Sustainability

Why Does Sustainability Matter?

Nucor is a global leader in steelmaking sustainability and DJJ/Nucor are committed to sustainable practices.  We voluntarily go beyond compliance with state and federal regulations and commit to continual environmental improvement. Nucor is the world’s most sustainable steelmaker.  Nucor uses recycled scrap metal to make high-quality steel with low emissions using one of the cleanest and most energy efficient steelmaking processes available.


In 2008, Nucor acquired The David J. Joseph Company, North America’s leading processor and broker of scrap metal and pig iron.  DJJ’s network of more than 70 scrap metal collection and recycling centers across the United States sources scrap metal from consumers, small businesses and manufacturing facilities, scrap dealers auto wreckers and demolition firms. DJJ’s shredders and other equipment can process over 5 million tons of scrap every year.  DJJ brokerage operations procure the balance of the iron units that Nucor requires from domestic and international markets.  DJJ and Nucor together help reduce our environmental footprint while producing sustainable metal products.


Currently, Nucor’s electric arc furnace (EAF) steel mill emissions are less than 1/3 the global average. Nucor is committing to a 35% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity by 2030.  Sustainability drives the business decisions of leading companies around the world.  Nucor and DJJ are committed to reducing GHG emissions and driving sustainability through innovation.


From scrap steel collection by DJJ and others through final product production, allows Nucor to operate more sustainably and provide the supply chain transparency that our customers are increasingly interested in, enhancing our position as a supplier of choice in our industry. The green economy is being built on steel. And the steel it is built from matters. From electric vehicles (EVs) to offshore wind towers to modern high-rise construction, steel is a ubiquitous component of the U.S. green economy. Its flexibility, strength, aesthetics and relatively low cost have made steel the choice of architects, engineers, manufacturers and consumers for more than a century. The markets and customers that Nucor and DJJ serves are becoming increasingly aware and concerned about the environmental and social impact of their supply chains. And Nucor’s EAF-based steelmaking facilities, averaging more than 70% recycled steel, generate the lowest GHG equivalent emissions per ton in the steel industry.


The U.S. steel industry relies on ferrous scrap as its largest single raw material input.  In fact, 70% of all U.S. produced steel and stainless steel is made from ferrous and stainless scrap supplied by recyclers.  U.S. recyclers transform over 135 million metric tons of material from outdated or obsolete products into valuable manufacturing inputs annually.

Scrap metal recycling conserves natural resources, saves energy, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.  Nucor is the largest recycler, steel and steel products producer in North America. . In 2020, Nucor recycled more than 20 million tons of scrap steel nationwide.  This means Nucor recycles almost 1,390 pounds of steel every second of every day.  Nucor’s steel contains approximately 74% recycled content on average and steel is 100% recyclable at the end of its useful life.


Recycling just one ton of steel saves 2,500 lbs. of iron ore, 120 lbs. of limestone, and 1,400 lbs. of coal. Recycling one ton of aluminum has a similar effect – saving more than a dozen megawatt hours’ worth of electricity.  The industry recycles approximately 17 million vehicles in the U.S. annually.  It’s estimated if more steel was recycled, enough energy would be conserved to power 18 million homes in the U.S. for a year.


To learn more about Nucor scrap metal recycling from peddlers to industrial plants or DJJ’s brokerage services, or our commitment to sustainability, contact us today.