Debrunner Koenig Gruppe
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We consistently avoid waste! Whether it’s consumables, energy or natural resources, we monitor the resource consumption and CO2 emissions of our processes and continuously optimise them wherever we can. We want to address increasing demands in a resource-efficient way.

We’re mindful of environmental concerns
As we go about our work, we keep a constant eye on environmental aspects and rectify any non-compliant practices as quickly as possible. We do this all the time, not just as part of our regular audits.

We expect the same high standards from our suppliers
We expect our suppliers and preferred partners to produce their goods in an environmentally friendly way. They must demonstrate that they have appropriate and effective management systems in place.

We have a long tradition of sustainability

Here at DKG, we have been focusing on sustainability, fostering partnership-based relationships with our employees, customers and suppliers, and optimising processes for over 265 years.

We are saving energy

Energy efficiency is an essential part of what we do. We implement energy-saving measures where possible and are increasingly using renewable energy sources.

We’re already carbon-neutral

Avoiding and reducing emissions is clearly our top priority. We have set ourselves ambitious climate targets with that in mind. However, despite the technology currently available for reducing emissions or even removing them from the atmosphere again, we are not yet in a position to completely avoid emissions. That’s why we’ve been fully offsetting all CO2 emissions from Scope 1 and 2 since the beginning of 2022. In cooperation with German non-profit organisation atmosfair, we run an offsetting service to support high-quality and certified Gold Standard renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, thus demonstrably compensating for the climate gases that would otherwise have been produced.

We’re installing EV charging stations at our locations
The demand for electric vehicles is still rising rapidly. Although the public charging network is also growing, it is at a much slower rate. To help speed up the changeover to CO2-free and therefore sustainable mobility, we are working with AG in an effort to expand the charging network for electric vehicles. That’s why we’re busy installing charging points at our locations – and it’s not just for our employees, but the general public as well. EV charging stations are already up and running at some of our locations, as well as at our headquarters in St. Gallen.

Green Steel

Different quality seals

Reducing CO2 emissions is regarded as a key measure in the fight against global warming. Even the steel industry, which currently accounts for around seven percent of global CO2 emissions, is striving for strong decarbonisation. Some manufacturers have already developed more environmentally friendly steel products that they award a green label, despite the fact that there is as yet no recognised labelling or certification for “green steel”. This makes it difficult for customers to compare the different seals of approval.

Categories defined according to CO2 emissions

Klöckner & Co SE, the parent company of the Debrunner Koenig Group, has now developed a solution that ensures transparency: it classifies green steel according to the amount of CO2 it emits. Five categories each define a physical carbon footprint, decreasing from 1,750 kilograms of CO2 equivalent per tonne in the “Start” category to 400 in the “Prime” category. A sixth category with a calculated carbon footprint is intended specifically for “balanced” green steel. It takes into account the efforts of steel manufacturers to reduce CO2 emissions.

Green steel: Klöckner & Co SE has defined six categories

In order to make the carbon footprint of a product directly visible to customers, Klöckner & Co SE has developed an indicator for categorising CO2-reduced steel and green steel. The categorisation of low-carbon products comprises five categories derived from the actual physical footprint, from raw material to production. They range from “Start” (physical footprint: 1,750 – 1,400 kg of CO2 per tonne) to “Prime” (400 – 0 kg of CO2 per tonne).

“Balanced steel” represents a separate category for “rebalanced” green steel. This means that the carbon footprint for different categories of steel from the same production facility is calculated or “rebalanced” according to the total emissions of the facility. The categories are distinguished by their different threshold values for the CO2 content generated in the production process.
Methodology according to international standards
Our calculation method is based on the internationally recognised GHG Protocol.
Emissions from raw material to production
Emissions include production (Scope 1), purchased power (Scope 2) and supply chain (Scope 3 Upstream).
No offsetting is included in the CO2 load categorisation (compensation data is given as a supplement)
The categorisation is based on the physical production emissions without taking into account compensation measures.

Focus on all emissions: from raw material to production

The solution not only ensures the desired level of transparency from the customer’s point of view. It also takes into account the needs of steel producers and is based on the relevant technologies used in steel production. The calculation of CO2 emissions is based on the internationally recognised standards of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and takes into account all emissions, from raw material to production (Scope 1 to Scope 3). Strict threshold values and scientifically sound calculation methods ensure objective emission data and help to avoid product greenwashing. Artho Marquart, President of Metaltec Suisse and Vice-President of AM Suisse, describes the classification as “groundbreaking” for the establishment of credible standards and the creation of market transparency (see interview).

The ecological footprint becomes comparable

Thanks to the indicator with the six categories, our customers can now easily compare the footprint of different products. In this way, we can help our customers to build sustainable supply chains and achieve sustainability goals. The concept also enables us to promote more sustainable production methods: in the future, we will offer green steel products in all categories and by 2025, we will shape our range so that more than 30 percent of the products sold correspond to the most sustainable category, “Prime”.

Hydrogen as an energy carrier for steel production

Traditionally, steel is produced in blast furnaces. This requires considerable amounts of energy. Production in an electric arc furnace generates about 80 percent less carbon dioxide. In the future, hydrogen will play a central role as an energy carrier: this will reduce emissions in Scope 1 and 2 by up to 95 percent. This type of production is in the pilot phase – but is expected to be ready for the market as early as 2024/25. Swiss steelworks work exclusively with scrap as a primary material in steel production. This allows them to reduce emissions by about 75 percent. Steel can be recycled an unlimited number of times without any loss of quality.

Steel recycling in seven steps

Scrap can be collected from old vehicles, steel structures, railway tracks, ships, agricultural equipment and, of course, household scrap.

Steel must be separated from other end-of-life materials and material waste streams.

The steel is then shredded. This facilitates melting, as finely shredded metal has a greater surface-to-volume ratio.

Next, the scrap is melted in a large furnace. Melting and recycling the scrap consumes far less energy than producing new metals from new raw materials.

Cleaning ensures that the end product is of high quality and free of harmful substances.

After cleaning, the molten steel is transported via conveyor belt to be cooled and solidified. The steel is formed in this phase.

After cooling and solidification, the steel is ready for use and is transported away from the factory.