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We are fully committed to the 12 principles of the "ResponsibleSteel™" initiative

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ResponsibleSteel™ is a non-profit organization for steel industry stakeholders, its mission being to establish the socially and environmentally responsible production of steel worldwide. To this end, a certifiable sustainability standard has been created. thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG is working towards certification to this ResponsibleSteel™ standard.

Within the ResponsibleSteel™ initiative, companies from all levels of the steel value chain are working together with economic and civil society stakeholders to maximize the steel industry's contribution to a sustainable world. For this purpose, ResponsibleSteel™ has drawn up a diverse array of social and environmental requirements.

As a member of ResponsibleSteel™, thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG is committed to the 12 principles of the standard, and actively supports the vision of a sustainable steel industry. Responsibility doesn't stop at our factory gate. We are a sustainable company, and so we attach particular importance to sourcing our input materials from suppliers with policies and corporate practices that are in line with the requirements set by ResponsibleSteel™.

The successful implementation of the standard, including the 12 principles explained in detail below, is audited and confirmed by independent third parties according to the procedure specified by ResponsibleSteel™.

The 12 Principles of the ResponsibleSteel™ initiative

Principle 1: Corporate leadership

ResponsibleSteel™-certified sites are led responsibly.

Our company's management has defined and documented the values and policies for responsible corporate governance in the Code of Conduct. In the context of due diligence for human rights, this is, among other things, publicly stated in the Declaration of Principles on Adherence to Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence. The responsibility for ensuring that the defined values, policies and obligations are implemented at the site level lies with the managers and employees at the sites.

Principle 2: Environmental, social and governance (ESG) management systems

ResponsibleSteel™-certified sites have an effective management system in place to achieve the social, environmental and governance goals to which they are committed.

We are continuously optimizing our organization with our established, predominantly ISO-certified systems for environmental protection and energy efficiency (Environmental and Energy policy), occupational safety (Occupational Health and Safety Policy), quality (Quality Policy) and governance (Governance Statement). By means of extensive programs, such as in the spheres of corporate citizenship, compliance and anti-corruption, but also in the supply chain (Supplier Code of Conduct), we ensure the sustainable implementation of our values, policies and obligations.

Principle 3: Occupational health and safety

ResponsibleSteel™-certified sites protect the health and safety of their employees.

In the thyssenkrupp Group, we attach particular priority to ensuring that occupational safety and health protection are guaranteed at all times. Especially at thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG, occupational safety is a particularly important issue, as expressly reflected in our occupational health and safety policy.

We regularly report publicly on the most important aspects of these issues via the thyssenkrupp Group's integrated sustainability reporting in the Annual Report and on the thyssenkrupp Group's website. Here, too, the integrated reporting is done based on the GRI standard and the SASB reference table.

Principle 4: Labor rights

ResponsibleSteel™-certified sites respect the rights of workers and support worker well-being.

Especially where matters concerning the protection of our employees are involved, we work collaboratively with all stakeholders from our sphere in a professional manner. This is reflected, for example, in our International Framework Agreement, which, in addition to our acknowledgment of the ILO core labor standards, includes principles for effective occupational health and safety protection, opportunities for professional and personal development, the right to adequate remuneration, prohibition of child and forced labor and prohibition of discrimination of all kinds. As a responsible employer, we advocate for mutual respect throughout the workforce.

Principle 5: Human rights

ResponsibleSteel™-certified sites respect human rights wherever they operate, regardless of their size or structure.

As an international group of companies, we are aware of our responsibility and are committed to compliance with internationally recognized human rights standards. We regularly reaffirm this commitment, for example through our Modern Slavery Statement. Our commitment to upholding human rights is based on policies and standards such as our Code of Conduct, the Declaration of Principles on Adherence Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence, the International Framework Agreement, or the Supplier Code of Conduct. We have developed an efficient organizational structure that creates a constant, ongoing culture of sensitivity in dealing with human rights, ensuring that human rights are consistently upheld in our company's day-to-day business. An online reporting system makes it possible to report possible violations anonymously at any time.

Principle 6: Stakeholder engagement and communication

ResponsibleSteel™-certified sites engage effectively with stakeholders, report openly on issues of importance to those parties, and remediate adverse impacts they have caused or contributed to.

We are committed to open, constructive and transparent dialog, in light of which we are actively involved in various local projects, cooperations, multi-stakeholder initiatives and associations.

We inform our stakeholders about relevant topics via our integrated sustainability reporting in the Annual Report and on the thyssenkrupp Group website. By means of a management review, the interests of the various stakeholders are incorporated and evaluated within the context of the company. The integrated reporting is done based on the UN Global Compact, the GRI Standard and the SASB Reference Table.

Furthermore, the general public is kept regularly informed about the developments in our company via press releases and social media channels. Detailed reports on the key issues of the thyssenkrupp Group can be found in the Stories section, giving readers an opportunity to gain deeper insight into the various business areas.

Principle 7: Local communities

ResponsibleSteel™-certified sites respect the rights and interests of local communities, avoid and minimize adverse impacts and support community well-being.

Societal commitment has been an integral part of part of our understanding of a "good entrepreneur" for over 100 years. It is our responsibility to make the places in which we do business livable places, towards which end we work together with local partners in projects both large and small. Always through dialog and on an equal footing.

Principle 8: Climate change and greenhouse gas emissions

The corporate owners of ResponsibleSteel™-certified sites are committed to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, and both the certified sites as well as their corporate owners take the necessary steps to demonstrate this commitment.

The goal is clear: steel production at thyssenkrupp is planned to be carbon-neutral by 2045. With our climate strategy, we are stepping up our previous activities to reduce emissions, accepting our social responsibility and showing our commitment to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Through the renowned "Science Based Targets initiative" (SBTi), we have become one of the first steel producer worldwide to not only set our climate targets on a scientific basis but also to have them validated as being in line with the ambitious 1.5-degree goal of the Paris Climate Agreement. This applies to both the short-term target for 2032 and the long-term target of net-zero emissions by 2045 according to SBTi.

As an initial self-imposed interim goal, thyssenkrupp Steel aims to reduce emissions from production and processes within the company, as well as emissions from energy procurement, by more than 30 percent compared to the reference year 2018 by the year 2030.

For many years now, we have systematically worked on improving the energy and climate efficiency of our production operations, and on developing efficient solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in cooperation with our customers. The success of our climate change mitigation endeavors is regularly recognized outside the company as well, and thyssenkrupp will be on the A-list of the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) in 2022 for the seventh time in a row.

Principle 9: Noise, emissions, effluents and waste

ResponsibleSteel™-certified sites prevent and reduce emissions and effluents that have adverse effects on communities or the environment, manage waste according to the waste management hierarchy and take account of the full life cycle impacts of waste management options.

In order to continuously improve our environmental protection, we have had our environmental management system certified by independent third parties in accordance with the international ISO 14001 standard for more than 20 years. This standard covers all relevant environmental aspects – the reduction of effluents, waste, air pollution and noise emissions, as well as the environmental impacts of our products – and calls for the continuous improvement of environmental performance.

Principle 10: Water stewardship

ResponsibleSteel™-certified sites demonstrate good water stewardship.

The production of steel necessitates large volumes of water in various stages of the process. We require around one billion cubic meters of water for our production – of which just three percent is obtained as fresh water. We achieve this by using water circulation systems, in which the water is used up to 40 times before it is either evaporated or discharged as purified waste water. Our water management plan ensures responsible handling and use of water.

Principle 11: Biodiversity

ResponsibleSteel™-certified sites protect and conserve biodiversity.

In our environmental and energy policy, we have committed ourselves to the protection of biodiversity, and intend to make a key contribution to environmental protection in this context as well.

We conduct environmental impact assessments to identify potential impacts of building new production facilities or modifying existing ones on biodiversity and areas of high ecological value and, where necessary, we put measures in place to conserve biodiversity.

In the context of habitat mapping, furthermore, we comprehensively evaluate and document the respective animal and plant species.

Our works premises are home to rabbits and foxes, as well as endangered animals like the hare. We therefore put various measures in place towards helping and supporting rare species of animals in their habitat. We have, for example, set up nest boxes for falcons, owls and bats on our works premises.

Principle 12: Decommissioning and closure

ResponsibleSteel™-certified sites minimize the adverse social, economic and environmental impacts of full or partial site decommissioning and closure.

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