Steel can be recycled indefinitely and is therefore an environment friendly material. Old steel is used to make new steel with no loss of quality. For example, Europe currently recycles more than 90 percent of the steel used in automobiles. However, the consumption of recycled steel is limited by its availability. Steel remains in use in durable products and infrastructure for long periods of time and there is currently not enough scrap available to meet demand.
The steel industry also has a long tradition of sustainable energy management: the hot blast furnace gas produced during iron ore smelting and other process gases have been used to generate energy for other production steps since the 19th century.
Nowadays, integrated iron and steel mills in Europe convert all their process gases and increase carbon efficiency greatly as well as reducing the demand for externally generated electricity.