29/05/2024 – As the first steel manufacturer in the Nordics

Outokumpu’s production sites in Europe certified by “Responsible Steel”

Outokumpu has received the “Responsible Steel certification” for all its manufacturing sites in Europe. ResponsibleSteel has set the global standard for the entire steel industry on sustainable steel sourcing and production.


Outokumpu plant in Dillenburg/Germany. © Outokumpu


With this significant achievement, Outokumpu becomes the first steel company in the Nordics to receive the global “ResponsibleSteel certificates*” for all seven of its sites and operations in Finland, Sweden, and Germany.

Outokumpu has been a member of the “Responsible Steel” initiative since 2019. The achieved certification enables the company to evaluate and strengthen its sustainability work further and drive the steel industry forward.

“The ResponsibleSteel Standard is highly needed to provide a systematic framework to evaluate sustainability of steel holistically. While steel industry accounts for 7–9% of global greenhouse gas emissions, at the same time it plays a pivotal role in the green transition. Outokumpu has an ambitious climate commitment to keep global warming at 1.5 degrees. Beyond that we are committed to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights across our value chain and follow the highest standard for ethical business conduct. ‘Responsible Steel’ addresses environmental, social and governance topics and drives companies' sustainability work forward in all these areas. We are extremely proud to receive the certificate as the first mover in the Nordics, enabling us to create value for our customers by supporting them to choose sustainably produced stainless steel with a third-party validation”, says Heidi Peltonen, Vice President, Sustainability at Outokumpu.

The standard covers key ESG aspects of companies’ operations – taking into consideration the impacts on areas including climate and biodiversity, water stewardship, occupational health and safety, human rights, diversity and inclusion, stakeholder engagement, responsible sourcing and governance.

“Outokumpu has already set a near-term science-based target to reduce emissions from all three scopes by 42% by 2030 compared to 2016. This site certification process has provided a tool for Outokumpu to develop its sustainability work and its transparency in line with best practice on ESG for the steel industry. The next step will be progress level certification and we look forward to working with Outokumpu as we develop Decarbonization Progress Levels specifically for stainless steel sites to enable them to work towards certified steel”, says Annie Heaton, CEO at “Responsible Steel”.

Increased transparency for stakeholders

For Outokumpu, the “Responsible Steel” Standard provided a tool to evaluate and strengthen the company’s sustainability work through an ambitious industry-level framework with a beyond-compliance approach. The process was conducted at Outokumpu’s sites in Finland, Sweden, and Germany during 2021 to 2023.

“The ‘Responsible Steel’ certification is both about the process and the result. The certification process was extensive, including for example site-specific self-assessments with related audits and on-site interviews with workers and contractors. As for the result, we received excellent feedback on our achievements, especially on decarbonization and our efforts to ensure a good and safe place to work. The process also helped us to identify further actions to build on our sustainability ambition – such as those related to stakeholder engagement, social responsibility as well as biodiversity and water management across our value chain. It also increased credibility and transparency of our overall sustainability work”, says Anna Vainikainen, Head of Human Rights at Outokumpu.


*) The “Responsible Steel” is an independent and externally audited certification standard. The standard is the first in the world for steel, enabling the steel industry to improve and communicate about the sustainability aspects of their operations and products to customers and other stakeholders. The certification process is documented with a public summary of the key findings.