18. Juni 2020

Exploiting opportunities to promote the circular economy

German EU Council Presidency 2020


Duisburg, 17 June 2020. With the “Green Deal” and the Circular Economy Action Plan, the European Union (EU) has set the course for an ecologically oriented economy in recent months. On 1 July 2020, Germany will take over the Presidency of the Council of the EU, followed by Portugal and Slovenia in the new Trio Presidency. EUROSLAG, the European Association for Iron and Steel Slag and Slag Products, sees this as a great opportunity to further promote topics such as resource conservation and the extraction of secondary raw materials and to bring them into a legal framework. Thomas Reiche, Chairman of EUROSLAG: “The first steps in the right direction have been taken at European level. Now it is important to finally establish market-proven industrial by-products as at least equivalent alternatives to primary raw materials. We hope that Germany will take corresponding initiatives in the European Council as a driving force for the EU”.

For Reiche, who is also Managing Director of FEhS – Institute for Building Materials Research, even a preference for secondary raw materials should be legally stipulated in public tenders: “Anyone who takes the circular economy and sustainability seriously must give preference to iron and steel slag and other secondary raw materials that are equally suitable over natural resources, whose deposits are rapidly decreasing worldwide. In Germany alone, for example, more than one billion tonnes of stone, crushed stone and gravel have been substituted by aggregates and granulated blast furnace slag from iron and steel slag in cement, concrete and road construction in the last seven decades. In addition, the use of granulated blast furnace slag in cement has saved over 200 million tonnes of CO2“. Especially in the wake of the corona pandemic, it is essential that the circular economy be seen as a central guideline for political action in the new orientation, Reiche continued. Unfortunately, the current economic stimulus package of the Federal Government has not consistently used this opportunity.


About the European Council

The European Council is composed of the Heads of State or Government of the individual Member States and the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission. The meetings of the Council, which is responsible, among other things, for formulating general EU policy objectives and the final negotiations on EU legislation, are known as EU summits. The Presidency of the Council of the European Union rotates every six months among the Member States. Its tasks include chairing meetings of the Council and its preparatory committees and working groups. The new Trio Presidency, in which the partners work closely together, is intended to ensure greater continuity in European policy.



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 iron and steel slag and slag-based products, EUROSLAG focuses on research and technology, standardisation at a European level and internal and external communication. Every two years EUROSLAG organises a conference of the same name, which will be taking place in Cologne in 2021.



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.

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.

Pressemitteilung vom 10. October 2019

10th EUROSLAG Conference calls for fair treatment of ferrous slags

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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