The quest to develop competitive, low-carbon metals industries in Britain has taken a step forward with the appointment of an independent high-level panel to advise business and to champion the case for green solutions to the challenges facing these sectors.
The new GREENSTEEL Council, which includes senior figures from the worlds of industry, science and politics, is being sponsored by industrials and metals group, Liberty House, and sister energy company, SIMEC, both part of the global GFG Alliance.
The Council, which has just held its first meeting, will have a primary remit to advise the GFG Alliance businesses on the development and implementation of their green strategies, but it will also promote low-carbon production methods across Britain’s metals sectors generally.
Liberty and SIMEC’s GREENSTEEL strategy is aimed at creating a strong, sustainable and integrated metals, engineering and manufacturing sector in the UK, based on renewable energy and metal recycling.
The new Council’s initial line-up of members will include Professor Julian Allwood, professor of engineering and the environment at the University of Cambridge, Martin Lawrence, previously managing director at EDF Energy, Chris McDonald, former senior executive with Tata Steel UK and currently chief executive of the Materials Processing Institute at Teesside and Edwina Hart, who was Minister for Business, Enterprise and Technology in the Welsh Government between 2011-2016.
Mrs Hart, who will chair the Council said: “Our advice will be independent and based on solid evidence, and our clear objective will be the development of a more sustainable future for the metals industries in Britain. We’re looking forward to getting started with this important economic mission.”
Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the GFG Alliance said: “The Council brings together an excellent team, offering a really valuable cross-section of experience and perspective related to the metals and energy sectors. That combination will help guide the GFG Alliance in its realisation of the GREENSTEEL vision and encourage the wider industry to go in the low-carbon direction. We are convinced the green approach will provide the platform to re-establish the UK as an industrial leader.”
GREENSTEEL Council members
Edwina Hart MBE
Edwina Hart served as a minister in the Welsh Government from its inception in 1999 until 2016, handling a range of portfolios including finance, regeneration, local government and finally business, enterprise and technology, a post she held between 2011-2016. Her background was in the banking sector and she was the first female president of the banking union BIFU, now part of Unite. She was also chair of Wales TUC and a member of the Broadcasting Council for Wales and the South West Wales Economic Forum. She was awarded an MBE in 1998 for services to the trade union movement.
Martin Lawrence served as Managing Director of Energy Sourcing & Customers Supply at EDF Energy, responsible for all UK fossil generation, renewables and trading activities as well as all commercial operations. He joined EDF Energy from Shell where he held a number of senior management positions around the globe including that of Chief Executive of Shell's downstream activities in Latin America. He has been a Non-Executive Director of Office of Water Services since May 2013. He studied Mathematics at Oxford University and the University of California, Los Angeles.
Julian Allwood is Professor of Engineering and the Environment at the University of Cambridge. He worked for 10 years for Alcoa, prior to developing an academic career, initially at Imperial College, and from 2000 in Cambridge. In parallel with developing new manufacturing technologies for metals, he has built up a research group looking at environmental systems and production. From 2009-13 he held an EPSRC Leadership Fellowship, to explore ‘material efficiency’ as a climate mitigation strategy – delivering material services with less new material. This led to publication in 2012 of the book “Sustainable Materials: with both eyes open” which was listed by Bill Gates as one of his top six reads of 2015. In 2016 he published a summary report on the future of the UK industry, putting the case for increased recycling of domestic scrap. He was a Lead Author of the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is joint editor-in-chief of the Journal of Materials Processing Technology.
Chris McDonald is a former senior executive with Tata Steel UK and since 2014 has been chief executive of the Materials Processing Institute based at Teesside. In that capacity he has advised various governments across the world regarding the steel industry and steel processes. In March 2015, he announced the Institute would be building a Centre for Doctoral Training to aid students from Durham, Sheffield and Newcastle universities to carry-out industry-focused research and would also develop an SME Technology Centre.