Aperam likes to put itself in the spotlight as a sustainable steel producer. In Belgium they make stainless steel from scrap, and their factory in Brazil produces "‘green" steel: they burn eucalyptus-based charcoal in their blast furnaces instead of polluting 'coke'. However is that as green as they claim?
Aperam grows the eucalyptus from which they make this charcoal in plantations in the Cerrado. This savannah-like area in Brazil has a great natural biodiversity and the plants and animals are adapted to the long dry periods in the region. The local farmers also know their land well and know how to maintain the groundwater level. But Aperam's water-guzzling eucalyptus plantations are upsetting this balance.