Johnson Controls Launches New Steel Recycling Program

The recycling program will salvage nearly 100% of secondary scrap steel at major Johnson Controls facilities in the U.S.

recycling steel
Photo from Johnson Controls and Nucor

Johnson Controls revealed its program for recycling steel, through a collaboration with Nucor Corporation, the largest steel producer and recycler in North America.

Over 70% of Johnson Controls steel purchases in the U.S. and 45% globally are manufactured from recycled scrap materials. The program with Nucor will recycle nearly 100% of that secondary scrap steel again, amounting to thousands of tons each year, at major Johnson Controls manufacturing sites in the U.S.

Nucor will remelt the scrap steel using electric arc furnace (EAF) technology, which generates approximately 75% less emissions than traditional blast furnace manufacturing. The remelted steel will be sold back to Johnson Controls for use in manufacturing. This closed-loop recycling process is a form of circularity that is well suited to metals like steel, which retain their robust material structures through multiple rounds of recycling and repurposing.

Johnson Controls aims to accelerate the adoption of near net zero steel, including being a founding member of the First Movers Coalition, an organization initiated by the U.S. State Department and the World Economic Forum.

“We are unravelling the complexities of embodied carbon by addressing the challenge from different angles: from low-carbon steel purchases to steel recycling, material recycling, and overall product footprint reduction,” said Katie McGinty, Vice President and Chief Sustainability and External Affairs Officer at Johnson Controls. “This partnership with Nucor will allow us to accelerate upstream decarbonization significantly through the further recycling of thousands of tons of steel every year.”

“We formed Nucor Industrial Recycling to work with our steel customers to find new and better ways to return steel scrap directly from manufacturing facilities to our steel mills for re-melting to make new steel products,” said Noah Hanners, Executive Vice President of Raw Materials for Nucor Corporation. ‘This closed-loop recycling program is a great example of how we work with our customers to improve resource efficiency in the steel supply chain.”

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