13. March 2020

Better framework conditions for iron and steel slags

EU Circular Economy Action Plan

Duisburg, 13 March 2020. One of the central strategies of the EU Green Deal of December 2019 for a sustainable future is the promotion of recycling management. This week, the EU presented a new action plan for this. It stresses the importance of secondary raw materials, the marketing of which is to be promoted throughout the EU, not least through public procurement. EUROSLAG, the European network for the production, use and development of iron and steel slags, a by-product of steel production, and FEhS – Building Materials Institute welcome these measures. “The use of products made from iron and steel slag avoids the use of natural resources. In addition, by-products from the steel industry make a significant contribution to climate protection. For example, CO2 emissions have been reduced by more than 200 million tonnes in recent decades through the use of granulated blast furnace slag in cement production in Germany alone. The present action plan improves the framework conditions on a European level and sets important ecological and economic course for the future”, says Thomas Reiche, Chairman of the Board of EUROSLAG and Managing Director of the FEhS Institute.

An essential prerequisite for the increased use of slag-containing building materials and fertilisers is the conditional preferential treatment of secondary raw materials in public procurement, which accounts for 14 percent of the European domestic product. “We hope that the measures of the action plan on “Green Public Procurement” will be implemented quickly. Because the partly common practice of demanding exclusively natural stone in tenders, although products made of iron and steel slag are technically and ecologically equivalent, contradicts the goals of the EU”, Reiche continued.

A further demand of the EU is the creation of a market for secondary raw materials. Of particular importance in this context is the creation of uniform criteria for by-products that promote recycling and the end of the waste characteristics of materials. 

Against the background of making the EU climate-neutral by 2050, the “Circular Economy Action Plan” provides comprehensive measures for a sustainable economy. They concern product design, information and control mechanisms for consumers and administrations, and production processes, for example in electronic devices, packaging, plastics, buildings and food.

10. October 2019

10th EUROSLAG Conference calls for fair treatment of ferrous slags

Secondary raw materials conserve natural resources

Duisburg/Thessaloniki, 10th October 2019. The message of the 10th EUROSLAG conference “slag-based products – best practices for circular economy” from 8th to 11th October 2019 in Thessaloniki was clear: the increased use of building materials and fertilisers produced from ferrous slags would further promote the circular economy and conserve more natural resources – aims that both the UN and the EU are promoting. However, implementation often fails due to the political framework conditions, which unnecessarily restrict the use of slag-based products. This range of topics was the focus of the discussions and lectures at the EUROSLAG conference, which was attended by 130 participants from 29 countries – among them manufacturers and marketers of ferrous slags, representatives from politics, administrative bodies and associations, as well as scientists.

In order to be able to implement the findings from theory and practice as effectively as possible, EUROSLAG continued the format of the panel discussion with political decision-makers that had been introduced at the last conference in Metz in 2017. The key concerns of the organisers were the restoration of the balance between the justified demands with respect to soil and water protection on the one hand, and the promotion of the circular economy and resource conservation through the use of ferrous slags on the other. Furthermore, the preferential treatment of secondary raw materials in public construction measures was discussed. A fundamental pre-requisite for this would be an amendment to the European Waste Framework Directive. In Germany, the demands of the manufacturers of ferrous slags have already been included in the draft amendment to the Closed Substance Cycle Waste Management Act. 

In the second session of the conference on “Utilization and best practices”, ten presentations and discussions focused on the processing and the specific properties of ferrous slags, as well as experience with the use of building materials and fertilisers in practice. Finally, ten experts presented current projects on the topic of “Research and innovation”, including the further optimisation of slag-based products.

“The 10th EUROSLAG has shown that the use of ferrous slag in building materials and fertilisers in Europe is an important building block for economic and ecological management. It is therefore all the more difficult for us to understand that many existing framework conditions continue to slow down the increased use of this secondary raw material. However, we are optimistic that future political decisions at the European level will move in a different direction and create better pre-conditions so that the great potential of this mineral from the steel industry can be fully exploited,” explains Thomas Reiche, Chairman of the Board of EUROSLAG.



EUROSLAG is based in Duisburg and brings together 26 organisations and companies from 16 countries, including the FEhS-Institute and the Fachverband Eisenhüttenschlacken (Technical Association for Ferrous Slag) from Germany. As the European network for the production, use and development of ferrous slags and slag-based products, EUROSLAG focuses on research and technology, standardisation at the European level and internal and external communication. EUROSLAG organises the conference every two years. In 2019 the meeting was held together with the Laboratory of Building Materials of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Aeiforos S.A., a Thessaloniki-based company that specialises in industrial by-products and environmental protection.


About the FEhS-Institute

For seven decades the FEhS-Institute for Construction Materials Research has been one of Europe’s leading addresses for research, testing and consulting on ferrous slags, building materials and fertilisers. As a modern service provider, the experts with seven laboratories, the Construction Competence Forum and a network of industrial associations, public authorities, standardisation committees, as well as institutions from science and research, are a sought-after partner for members and customers from all over the world.


Pressemitteilung vom 09. March 2017

Replacement Building Material Ordinance jeopardises resource efficiency

Pressemitteilung vom 12. August 2016

FEhS Institute states specifics of changes needed in the Replacement Building Material Ordinance

Pressemitteilung vom 11. August 2016

FEhS Institute calls for fundamental changes to the Replacement Building Material Ordinance

Pressemitteilung vom 19. April 2016

Assumption of tasks of the Blast Furnace Lime Association as of 1 April 2016

Pressemitteilung vom 30. March 2016

Assumption of tasks of the Blast Furnace Lime Association as of 1 April 2016

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