We hear about GFG’s involvement in the World Climate Summit at COP 26

We hear about GFG’s involvement in the World Climate Summit at COP 26

On this episode, we’re focusing on COP 26 in Glasgow. We’ll hearing about GFG’s involvement in the World Climate Summit at COP 26. Plus, we’ll be finding out about the GREENSTEEL Academy with its General Manager, Gill Chambers.

Show Transcript:
00:00JINgle‘Spoken’ from GFG Alliance.
00:04CHLOE TILLEYHello and welcome to ‘Spoken’ – the podcast for GFG Alliance colleagues across the world. I’m Chloe Tilley, and on this episode, we’re focusing on COP 26 in Glasgow. We’ll hearing about GFG’s involvement in the World Climate Summit at COP 26. Plus, we’ll be finding out about the GREENSTEEL Academy with its General Manager, Gill Chambers. Joining us, as always, is Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Chairman of the GFG Alliance, hi Sanjeev, how are you?
00:31SANJEEV GUPTAHello Chloe, I’m OK.
00:32chloeSanjeev, we’ve spoken on previous podcasts about GFG’s CN30 ambitions. How important is reducing the environmental impact of producing steel and aluminium to you? Particularly, as demand for these metals increases.
00:49sanjeevAbsolutely, Chloe, so first, a critical point you just made that demand for steel for example over the next 30 years is expected to double. Global consumption of steel grows anywhere between 3% and 5% every year. Now, the problem lies in the fact that these industries are also the most polluting of all. Steel accounts for almost 9% of global CO2, so while demand is increasing, production increases at the same time, these are very highly polluting industries so if we’re serious about climate change and about addressing the issues they pose to our planet, then I think it’s absolutely imperative that we do address the pollution caused by these industries. The second point, from a business point of view at least, is that this is now more and more requirements from customers and hence if we want to lead in our industry, if we want to focus on the future, this is a critical path now to having products which will be coveted by customers. But I think the most important part I guess is, what it means to each person individually. I have three kids which are under 10 and I know from their daily obsession, how important it is for them that their planet and their future is protected. I think that is something which constantly drives me and I believe it drives most people. I think the next generation is clearly committed far more than  our generation. It’s our responsibility now to deliver for them.
02:14chloeNow, GFG is a key sponsor of the World Climate Summit – a forum for business to tackle climate change – at COP 26 in Glasgow. What are you hoping to achieve from GFG’s involvement at this event?
02:25sanjeevCOP is obviously a very important gathering of amazing minds and people with vast influence, so being able to basically participate in that and being a key player in that, has always been important to us. What we will be doing is to bring our initiatives together. We’ve launched a campaign which we call “to make change we have to push”, so this is a campaign basically designed to educate, to table our proposals, to explain their benefits, to bring other stakeholders along, to find partners, to find general support for these initiatives. So, we will be engaging with our own stakeholders, we’ll be making the case for green steel, for green aluminium. We’ll be talking about not just about our industrial initiatives like the electrolyses we’re putting in place in certain places, like all the transformation projects for all our plants, but also we’re talking at the launch of our GREENSTEEL Academy, talking about what role the GFG Foundation plays and also talk about what role JAHAMA plays, because JAHAMA is a large property developer within the GFG Alliance and they have vast amounts of land in certain places which can be deployed; things like peat restoration we are doing in Scotland can play its role in terms of sequestration as well. So, we’ll be focusing on all those sort of things. So, bringing like-minded organisations together to push for change.
03:43chloeYou’ve published a ‘Prospectus for GREENSTEEL’, tell us about this…
03:47sanjeevIt’s a product of a lot of work which was done by our unique partnership we have brought together, which has basically focused on technical and policy initiatives and that requirements which we feel need to be explored in order to deliver decarbonised steel. It is initially focused on the UK, and hence the partners which we chose are Sheffield University, Advance Manufacturing Resaerch Centre, Pride Blue and Green Alliance. So they – over the next few months – will be putting together further analysis and will be putting together further detailed proposals on policies which we feel that will make a critical difference at this important juncture.
04:25chloeOK, thanks for now Sanjeev. And let’s head to the World Climate Summit as we join our reporter, Amanda Hargreaves, who’s been at the opening session called ‘Progress Towards Net-Zero – Challenges, Opportunities & Achievements’. Amanda….
04:39amanda   HARGREAVESThanks Chloe. There’s a lot of goodwill and excitement in the air this morning. The need to work on policy now is crucial. This was a key point made by LIBERTY Steel’s Chief Transformation Officer Jeffrey Kabel.
04:53JEFFREY KABELEngaging policymakers is key right now, and it is a key component to a greener economy going forward. Steel demand will double between now and 2050. Thank you very much…
05:07AMANDAJeffrey Kabel is with me now to explain why he thinks LIBERTY Steel Group and GFG have a headstart in the race to be carbon neutral by 2030.
05:15JEFFREYThe thought process is the first concept, quite frankly. And when you have the founder and owner of the business having this vision some time ago, and acquiring assets around that vision, it is already filtered down in the organisation. And there’s a lot to do, a lot being filtered down now during COP 26 on a more broader scale, but it seems that we’ve set this 2030 target which I think is achievable and we do need to focus.
05:45AMANDAI caught up with a couple of delegates and asked them for their reactions to the opening session…
05:48VOX 1I think it’s a wonderful platform to hear about some of the different innovations and some of the new technologies that need to come on board.
 VOX 2It’s great when you hear the same messages being repeated, everyone really thinks we need to work together, we need to collaborate, we need to sort of push past barriers that have been there before and find ways to innovate and do different things. it’s fantastic to hear.
06:08AMANDABack to you, Chloe.
06:09CHLOEThank you Amanda and we are going to be back with you again shortly. Next, we’re looking at the GREENSTEEL Academy.
06:18CHLOEJoining us is Gill Chambers, General Manager of The GREENSTEEL Academy. Hi there Gill…
06:22GILL CHAMBERSHi Chloe, it’s a real pleasure to be here today…
06:24CHLOEIt’s good to have you with us, thank you  for your time. First, why has GFG created the GREENSTEEL Academy?
06:32GILLSo, the GREENSTEEL Academy was created specifically to support the company’s GREENSTEEL vision to make it really obvious to our employees and the outside world that we’re thinking about our workforce. Our critical goal in the Academy is to sustain and grow those skills that we will need to transform our steel industry, and also meet those some CN30 strategic objectives.
07:07CHLOESo, can you tell us in practice how does the Academy work.
07:08GILLYes, so Chloe, the way it works, is that we have a central hub which is a very small team to connect and unite all of the regional learning and development teams who have been building and designing and developing and delivering these programmes for many years now. We’ve just released internal online portal, there are resources, there is learning, there’s a programme that you can participate in. We’ve also got a tool called the Job Aid portal, this contains easy access to quick reference material. And then we’ve got something we like to call cool tools, so things like an interactive map that will show you some development opportunities and career pathways. And also I’m very excited about this an interactive asset map, so again will be able to help educate on just how steel is made by pulling up an online tool, you’ll be able to click on parts of the steel making process and that will explode out different elements like videos, day in their lives of, maintenance tools safety checks and we’ll be delivering a lot of that through some 3D imagery and hotspots and exciting things like that.
08:15CHLOEIt sounds great. And the Academy is already up and running in parts of the business, so how are you planning to expand?
08:20GILLWhat’s next for the Academy is to continue that expansion. We’ve got some great work coming out from the regional teams in Eastern Europe, so that’s in Galati in Romania, Ostrava in the Czech Republic and Skopje in North Macedonia; they’re already operating under the GREENSTEEL Academy banner, but doing things they’ve done for many years, just moving under that heading. As well as that, we’re really looking forward to welcoming the team from Whyalla in Australia, they are building a new graduate programme which is due for release as GREENSTEEL Academy content and that will roll out from January next year. And then we’ll also continue to connect with our other parts of our organisation as we start to evolve and build and connect under the heading of the GREENSTEEL Academy.
09:08CHLOEFinally, tell us about the new ‘Discover GREENSTEEL’ programme. What is it aiming to do?
09:12GILLWe’re really excited about this programme, what it attempts to do is start to generate the enthusiasm for our GREENSTEEL future; so we really hope to engage all of our employees, from basic elementary entry level about our planet, what we can do as individuals, what we can do as an organisation those little baby steps to make a difference, and then the programme goes right the way through to future green technologies, technical skills, what these future green technologies are going to be and the skills we will need to find, explore, develop and then create the programmes to make sure that we can work with universities to get these skills into their programmes, into their curricula, so that they can be developing the industry’s future workforce in partnership with us, our technical teams and our training teams.
10:07CHLOEGill, great speaking with you, thank you so much for joining us
10:10GILLThat’s great, thank you very much Chloe, it’s been a pleasure
10:14CHLOEAnd coming next, the GREENSTEEL event from the World Climate Summit.
10:20CHLOELet’s join our reporter Amanda Hargreaves again in Glasgow, who’s been at a workshop there called GREENSTEEL: The Foundation for a New Net-Zero Economy – presented by GFG Alliance. Amanda…
10:31AMANDAYes, Chloe, this has been an intensive workshop, bringing together industry policymakers, think tanks and researchers. Before it started, I spoke to one of the panellists, Head of Risk and Sustainability at GFG Alliance, Marian Elliott…
10:50MARIAN ELLIOTtHaving worked with investors for many years, I understand the barriers that they have to investing in an industry where the pathway to decarbonization isn’t clear. There’s a lot of greenwashing out there, as somebody who’s come into the steel industry from an investment background, it’s a really steep learning curve thinking about the chemistry involved, to the technology involved, to the processes, so to be able to get through that and understand what is a huge opportunity in terms of decarbonization, I think it’s great that we’re able to put that in front of this community today.
11:25FRANCIS SULLIVANA warm welcome from me, welcome to all of you for joining this session this afternoon. The strongest point I wanted to make was the importance of steel. There’s a lot of discussion about the power sector, the transport sector, but without steel, we do not develop as human beings on the planet.
11:42DUSTON BENTONWhen you think of the last decade, we haven’t gone quickly on steel, but the lesson from the energy transition is you can go really fast. In 2014, when I was writing about commercialising offshore winds, it cost four times the wholesale price of electricity. By 2017, we had an auction in the UK, and the price of offshore wind came in at below cost of gas fired power stations. I nearly fell off my seat. It was so much lower than anyone outside the industry expected, it changed the sector entirely almost overnight. We can go fast, those who go slow, lose out. Investors in the fossil fuel power stations across the continent found the last decade, if you were heavily investing in coal or even in gas, it was a disaster. If you want to invest in a cleaner energy transition, invest in the clean stuff and get out of the dirty stuff as fast as you possibly can, cos if you’re still investing in dirt, you’ll lose your shirt.
13:33WILL FLITTONWe’ve often viewed 2050 as being endpoint for decarbonizing the economy as a whole, but the reality for steelmakers is that, that timeline is much, much shorter and we have just 15 years to transform the UK steel making into a sustainable industry.
12:51FRANCISThank you very much indeed, I’d like to thank the panel…
12:53AMANDAPanelist Will Flitton, and then workshop moderator Francis Sullivan, both gave me their reaction
13:00WILLI think one of the angles that be interesting to explore is the impact on the workforce and some of the panellists mentioned in the discussion we’ve just had, there’s a question of how we transition the skills that workers have in the sector.
13:16FRANCISThings are complicated, but one of the things I hope we’ve managed to do during this afternoon session was to demystify some of that complexity.
13:24AMANDABack to you Chloe..
13:25CHLOEThank you Amanda, Sanjeev, I want to bring you back in, because you must be proud that GFG have played an important role at the World Climate Summit. The talking is of course now over, it’s time for action?
13:37sanjeevWell, Chloe, our action never stopped, and it certainly won’t. We have been on this mission for several years now, we’ve made a lot of progress in all our plants, we have launched many of our green steel projects already have launched initiatives in hydrogen and will continue to be on that road map. We have a road map which takes us to carbon neutrality within this decade, and we will persevere on that. I mean, how much we can do is obviously determined a) by our determination which already is a commitment that we will decarbonize our group, but there’s a lot more that we could do, a lot more colleagues could do, our industry could do… we will champion this cause and we hope that will get more support from policymakers and more and more industries will get on this mission, to make our planet a cleaner place which is now absolutely a clear and present imperative.
14:29chloeFinally, Sanjeev, before I let you go, it’s a busy year end for many people across the business – what’s your message to colleagues at the moment?
14:36sanjeevOh yes, it is definitely, we’re restarting UK operations and so on, so my message as always is our first most important priority to stay safe. For everybody, don’t just be well, be safe and look after each other and continue to do the good work you do, and a very big thank you for me for all the effort which is gone in, specially with the turmoil in both COVID and with some of the events in GFG over the last period. Thank you very much for your support and we’ll continue our good work.
15:06chloeSanjeev, thank you for joining us and looking forward to speaking again soon.
15:10sanjeevThank you Chloe, you take care.
15:12chloeAbsolutely, thank you, you too, Sanjeev. Do join us next time when we’ll continue to keep you updated with the latest news from across the business. Until then, from me Chloe Tilley and Sanjeev Gupta, it’s goodbye.
15:26musicSpoken, back soon.
 End of tape.

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We hear about GFG’s involvement in the World Climate Summit at COP 26
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