Alfa Laval leads the way in solving the equation of ambitious growth and ambitious climate goals

Alfa Laval is scaling up their sustainability impact across industries by switching to Outokumpu Circle Green® – the stainless steel product line with the lowest carbon footprint on the planet.

Cutting down on CO2 emissions and scaling up sustainable solutions

Alfa Laval is a world-leading technology provider within heat transfer, separation, and fluid handling. These technologies play an essential role in the transition to a more sustainable society. Incorporating Outokumpu Circle Green® in their heat exchangers marks a major step in cutting carbon emissions throughout the value chain.


The challenge: how to combine organic growth with the target of net zero by 2050?

Thomas Ravier, Global Category Manager for Stainless Steel and Copper at Alfa Laval describes the foundation of the partnership:

“Outokumpu and Alfa Laval share core business values as both companies want to grow sustainably. We both see sustainability not only as a challenge, but also as an opportunity.”

Alfa Laval has committed to ambitious sustainability targets: the company aims to be at net zero by 2050. This includes significantly reducing upstream CO2 emissions by sourcing materials with a lower carbon footprint and good recyclability.

“At the same time, we need to remain competitive on the market. The challenge is how to manage both important agendas,” Ravier continues.


The journey: finding and testing a superior green steel with a record-low carbon footprint

In the fall of 2022, the CEOs of Alfa Laval and Outokumpu met to discuss the potential of their existing customer relationship, and the order for the first test coil of Circle Green stainless steel was placed a year later. The trial material arrived in December 2023, and performance tests were conducted successfully.

“It was essential for us to deeply understand how the carbon footprint of Circle Green is calculated and certified. We also wanted to be sure that the material is available in the quantities that we need,” Ravier says.

Circle Green has the same mechanical properties, high quality, and durability as Outokumpu’s standard stainless steel offering. Peder Claesson, Sales Director of Heavy Industry and Distributors at Outokumpu explains:

“The CO2 reductions are a result of thoroughly reimagining the manufacturing process and implementing actual changes that improve that process. We are not planting trees to compensate for carbon emissions. We want to make a real difference, not just execute a gymnastics exercise with sustainability figures.”

Alfa Laval will incorporate Outokumpu Circle Green® for the main stainless steel grades of Supra 316/4401, Core 304/4301, and Supra 316L/4404 during summer 2024.


Open communication and shared research create a potent partnership

Alfa Laval and Outokumpu are working together in a mutual exchange of knowledge on energy efficiency and safety practices. They are also researching the best stainless steel grades for new applications supporting the green transition.

“Both companies have shared global processes, as well as success stories and challenges in collaborative workshops. We have reached a solid and transparent commercial agreement – plus a deeper partnership based on common values, technical expertise, and shared visions,” says Ravier.

“The close, open, frequent, and professional communication has been highly appreciated on both sides,” Claesson adds.


The results: cutting down on carbon emissions and scaling up sustainable solutions

Alfa Laval’s heat exchangers contain up to 80% stainless steel. Heat exchangers are built to increase energy efficiency and lower emissions – further reducing the carbon footprint of the heat exchanger itself scales the environmental impact to a new level.

According to Claesson, industry leading companies can play a key part in encouraging political decision making to move in a greener direction, challenging other companies in their field to do the same and defining the new normal in sustainable practices.

“We are not afraid of tough restrictions in the industry – as long as they are fair,” Claesson states.

“On a larger scale, our goal is that low CO2 stainless steel will eventually be the norm, and no longer the exception,” Ravier continues.

Read more about Alfa Laval’s sustainability strategy or find out the answers to your questions on Outokumpu Circle Green®.

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