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Steel & Steel Products (SSPv1.0i-2019)

Standards
  • Status:
    Current
  • Issue Date:
    May 26, 2021
  • Green Star Applicable
    Green Star is Australia's trusted mark of quality for the design, construction and operation of sustainable buildings, fitouts and communities. Choosing Green Star can help you save money, create a healthy place for people, minimise your environmental footprint and build a better future for us all.

Steel is a vital material for the built environment and vehicles, art, medicine, and information technology. The steel industry contributes $11 billion to Australia’s GDP and employs over 100,000 people. The unique physical properties of this popular material allow it to be reused or recycled without loss of quality. However, like all materials, steel can pose a significant environmental, health and social burden during its manufacture, use and disposal.

For example, steel manufacturing is a significant contributor to worldwide carbon emissions. On average, for 2018, 1.85 tonnes of carbon were emitted for every tonne of steel produced. The steel industry generates between 7 and 9% of direct emissions from the global use of fossil fuel.

The extraction of raw materials can also result in a wide range of environmental issues, including threatening biodiversity and ecosystems in adjacent areas, erosion in coastal and riverbanks, or pollution of waterways. Local impacts may include noise and dust pollution, and landscape damage.

Steel manufacturing processes can result in the emission of significant amounts of pollutants, including dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx) and particulate matter. High levels of nitrogen dioxide, for example, are harmful to vegetation – damaging foliage, decreasing growth or reducing crop yields. Nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide can also react with substances in the atmosphere to form acid rain. PCBs are a group of harmful, persistent organic pollutants that are toxic, persist in the environment and animals and bioaccumulate through the food chain.

Toxic heavy metals and their compounds such as mercury, arsenic, selenium, cobalt, tin and antimony are also detrimental to the health of manufacturing staff and users of the finished product. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are also present in the coatings of many products. They can trigger allergic reactions, headaches, eye irritation, and asthma problems.

GECA certification removes doubt and confusion and makes identifying environmentally and socially preferable products easier. Products certified under this standard can also contribute toward achieving credit points for projects being certified under the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star Performance tool. In addition, our standard is also recognised by the ISCA IS rating scheme.

The standard sets requirements that aim to provide a benefit by:

• requiring that virgin mined and quarried raw materials must come from operations with environmental management plans

• restricting carbon emissions

• ensuring manufacturers using post‐consumer scrap must implement procedures to exclude feedstocks containing undesirable materials

• requiring that off-gases must be captured to the maximum extent practicable and directed to a treatment system to control particulate matter

• limiting emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

• preventing the use of specific hazardous materials and toxic heavy metals such as known carcinogens and mutagens

• ensuring workers and suppliers through the supply chain can expect fair pay, equal opportunity, and a safe working environment

The following steel products are covered by this standard:

Slabs, plates, hot rolled coil plates, cold rolled coil, billets, structural beams and columns, hollow pipes, rolled hollow sections, flat angles and channels, reinforcement bars, hot rolled coil round bar, steel wire, rails, galvanised steel products, coated steel products, assembled steel products.

Download our GECA Standard Guide for Steel & Steel Products [PDF]

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Clients say it’s GECA or nothing. If you don’t have GECA certification it’s a negative. GECA certification is a priority for Haworth.

John Stamoulos
HAWORTH

GECA is seen by major clients across Australia and internationally to be a credible organisation that provides certification to forward thinking companies that seek to maintain and further environmental standards. Envirofluid is glad to be associated with the GECA label”.

Lydia Ohlmeyer, Marketing and Operations Manager
ENVIROFLUID

Being an environmentally aware business, we needed a way to ensure, adhere and implement sustainably preferable strategies into our business plan. The team at GECA is co-operative and their guidance ensured that we not only complied with green standards, but exceeded them. The process is credible and well-received in the market place and ensures that we are set apart from the not-so-genuine ‘greenwashing’ companies.

Donna McMullen, Director 
DIRECT ERGONOMICS

Having GECA certification gives added credibility to our already strong Europlank brand. The GECA ecolabel confirms that Havwoods Europlank has been rigorously assessed for its impact over its life cycle and it is safer for our clients, their families and colleagues. When you choose Havwoods GECA certified Europlank you can have confidence in the environmental and health claims of this product range.

David Hickson, General Manager
HAVWOODS

GBCA Green Star projects are a fantastic way of promoting environmentally aware developments that benefit all parties involved. Jardan is committed to the advertisement of eco-labelling as a means of encouraging sustainable practice,

Andy Collins, Design Assistant
JARDAN

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