Fossil-free steel (made using fossil-free energy sources and materials and without creating carbon emissions in the process) is the endeavour of Swedish steelmaker SSAB, and the result of a process that sees green hydrogen used in place of carbon and coke. The technology has the potential to reduce Sweden’s CO2 emissions alone by around 10% – a significant improvement, considering the steel industry is one of the most energy- and carbon-intensive in the world, accounting for around 11% of all CO2 emissions (Global Efficiency Intelligence, 2022).
For Vestre, converting to fossil-free steel could reduce its overall carbon footprint by 60%, and its new Tellus public bench is the start of this decarbonisation process. Created in collaboration with Swedish designer Emma Olbers, the construction achieves integral strength with as little material as possible, to ensure emissions are kept to a minimum. This reductive design mentality underpins our S/S 2024 Colour & Material Direction Clean Reset.
According to the International Energy Agency, steel industry emissions must fall by at least 50% by 2050 in order for global energy and climate goals to be met, with continuing declines towards zero emissions being pursued thereafter. SSAB is aiming to offer fossil-free steel on the market in 2026.
See our Materials Evolution A/W 23/24 report for more fossil-free and carbon-neutral developments set to infiltrate the future materials landscape.