LONDON, May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Companies and individuals from four continents were honored Wednesday night at the 2014 Platts Global Metals Awards for exemplary achievements in the steel, metals and mining industries. Awards in a dozen performance categories were presented at a black-tie dinner in London, showcasing advancements in sustainability, operational excellence, social responsibility and financial performance.
“It’s encouraging to see that so many industry participants made innovative technologies and social responsibility top priorities despite a challenging global economy,” said Larry Neal, president of Platts, a leading global energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information provider. “We congratulate the winners for moving beyond the status quo and better serving not only their customers, but the greater needs of the industry and their communities.”
“Going above and beyond” was the key differentiator when the Platts Global Metals Awards’ independent panel of judges selected winners in the 2014 new awards categories: “Breakthrough Innovation of the Year,” the “Corporate Social Responsibility Award” and “Metals Mover of the Year.”
LanzaTech received “Breakthrough Innovation of the Year” for its advancements in bio-technology which are benefitting the steel-making industry. Founded in New Zealand and headquartered in the U.S., LanzaTech developed a proprietary natural gas-fermentation microbe that transforms carbon-rich waste gases from industrial sources, such as steel mills, into fuel-grade ethanol and other chemicals. Given LanzaTech’s partnering with more than seven global metals entities, judges believe the company’s sustainable technology is on its way to greatly reducing the industry’s carbon emissions.
Another top example of environmental consciousness and community service was seen in Gerdau Long Steel North America, winner of the 2014 “Corporate Social Responsibility Award.” The Florida-headquartered, 110-year-old steel producer is not only the world’s largest supplier of specialty long steel, it is a leader in community involvement programs, which have been fuelled since 2005 by its philanthropic arm, Gerdau Institute. In 2012, the Institute invested $52.7 million in projects that drew voluntary participation of more than 9,500 employees. Gerdau was lauded by the judges panel for weaving social responsibility into its corporate fiber.
Reliance Steel & Aluminum Company won this year’s “Metals Mover of the Year.” Not only did the California-based entity surpass industry expectations in financial performance, but its track record of safe, speedy delivery of materials caught notice of the judges. Particularly noteworthy was the company’s exemplary customer service — evidenced by repeat customers accounting for 96% of 2013 orders. Founded in 1939, Reliance has grown through 56 acquisitions since 1994 into the largest metals service center company in North America, with a network of more than 240 locations in 39 states in 10 countries.
Industry Leadership Awards Commend Companies for Innovation and Operational Excellence
Winners of the “Industry Leadership Awards,” bestowed on companies in four metals sectors, were chosen for their innovation, leadership, market expansion and financial success.
Georgia-based global aluminum producer and recycling giant Novelis Inc. walked away with this year’s “Industry Leadership Award — Aluminum” for remaining nimble in an evolving market. Beyond its earnings performance, judges were impressed with its advances in the recycling and automotive sectors, as well as its demonstrated commitment to new product inventions such as the first high-recycled-content aluminum sheet for cans. Judges praised Novelis’ accomplishments and called its dedication to growth “second to none.”
This year’s “Industry Leadership Award — Raw Materials & Mining,” London Mining Plc, turned risk into reward by overcoming infrastructural challenges in mining iron ore in Sierra Leone. Judges applauded the company’s 2013 performance — its doubling of production, trebling of sales, 21% cut to operating costs and 35% increase in plant capacity. In addition, the 8-year-old company is surmounting challenges faced by former regional competitors through innovative measures. London Mining is “making an impact and a true leader” both in West Africa and in the industry, judges said.
Upstate Shredding LLC snagged the 2014 “Industry Leadership Award — Scrap & Recycling” title. The New York-based scrap processor is the largest on the U.S. East Coast, having grown annual sales from $3 million in 1996 to approximately $750 million in 2013. Judges took note of Upstate Shredding’s record of achieving profitability for 30 consecutive quarters, on top of bolstering its conservation efforts and receiving notable environmental certifications.
In its win of “Industry Leadership Award — Steel,” ArcelorMittal checked all the boxes. The judges panel said, “No company compares in terms of leadership.” The global steelmaking and mining company has 232,000 employees in 60 countries. Despite cross currents in the economy and a tough margins environment, ArcelorMittal not only delivered top financial results and completed its “Deal of the Year” award-winning acquisition of ThyssenKrupp Steel USA with partner Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, but also pioneered high-strength, energy-efficient steel grades and laid claim to the industry’s best safety record.
The judges’ rationale for according these and other awards may be found link. Full details of the 2014 winners and additional information may be accessed in the media kit and via the Platts Global Metals Awards website.