Building a greener Ontario

Chamber Blog header with Tiago's headshot

I am proud to work for a company that strives to make positive contributions to the Whitby community – both as a normal course of business and during a public health emergency.

Gerdau manufactures structural steel, piling, rebar, merchant bar, and special bar quality products for the agricultural, automotive, construction, distribution, energy, industrial, and mining markets. Our Ontario operations include two steel production facilities – one in Whitby and one in Cambridge – and a network of nine scrap recycling facilities that provide raw materials for our Melt Shop in Whitby. We have 890 employees throughout Ontario.

While many companies have outstanding sustainability programs, Gerdau’s whole business is designed around sustainability and environmental stewardship. We make new steel products from a raw material feedstock almost entirely composed of recycled scrap metal.  We purchase end-of-life vehicles, discarded appliances and other materials and transform them into new steel products.

Our production process generates a fraction of the carbon per ton compared to steelmaking from virgin materials. Combined with the role of renewables on our energy grid, the steel that we make in Whitby is some of the greenest in the world.

In addition to our environmental contributions, Gerdau is committed to responsible corporate citizenship. The challenges we have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic have given us an opportunity to rise to the occasion and live our value. We have proudly donated monies to a local foodbank, personal protective equipment and sanitizer to Lakeridge Health Foundation, to the Oshawa Fire Services and Whitby Fire Services, as well as several long-term care facilities in Durham Region and the surrounding area.

The COVID-19 crisis has caused significant challenges for our business, but our Ontario plants are well-positioned to resume full operations once the province safely returns to pre-COVID-19 capacity. We are hopeful that policymakers will soon be able to turn their attention to measures to stimulate the economy, including an infrastructure investment program. This would have a tremendously positive impact on Gerdau, other Ontario businesses, and our workers. Now more than ever the focus on green procurement by using more Ontario/Canadian made steel would be a win-win for the environment and our business community.

We look forward to working with you on the safe reopening of our economy, and on our collective return to health and prosperity.

– Tiago Beleza, VPGM, Gerdau Long Steel North America, Ontario Operations