25 July 2023

Life, the universe, and sustainability reports!

Packaging Recycling workshop

Blog: Director of Sustainability & Environment, Pete Quinn, tries to tell his friends all about the company's new sustainability report...

I was in the pub when I mentioned to my friends that we’ve just published our latest sustainability report.

Weirdly, it was that precise moment that one of them chose to go to the toilet, one asked whose round it was, and the others pulled their phones out of their pockets.

“None taken,” I said with a deliberate hint of sarcasm in my voice.

Now I know the pub is a place for socialising, but hey, how many of us don’t talk about work with our family and friends – especially those of us who work in an industry that is so mind-blowingly interesting every single day? 

And to be fair to, this was a piece of work that had been consuming us for months, one I felt pretty good about, and one with so many great stories that I really wanted to share.

Because the pub surely has to be the very best place to share your most interesting stories, doesn’t it?

“You won’t believe what I read about / heard / saw / did (delete as appropriate) the other day…”

I don’t know, maybe it’s unrealistic of me to expect people to lean forwards to hear about “another sustainability report” from “another listed company” in a pub.

But I’ve been involved in these sort of reports for years, and somehow this one feels completely different.

How many sustainability reports talk about mental health, the menopause, the gender pay gap or the Armed Forces covenant?

How many sustainability reports talk about launching podcasts as way of getting people to talk about reducing carbon emissions?

And how many companies can boast that their products underpin every single aspect of modern life, let alone being critical for a future green economy – in renewable energy, modern methods of construction, sustainable packaging and electric vehicles? 

Every page tells a story. 
Every page highlights the people behind the stories. 
Every page includes an incredible fact.

And the data? Well that’s the bit at the back for those who need to know.

Maybe more and more company reports are including these things now, but for us it’s quite a revolution, and one I am full square behind.

So when my mates eventually came back from the toilet, the bar and social media respectively, we never did get back to the topic of our sustainability report – the moment had sadly passed.

Which is shame because I reckon they might have learned something about steel as a material and Tata Steel as a company. 

But also because it also might have prompted a wider, more philosophical discussion about sustainability, life, the universe and everything (which is the sort of discussions that really do belong in a pub!)

Anyway I like it – see what you think.


tata-steel-uk-sustainability-report-2021-2023.pdf (tatasteeleurope.com)



Tata Steel UK Chairman, Henrik Adam, introduces the sustainability report saying: "Steel is an essential component of the UK’s manufacturing,  engineering and construction sectors – responsible for 16% of the country’s economic output. There can also be no transition to a green economy without a thriving steel industry – almost every aspect of the UK’s decarbonisation plan needs steel. It’s why every G20 economy around the world has its own sovereign steelmaking capability.

Tata Steel recognises that steelmaking has to be sustainable in every sense. Thanks to the huge investments that we’ve made in reducing emissions, our Port Talbot plant is ranked in the top third of the most CO2- efficient integrated steelworks in the global benchmark. Despite this, it still contributes 2% of the UK’s overall carbon emissions.

This report shows where we are now, and also a glimpse of where we could be.

We are at a crossroads, between letting steelmaking decline and offshoring our emissions, and a new era in which we transform the UK steel production process to make it fit for 2050 and a bright future.


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