Communicating changes Featured

7:00pm EDT January 26, 2009

ArcelorMittal has distributed more than 20,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs to employees and community members since 2006. But the steel company’s environmental consciousness extends far beyond that — from planting seeds to constructing wind towers.

“Our mission is to be a leader in our industry,” says Terry Fedor, general manager of ArcelorMittal Cleveland. “We must respect the environment along the way.”

So the Cleveland plant of the world’s largest steel manufacturer strives to keep its operations green, investing $156 million in initiatives and projects since 2002. The mill has reduced emissions by more than 50 percent in the past 10 years and slashed its discharge by 82 percent since 2001. In fact, the mill’s emissions average only 31 percent of the federally permitted level.

ArcelorMittal USA recently became the first steel company to earn recognition as the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for Energy Management. The Cleveland plant’s energy savings plan played a role in that achievement.

For example, the Cleveland mill rebuilt a generator salvaged from an old plant in Lackawanna, N.Y. It also erected a 197-foot meteorological tower to test the possibility of using wind power as a source of additional electricity.

The company funds and participates in partnerships that visibly impact the environment on both national and local levels. Under the ArcelorMittal Great Lakes Watershed Restoration Program, for example, the company partnered with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to provide grants for Great Lakes wetland protection.

On a local level, the Cleveland mill is reintroducing native plant species to its property through a partnership with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

The other half of ArcelorMittal Cleveland’s environmental commitment is updating the community on its efforts. When employees interviewed local stakeholders in 2004 as part of the Stakeholder Engagement Program, they learned of the community’s desire for more communication. The company then launched the Council for Stronger Communities to oversee their initiatives.

In 2007, ArcelorMittal Cleveland began distributing a quarterly newsletter to 18,000 households as a way to establish transparency in its environmental involvement. Recently, the mill also launched an environmental Web site to provide updates on its continuing efforts to stay green.

HOW TO REACH: ArcelorMittal Cleveland, (216) 429-6000 or www.arcelormittal.com