Bluescope Steel

InfluenceMap Score
C-
Performance Band
61%
Organisation Score
52%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Metals & Mining
Head​quarters:
Melbourne, Australia
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Bluescope Steel appears to support climate change regulation with some exceptions, actively engaging in New Zealand and Australia. The company’s engagement with climate policy in Australia has been generally positive, but its lobbying activities on New Zealand’s Emissions Trading System have been more obstructive.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Bluescope Steel seems to take mixed positions on climate action in its top-line messaging. In its 2021 Climate Action Report the company supported limiting global warming to 1.5°C, and in its 2020/21 Sustainability report it acknowledged the need to reduce emissions in the iron and steel industry in line with the UN Paris Agreement. This is an improvement from its 2017 position, which emphasized the economic and social risks of ambitious GHG emissions reductions. Bluescope Steel seemed to support the need for government regulation to respond to climate change in its 2021 Climate Action Report, but with the caveat that policies should not create carbon leakage, nor impact the international competitiveness of companies. In the same report, the CEO Mark Vassella advocated for “appropriate policy settings.”

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Bluescope Steel has limited recent engagement with climate-related regulations, appearing supportive with some exceptions. In February 2021, Bluescope Steel supported Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target in response to a government consultation in New South Wales. In a press release in March 2022, the CEO of Bluescope Steel expressed support for the Renewable Manufacturing Fund created by the New South Wales government to increase the manufacture of renewable energy.

Bluescope Steel’s engagement on climate policy in New Zealand has been less progressive. The company appeared to advocate for the free allocation of emissions allowances in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme in its 2021 Sustainability Report, which would lower the ambition of the policy.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Bluescope Steel seems to support the energy transition with some exceptions. In its Climate Action Report 2021, the company supported policy measures to decarbonize the steel industry, but stressed that they must avoid carbon leakage. In the same report, it also advocated for policy to increase renewable electricity and green hydrogen production. In response to a consultation in August 2021, Bluescope Steel strongly supported Australia’s Hydrogen Guarantee of Origin scheme, but advocated that other renewable gases should be included without clarifying what this would include. In a consultation submission in February 2021, it advocated for government policy to help decarbonize hydrogen production and make renewable hydrogen more affordable. However, ABC news reported in February 2022 that Bluescope Steel estimated that commercially viable green steel is still “decades away” and emphasized the infeasibility of the decarbonization of steel.

On the other hand, the company appears supportive of a long-term of fossil gas in energy mix, arguing green hydrogen costs six times higher than fossil gas, as reported by Argus Media in March 2021. In an August 2021 consultation response to Victoria’s Gas Substitution Roadmap, the company did not appear to support the transition away from a gaseous based energy system, citing cost concerns of transitioning and the cost of increasing electrification by using renewables, but does support the use of biogas and eventual use of hydrogen.

Industry Association Governance: BlueScope has a detailed disclosure of its membership and governance processes for industry associations, although it lacks details of its influence within each industry association such as positions held and the relevant policy positions of the associations on climate change. The company published an Industry Associations Governance Standard in September 2019 to disclose industry association governance and actions to address potential misalignments. BlueScope is a member of several key industry associations with mixed engagement on climate policy in Australia including the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network, the Australian Industry Group and the Business Council of Australia. The CEO Mark Vassella is on the board of the World Steel Association which takes mixed positions on climate policy, and a senior executive is Deputy Chair of the Energy Users Association of Australia which engages negatively on Australian climate policy.

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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
61%
 
61%
 
49%
 
49%
 
40%
 
40%
 
47%
 
47%
 
55%
 
55%
 
63%
 
63%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.