Tata Steel promises reduction in air pollutants; Pledges to go carbon neutral
Tata Steel Netherlands CEO Hans van den Berg took out a full-page advertisement in the Telegraaf on Saturday to promise that the steel company will enact sweeping changes to address health risks and concerns in the area around its IJmuiden steel factory. The CEO was responding to a highly critical report from the RIVM, which led to local politicians saying they would rather see the end of the economic advantages brought by having Tata Steel in their region, instead of continuing to suffer the health consequences that are a result.
"As a resident of Beverwijk-West and a father of three children, I fully understand the major concerns about emissions and their consequences. That is why I want to make an agreement with you today. Tata Steel is going to change. I guarantee that I will personally do everything I can to make this happen. You can hold me to that," said Van den Berg.
In the advertisement, he lists previously announced measures amounting to 300 million euros that the company is taking to limit the nuisance. "The first effects of this are already noticeable. By 2023, the release of dust into the immediate vicinity will be reduced by 65 percent." A reduction in particulate matter emissions of 35 percent, and a cut of 55 percent of heavy metals emissions is also envisaged within four years.
Van den Berg emphasized that a future without steel "cannot exist", but that future will look very different in IJmuiden which will become "CO2-neutral and with much less nuisance for the environment." He stressed that the company wants to take responsibility for its role.
"We accept the gravity of the findings of the RIVM and the other researchers, and take it very seriously, and we understand very well the dissatisfaction that is prevailing in society. But it will get better. I guarantee it."
Reporting by ANP.