At Clement we talk a lot about the versatility, durability and strength of steel.

Sustainable Steel

Steel is versatile in a number of ways – it can be used for a wide range of applications, from white goods to cars to, of course, window frames; it can be fashioned into a myriad of shapes as evidenced by the different windows you can view on display in our Residential steel windows gallery and Commercial steel windows gallery, and, it can be very easily recycled and remanufactured.

Is steel sustainable?

Steel is one of the most recycled materials in construction. Indeed, new steel actually requires an element of recycled steel in its production process. The natural state of steel requires little maintenance and the process of steel recycling is very straightforward, making it one of the most sustainable window materials:

  • The steel gets picked up by magnets and melted down, meaning there are no complicated separating procedures to follow. 
  • Waste from the manufacture of steel building products is easily collected and separated for recycling and on the construction site steel products generate very little waste.
  • Being so inherently strong, steel can be recycled infinitely without losing that innate strength and quality, giving it a high value as a secondary raw material. 
  • At the end of its life cycle, a steel product can be recycled and made into new products that are of an equivalent standard to the original material.

Steel is traditionally made using either the Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) or the Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) method; however, while the BOF route can only accommodate 35% recycled steel, the EAF method can accommodate 100% recycled steel. In the UK, the infrastructure is not available to meet the demand for recycled content above 35% so steel is instead currently sourced from Europe.

Using eco-friendly steel at Clement Windows

Clement Windows Group is committed to all areas of sustainability.

We strive to minimise the impact of our business on the environment by creating sustainable products manufactured from recycled source material, eliminating waste and pollution, reducing energy consumption, recycling where possible, treating our employees fairly and partnering with other sustainable organisations.

Sustainable steel in our steel windows, doors, screens and conservation rooflights

The steel used in Clement’s hot rolled steel windows, steel doors and screens comes from Montanstahl in Switzerland and is made using the EAF method meaning there is a higher proportion of recycled steel. 

Montanstahl is committed to sourcing its raw material at prestigious European mills that comply with high levels of recycling and where profiles in the form of hot rolled steel billets are manufactured with a very high amount of recycled scrap metal (typically around 98%). Scrap produced by Montanstahl as a manufacturer of steel profiles is sold back to a mill and then also used for recycling purposes.

Montanstahl’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED*) Statement asserts that:

  • Steel manufacturing processes require very little energy input and all stages are continuously monitored in terms of waste minimisation, reuse of materials, air and water.
  • Steel is considered a closed loop or self sustainable material in that it is 100% recyclable, substantially contributing to the conservation of natural resources.
  • No tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold or other raw materials purchased in or manufactured in conflict areas is used for the production of steel profiles.
  • No hazardous substances are present in the steel products and there is full compliance with the main regulations for environmental protection.
  • Shipments to customers are planned and scheduled. Departments are constantly engaged in the reduction of shipments’ environmental impact. The raw material supplier qualification process considers the aspect of carbon footprint reduction.
  • Uncoated steel profiles do not release volatile organic compounds or other fumes into the air.

It is also important to note that steel is a low maintenance material and hot dip galvanised, hot rolled type steel windows will usually last the lifetime of the building they are installed into. This means it will be a long time before they will need to be replaced and the whole steel window cycle will begin again.

Clement manufactures and installs Jansen systems. Jansen takes corporate responsibility to minimise emissions:

  • Steel is sourced from European suppliers
  • Smelting increasingly takes place in furnaces powered by green electricity and transport routes are kept to a minimum.
  • Currently, there is a minimum of 23% recycled steel in all Jansen series. It is possible the percentage is greater than this, but not all Jansen suppliers are able to give a breakdown of the mix.
  • Jansen is the only steel system manufacturer to offer Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for windows and doors which are verified by both the Institute for Building and Environment (IBD) and Aveco de Bondt, tested and verified by independent third parties.

Clement is also a partner to the AGC/Panasonic joint venture on FINEO. The materials used in the FINEO vacuum insulating glass are environmentally friendly, lead-free and 100% recyclable.

Recycled steel forms a sizeable proportion of the steel used to make Clement Conservation Rooflights too. This is currently being looked at with the intention of improving the overall proportion of recycled steel so that it is at similar levels to that of our other products.

View our range of steel windows, steel doors or rooflights and get in touch to see how we can help transform your project.

*LEED is a globally recognised symbol of excellence in green buildings.