How do you make steel without cooking the planet? What is “green steel”?

Steel is a fundamental part of our world, but the process we use to make it is inherently carbon-intensive. In this latest episode, we talk about new developments in both the production of fossil-free steel and how it is making its way to global markets with experts Thomas Koch Blank, Anders Williamsson, and Anne-Claire Howard.

Chiefly, we discuss the implications of a new, cleaner process being used in Sweden to make fossil-free steel using hydrogen. We also examine what this means for both the global steel industry and consumers, as well as the timeframe for green steel take over brown steel.

Thomas Koch Blank is a global expert on green steel and senior principal at RMI’s Climate Aligned Industries program. Anders Williamsson is an executive VP and head of industrial operations at Swedish truck maker Scania. Anne-Claire Howard was the chief executive officer of Responsible Steel at the time of the recording. She has since moved on to a different role as the director of procurement at the UNOPS.

About us: Earthlings Podast looks at the decisions that we can make today to ensure that the future we have is one we want to live in. Hosts Lisa Ann Pinkerton (former award-winning NPR and PBS environmental science reporter) and Christian Roselund (founding editor of pv magazine USA) take a close look at our relationships with technology, science, the planet, and each other.

Talking Points:

  • Why is the steel-making process such a carbon-intensive process?
  • The process of using hydrogen to make steel
  • Developments in hydrogen-based steelmaking in Sweden
  • Recycled steel versus primary steel
  • The prospects for direct reduced iron made with hydrogen
  • Volvo’s first autonomous electric mining vehicle with green steel
  • Scania’s use of green steel
  • At what time will green steel take over brown steel?
  • Which sectors are the most effective uses of hydrogen
  • The potential for a differentiated market for green steel
  • Carbon pricing and how that plays a role in the production of steel


“Volvo unveils world’s first vehicle using fossil-free steel” video

“The Story of TARA | Volvo Group’s autonomous electric dumper TA15” video


Responsible Steel

RMI Climate Aligned Industries