Schnitzer Steel

Transforming Robust Environmental Metrics into Credible
+ Engaging Communications

Quantis assembled a diverse team of writers, designers and technical consultants to ensure the report was rooted in sound science and to deliver that science in an interesting, accessible and aesthetically pleasing way.

“Quantis helped us develop our first complete GRI-referenced sustainability report. The team guided us in the development of the storyline and concept, ensuring we collected the necessary data points and metrics for a robust report. Finally they brought it all together in a visually engaging and readable document which has been widely used and shared both internally and among our stakeholders.”

Rob Ellsworth, Corporate Sustainability
Schnitzer Steel

1+ Challenge

Founded in 1906, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. (“Schnitzer”), is one of North America’s largest recyclers of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal, including end-of-life vehciles, a manufacturer of finished steel products and reseller of used auto parts.

In 2018, Schnitzer began working with Quantis to take its sustainability platform to the next level. At the time, the company had yet to publish a standardized, GRI-referenced sustainability report. Together, Schnitzer and Quantis set out to produce the company’s first fully-fledged sustainability report with a standardized reporting structure that would be recognised by investors and their audiences and serve as an introduction to existing sustainability initiatives that had yet to be fully communicated.

2+ Insights

Effective sustainability communications are built on a fine balance of robust environmental metrics and creativity. Environmental sustainability metrics ensure communications are developed with accuracy and reliability, while clever language and visually engaging design elements weave a good story.

To produce its first GRI-referenced report, Schnitzer brought onboard Quantis’ metrics-based approach and sustainability reporting know-how to guide the process. With a large set of data to work with, Quantis used data visualization to translate metrics from across Schnitzer’s business into a comprehensive, engaging, easy-to-read and visually appealing report.

3+ Actions

To establish a strong foundation for the report, Quantis conducted a materiality assessment to identify priority topics and issues. A communications workshop was also organized with leaders from different departments at Schnitzer to align on the report concept, outline and key messages.

Quantis assembled a diverse team of writers, designers and technical consultants to ensure the report was rooted in sound science and to deliver that science in an interesting, accessible and aesthetically pleasing way.

4+ Impact

The report was well-received by Schnitzer leadership, shareholders and employees, generating internal excitement for its sustainability initiatives. The report provides stakeholders with better visibility on the efforts the company has undertaken and those currently in progress to effectively address pressing sustainability topics. This has provided important insight into how Schnitzer’s individual sustainability initiatives fit together on a larger scale.

The new standardised reporting structure has also been instrumental in tying Schnitzer’s sustainability initiatives into one cohesive sustainability strategy, guiding future work across various social, environment and economic aspects.