Case Lemvigh-Müller

Stainless steel with a past life

Lemvigh-Müller has stocked up its stainless steel supplies with recycled steel, ie. a scrap-based steel, coming mainly from European manufacturers. It's all about sustainability.

Sustainability is high on the global agenda. It is constantly covered in the media, consumers are paying attention to it and companies are increasingly making sustainability a priority. It is also what Lemvigh-Müller, steel and technical goods supplier, has in their core values.

"In our stainless steel department, sustainability is a strategic focus area," says Henrik Seierø, Purchasing and Market Manager for stainless steels and metals.


Recycled steel beats virgin stainless steel

It takes resources to produce stainless steel for the first time. Once manufactured, however, it is a very sustainable material and can be reused forever. There is a big difference, however, among stainless steel providers in terms of how many manufacture scrap based stainless steel and how many provide so-called virgin material.

"It is quite bad for the environment to extract virgin raw materials. Our stainless steel must be recycled," Henrik Seierø says.


Record-holder in sustainability

As the main supplier of stainless steel plates, Lemvigh-Müller has chosen the Finnish manufacturer Outokumpu. Outokumpu has the largest stainless steel range in Europe and is known for its exquisite, high quality materials. What’s more, 87 percent of Outokumpu's production is derived from recycled materials which is the highest percentage in the market.

"In addition, it is also an advantage to us in regards to the CO2 emission accounts. Outokumpu operates in Finland, Sweden and Germany. They are close to Denmark as opposed to Asian manufacturers that may be cheaper at times but which, taking into account the transport, contribute negatively to the CO2 accounts”, Henrik Seierø says.


European is best for the environment

More than 86 percent of Lemvigh-Müller’s stainless steel plates come from Outokumpu and the rest  come from distant parts of the world. As for other stainless steel products, such as pipes and bars, Lemvigh-Müller has a vast majority of European products on the shelves.


Customer demands and social responsibility

"When we focus on stainless products and sustainable value chain, it's all about making it easy for steel-making companies to make sustainable choices. In addition to being responsible for climate, nature and future generations, sustainability is also something our customers are increasingly demanding from us. It is also a matter of business for us, of course”, Henrik Seierø says.

Seierø has noticed that, in particular, major industrial companies have begun demanding sustainable actions, and believes it is a matter of time before tightened legal requirements come into effect.

"When that happens, Lemvigh-Müller is ready to deliver the most durable stainless steel to our customers.”



About stainless steel and recycling

Stainless steel is, after initial production, a very sustainable material.

Stainless steel is 100% recyclable and retains its quality.

  • Stainless steel is, after initial production, a very sustainable material.
  • Stainless steel is 100% recyclable and retains its quality.
  • On average, it takes 25 years from stainless steel to enter the steel circuit for the first time until it goes back into the furnaces to be used again.

Lemvigh-Müller is Denmark's largest stainless steel wholesaler and primarily sells stainless steel products to the Danish industry and subcontractors to global industrial companies.

Stainless steel products are used in the machinery, food, chemical, oil and gas and the offshore industries. The transport industry and the shipping industry are also major buyers. The construction industry uses stainless steel in buildings, facades and bridges and as surface finishes for elevators, countertops etc.

About Outokumpu and Lemvigh-Müller

Lemvigh-Müller's main supplier of stainless steel plates is Outokumpu, one of the world's largest stainless steel manufacturers. Outokumpu, headquartered in Finland, has 10,000 employees in more than 30 countries.

  • 87 % of Outokumpu’s stainless steel is made from scrap-based material, marking the highest percentage in the market.
  • More than 86% of Lemvigh-Müller’s stainless steel plates are provided by Outokumpu.
  • 94 percent of the stainless steel bars that Lemvigh-Müller sells are from Europe.
  • For stainless steel pipes, it is harder to control whether the steel comes from a European manufacturer but here, too, Lemvigh-Müller has predominantly European products on the shelves.

Read more about Outokumpu’s commitment to sustainability.

Outokumpu’s Environmental Product Declarations are available at - find them here. The declarations communicate the environmental impact of Outokumpu’s Stainless Steel during production and can be used as a basis for comparison between manufacturers.

This article is translated from a Danish article originally published here.

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