Skip to content


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 18 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 80% lower and our GHG emissions intensity is 60% lower than the industry average. 

    Metric Unit 2018 2019 2020
    Total Energy Consumption GJ 15,857,409 21,327,796 20,798,271
    Total Energy Intensity GJ/MT 3.91 4.02 3.75
    Natural Gas Consumption GJ 5,664,515 8,342,208 8,175,855
    Diesel Consumption GJ 574,136 616,148 565,063
    Electricity Consumption GJ 9,618,759 12,369,440 12,057,353
    % Renewable Energy Consumption % 9% 13% 13%


    Metric Unit 2018 2019 2020
    Total GHG Emissions (Scopes 1 & 2) MT CO2e 2,132,767 2,646,337 2,626,548
       Scope 1 MT CO2e 780,194 1,119,442 1,102,623
       Scope 2 MT CO2e 1,352,573 1,562,894 1,523,925
    Total GHG Emissions Intensity (Scopes 1 & 2) MT CO2e/MT 0.484 0.474 0.474
  • As a global corporation, we recognize the potential impacts our operations have on the environment and surrounding communities, including air quality. Our strategic positioning in scrap-based EAF steelmaking technology means our operations produce less air emissions compared to the industry sector. CMC strictly follows all air regulations and annually tracks emissions from nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and particulate matter (as shared in our Sustainability Report). Despite having minimal impact on local air quality, we are motivated to continue reducing our air emissions and are confident that the best opportunity to do this lies in our relentless pursuit of energy and raw material efficiency. 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 2018 2019 2020
    Nitrogen oxides (NOx) MT 624 798 761
    Sulfur oxides (SOx) MT 378 530 497
    Carbon dioxide (CO2) MT 732,419 1,067,055 1,054,272
    Methane (CH4) MT 89.32 139.02 139.50
    Nitrous oxide (N20) MT 0.68 0.85 0.80
    Particulate matter (PM) MT 243 364 362
  • As an EAF steelmaker using 100% recycled steel content in our process, CMC is naturally a top contributor to the circular economy. Even with a production process focused on recycling scrap steel into new products, we still produce some minimal waste streams, such as EAF dust, but this has not stopped us from identifying new ways to repurpose these materials. We send approximately 99% of our EAF dust for recycling where zinc and other metals are extracted 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. 

    Not considered a waste, steel slag is a recycled co-product used 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 numerous construction and manufacturing industry’s sustainable resources and raw materials. We collect 100% of our slag and send it for processing and eventual resale for use as a sustainable product. 

    Metric Unit 2018 2019 2020
    Total Waste & Co-Products MT 895,406 1,053,491 1,137,060
    % of waste recycled % 85.1% 87.0% 85.9%
    % hazardous waste % 4.97% 6.15% 6.32%
  • Steel manufacturing is a water intensive industry. Because fresh water is a valuable resource, CMC focuses on using water judiciously to minimize our usage, operational costs and impacts on the environment and our communities. In addition to following all applicable water laws and regulations, we design our facilities to use water efficiently and to reduce our intake and discharge.

    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 is close to achieving zero water discharge. Overall, CMC’s water intake per ton of steel is only 4% of the steel industry average.
    Metric Unit 2018 2019 2020
    Total water consumption m3 3,934,985 4,932,168 4,677,544
    Water withdrawn from public inlet m3 1,176,104 1,964,920 1,891,609
    Water withdrawn from ground water (private well) m3 2,310,162 2,934,060 2,606,250
    Water withdrawn from surface water (stream) m3 1,643,707 1,391,533 1,412,232
    Total water discharge m3 1,194,988 1,358,346 1,232,546
    % of water that is recycled or reused multiple times % 95% 94% 96%
    % of water withdrawn in high or extremely high baseline stress area % 13% 22% 19%
    % of water consumed in high or extremely high baseline stress area % 16% 27% 23%


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.

close right chevron right chevron left chevron play Commercial Metals Company