The movement to reduce pollution across the globe involves a number of components with many moving parts.
Some of these are tangible things, like the technology used to turn a commodity into a finished product. Some are a matter of employment logistics, like retraining people from one discipline (i.e., oil production) to another (i.e., solar).
And some of these aspects involve the words we use. Words matter. They inform perception, desire, feasibility, acceptance, and utilization. Words serve to influence hearts and minds.
There's a careful balancing act involved. What some call deceptive propaganda, others call a sensible way forward.
In 20 years, your new yard ramp may well function the same as your current one does now. That said, the way our manufacturers will produce it and the way our logistics experts will deliver it will likely be entirely new.
If projections are to be believed (yes, that deceptive propaganda vs. sensible information battle), your new ramp's production and delivery will have left a smaller carbon footprint.
ResponsibleSteel, "the steel industry's first global multi-stakeholder standard and certification initiative," in partnership with The Climate Group, campaigns to "maximise steel's contribution to a sustainable society. This can only be achieved through cooperation and mutual commitment by companies at all levels of the steel supply chain, representatives of civil society and other stakeholders."
The group recently discussed the lack of agreement about what the concept of "green steel" refers to:
"Words matter. We think it is critically important that the term “green steel” should not address GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions alone. We cannot be silent on the wide range of social, safety and environmental issues which are important to steel companies’ investors, customers and other stakeholders. Safety comes high on the list of concerns, as does the impact of mining where issues such as tailings dams, relations with Indigenous Peoples and local communities, human rights concerns and impacts on water and Protected Areas also come to mind. We would strongly advocate that any entity offering “green steel” would have to show how it addresses the range of social and environmental concerns and not only GHG emissions."
That's a pretty remarkable, forward-thinking, and holistic approach to all aspects of the production chain that gets steel from the ground to, say, your dock as a yard ramp.