitter of Scope 1 GHG emissions or Scope 2 energy consumers. Our energy intensity is 82% lower and our GHG emissions intensity is 63% lower than the industry average. 

    Metric Unit 2019 2020 2021
    Total Energy Consumption GJ 21,319,811 20,969,188 20,984,140
    Total Energy Intensity GJ/MT 4.022 3.783 3.706
    Natural Gas Consumption GJ 8,159,176 8,220,949 8,039,248
    Diesel Consumption GJ 642,537 634,689 616,360
    Electricity Consumption GJ 12,518,098 12,113,550 12,328,532
    % Renewable Electricty Consumption % 12.1% 13.3% 16.7%
    % Renewable Energy Consumption % 7.1% 7.7% 9.8%


    Metric Unit 2019 2020 2021
    Total GHG Emissions (Scopes 1, 2 & 3) MT CO2e 3,857,837 3,942,274 3,953,022
       Scope 1 MT CO2e 1,048,006 1,106,156 1,117,753
       Scope 2 MT CO2e 1,500,431 1,466,830 1,436,765
       Scope 3 MT CO2e 1,309,400 1,369,288 1,398,504
    Total Emissions Intensity MT CO2e/MT 0.728 0.711 0.698
    Total Scope 1 & 2 CO2e Emissions Intensity MT CO2e/MT 0.481 0.464 0.451
    Scope 3 CO2e Emissions Intensity MT CO2e/MT 0.247 0.247 0.247
  • We recognize the potential impacts our operations have on the environment, including air quality. Our strategic positioning in scrap-based EAF steelmaking technology means our operations produce fewer air emissions than the industry sector. CMC strictly follows all air regulations and annually tracks emissions from nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, lead, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter (as shared in our Sustainability Report). While our EAF mills are closely regulated under federal Clean Air Act permitting requirements, we are motivated to continue reducing our air emissions to minimize our impact. We are confident that the best opportunity to do this lies in our relentless pursuit of energy and raw material efficiency and we continually look for new and innovative technologies to reduce our emissions. We believe that low emissions and efficient operations go hand in hand and have found that as we improve our operational and energy efficiency, emissions decrease as well.  

    Metric Unit 2019 2020 2021
    Nitrogen oxides (NOx) MT 800 808 789
    Sulfur oxides (SOx) MT 581 586 602
    Carbon dioxide (CO2) MT 993,931 1,052,342 1,065,377
    Methane (CH4) MT 123 138 138
    Nitrous oxide (N20) MT 0.86 0.85 0.87
    Carbon monoxide (CO) MT - - 4,084
    Lead (Pb) MT - - 2.04
    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) MT - - 228
    Particulate matter (PM) MT 368 395 447
  • As an EAF steelmaker using 100% recycled steel content in our process, CMC is naturally a significant contributor to the circular economy. Even with a production process focused on recycling scrap steel into new products, we still produce some waste streams, such as EAF dust, but this has not stopped us from identifying new ways to repurpose these materials. Our waste management programs not only focus on compliance but also focus on reducing, reusing and recycling where possible. The recycling of 99% of our EAF dust is a significant example of this principal in action.

    The EAF baghouse dust and slag recycling is a major part of our mill operations, as well as recycling millscale — which is sold to the cement industry – and refractory material, which is used to line the furnace. We send approximately 99% of our EAF baghouse dust for recycling where the recycler extracts zinc and other metals for use as a substitute for virgin mined materials in the production of other important products for social needs, such as paints, tire rubber, fertilizers, animal feed and more. In addition, we recycle spent oil and lubrication and pallets at our fabrication facilities.

    Steel slag is the largest volume co-product produced from our steelmaking operations and is recycled and reused as aggregate in construction, cement production and other similar applications such as base material for embankments, highway shoulders, engineered fill and asphalt pavement. The superior physical properties of slag make it an integral part of construction and manufacturing industries’ sustainable resources and raw materials. We collect 100% of our slag and send it for processing and eventual resale for use as a sustainable supply product. 

    Metric Unit 2019 2020 2021
    Total Waste & Co-Products MT 640,017 718,359 1,137,902
    % of waste recycled % 90% 88% 83%
    % hazardous waste % 9% 9% 5%
  • Steel manufacturing is a water-intensive industry, and CMC operates in several high-stress water regions within the U.S. We recognize that water is a valuable resource, and CMC focuses on using water judiciously to minimize our usage and impacts on the environment and our communities. In addition to complying with all applicable water laws and regulations, we design our facilities to use water efficiently and minimize our withdrawal and discharge.

    According to the World Resources Institute Aqueduct database, in 2021, we operated facilities in the high-stress water regions of Arkansas, Arizona, California and Florida. CMC facilities utilize water in a cascading recycling system to minimize water withdrawal. To conserve water, we recycle and reuse water for multiple cycles in our operations for process cooling, slag quenching, dust control and irrigation. Our Florida, New Jersey, Tennessee and Texas mills have zero water discharge — they reuse and recycle all of the water withdrawn from the region. Additionally, our Arizona mill is water-efficient and close to achieving zero water discharge. We continue searching for innovative ways to expand water recycling and reclaimed water use in all of our facilities.

    We are partnering with our water treatment experts at each facility to identify water saving opportunities. As part of the water reduction program, we will be increasing employee awareness on the importance of water conservation and identifying areas where additional metering would help to quantify when and how much water is consumed in specific portions of our processes.
    Metric Unit 2019 2020 2021
    Total water withdrawn m3 6,104,745 6,003,220 7,028,693
    Water withdrawn from public inlet m3 1,911,190 1,960,406 2,074,992
    Water withdrawn from ground water (private well) m3 2,798,282 2,669,751 3,474,309
    Water withdrawn from surface water (stream) m3 1,395,272 1,373,063 1,479,392
    Total water discharge m3 1,429,868 1,373,250 1,925,927
    Total water consumption m3 4,674,876 4,629,969 5,102,767
    Total water withdrawn intensity m3/MT 1.152 1.083 1.241
    % of water that is recycled or reused multiple times % 95.6% 95.2% 89.6%
    Total water withdrawn in high or extremely high baseline stress area m3 1,262,043 1,101,440 999,324
    % of water withdrawn in high or extremely high baseline stress area % 21% 18% 14%
    Total water consumed in high or extremely high baseline stress area m3 1,215,420 1,081,311 982,568
    % of water consumed in high or extremely high baseline stress area % 26% 23% 19%


Climate change and environmental impacts are a growing concern for our stakeholders, and CMC recognizes the threats that global climate change have on our business and the communities in which we operate.

Since our founding, we have consistently implemented new operating technologies to significantly reduce our energy, resource consumption and waste generation. Our drive to innovate and improve has kept us on the forefront of energy and resource efficiency, and we will continue investing in future opportunities beneficial to the environment and our business.

Click here to view our environmental policy.

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