Circular economy

Coming full circle with the world’s most sustainable stainless steel 

Strengthening the global circular economy with 100% recyclable, sustainable and long-lasting stainless steel

Sustainability is the beating heart of everything we do at Outokumpu. We are committed to a circular economy model with our sustainable, 100% recyclable, long-lasting and resource-efficient stainless steel because we are working towards a world that lasts forever. 

Over 90% recycled material content in our stainless steel – and we are aiming even higher

Did you know our products almost fully use recycled steel from both stainless and carbon steel as a raw material? In fact, we have the highest-recycled material content rate in the industry of over 90%, which includes steel scrap and waste streams from our production. This significantly reduces the need to extract new minerals and ores from the ground and minimises the environmental impact of our production processes. 
While we are already at the forefront of sustainability in our industry, we are constantly looking at ways of mitigating climate change and increasing the recycled material content of stainless steel. 

100 % recyclable – leveraging the life-cycle of stainless steel


Stainless steel is completely recyclable, making it a top choice of material to build our future — it offers maximum overall benefits with minimal impact on the environment. 


Stainless steel can lead multiple lives without any loss in quality and helps prolong the lifespans of products. What ends today is tomorrow’s beginning — your old spoon might become a part of a skyscraper in New York or a pan in a kitchen in Paris.


The properties of stainless steel make it a key driver in the global circular economy offering a lifetime of savings both in terms of lower life cycle costs and lower environmental impact.

Nothing goes to waste: Creating by-products from stainless steel production

Outokumpu's vision is to have waste-free stainless steel production. We approach this by reducing the total volume of landfill waste from our own operations and increasing the proportion of materials sold as by-products. We are constantly finding ways to recycle and reuse the waste generated during steelmaking and transform them into something useful.

Our biggest waste items are unused slag, tailing sand from mining operations, as well as sludge, dust and scales from production. We have innovated to develop slag-based products for road construction, refractory and concrete production, as well as water treatment. By-products made of slag mineral reduce the amount of waste generated by steel, save virgin raw materials and lead to lower CO2 emissions.

Reimaging the life-cycle of steel – 2.6 million tonnes recycled annually

We recycle the equivalent of the weight of 250 Eiffel towers annually. In fact, only at Outokumpu's Tornio mill — the largest material recycling centre in Europe — we recycle over one million tons of metals per year. All our stainless steel mills are significant recycling facilities, producing new products out of recycled steel, recovering and recycling everything reasonable in our production, and finally selling by-products from the production process to replace natural resources. 

Lowest carbon footprint in the industry – 75% lower than the global average

Number 1

High utilization of recycled materials is one of the key factors in reaching lower CO2 emissions. Using over 90% recycled materials in our production helps us to minimize our emissions originating from raw material use.

Number 2

We are the only major stainless steel producer with our own chromium mine and ferrochrome production equipped with the latest technology. Our ferrochrome raw material has a very low carbon footprint which is only 42% of the industry average. Our goal is to achieve carbon neutrality at our Kemi chrome mine by 2025. 

Number 3

We have introduced a brand new revolutionary product line — emission-minimized stainless steel Circle Green, with the lowest carbon footprint in the stainless steel industry. Fiskars Group will be the first company to use this as a raw material in Fiskars branded cookware products made in Finland. 

Learn more about circularity

Stainless steel life cycle
Waste and by-products
Sustainability collection
Outokumpu’s Kemi Mine to reach carbon neutrality by 2025
Outokumpu Circle Green