Observing that industry’s share of U.K. gross domestic product (GDP) has slumped from 30 – 40 percent in the 1970s to around 10 percent today as the services sector has taken priority, Gupta asserts that it will be necessary to heed the decline of industry if we are to avoid generating populist discontent and a divided country, as has been reflected in outcomes such as last summer’s Brexit vote.
While the company that Gupta founded in 1992 would benefit from the growth of steel recycling within the U.K. given that the process is at the core of its business model, the profit risk lies more squarely with producers of steel’s primary inputs, such as iron ore.
Yet this is not a short-term concern for Nev Power, chief executive officer (CEO) of Fortescue Metals Group, the world’s third largest iron ore producer, who describes recycling as a natural evolution for the steel industry.
“It’s actually a very positive story. Steel is one of the most recycled materials in the world and I think that’s fantastic that we’re able to bring redundant steel back out of the economies and recycle it with electric arc furnaces and make steel that way,” he said, also noting the positive factor of a smaller environmental footprint made via this process.