Thank you, Michael. Good morning, everyone. In preparing for our earnings call this morning, I took a look back at our announcement a year ago. My remarks last year centered on our designation as an essential business and part of the nation's critical infrastructure, which enabled us to operate continuously throughout the pandemic. I discussed the health and safety protocols we were deploying and the support we were providing to our communities and health workers. I noted at the time that there was no playbook for how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, but that there was a long legacy at our company of facing challenges head on, navigating through the toughest of times and doing what's right to protect our people, serve our customers, support our suppliers and help our communities. A year later, I am happy to report that the operational and financial results that we will discuss today are Schnitzer's best results in over a decade. They would not have been possible without all our employees from our frontline workers to those who have been working remotely, living our core values of safety, sustainability and integrity.
Our success is the direct result of how they have embraced these values, and their performance reflects the collaboration, innovation and resilience that define our culture and our company.
So let's now turn to Slide 4 to get started. Ensuring the health and safety of our employees and all who visit our sites is top priority.
On the health front, we are continuing to follow all CDC guidelines. These include social distancing, wearing face coverings, frequently washing our hands and wiping down high-touch areas.
We are actively communicating with our employees regarding resources we can provide in support of their physical and mental well-being. To that end, we are providing paid time-off for every employee to receive a full COVID-19 vaccination.
On the safety front, as many of you know, in each of the last two fiscal years, we have reduced workplace injuries to record lows for our company. Through the first half of this fiscal year, we are on track to extend this trend. I want to highlight the work of our frontline team members who have deployed new work processes to protect our employees and all visitors to our sites while continuing to work safely and deliver improved safety performance. We still have work to do, but our team's commitment to safety is clearly showing through.
In addition to health and safety, our commitment to our other multiyear sustainability goals, as shown on this slide, continues to increase in importance in today's environment. These goals are focused on conserving resources, reducing waste and emissions, maintaining an ethical, engaged and inclusive workforce and giving back to the communities where we operate. In recent months, we were recognized by several well-respected organizations for various aspects of our sustainability program. Ethisphere named us one of the world's most ethical companies for the seventh consecutive year. And S&P Global named us a 2021 Sustainability Yearbook member and an industry mover. Being recognized as an industry mover by S&P Global is reserved for one company in each ranked industry that demonstrates the strongest year-over-year improvement. I want to acknowledge the contributions of all our team members as these honors reflect their ongoing commitment to our core values and our culture.
Let's turn now to Slide 5 for a review of our second quarter highlights. Earlier this morning, we announced our fiscal '21 second quarter adjusted earnings per share of $1.51.
Our results reflect adjusted EBITDA of $71 million, which was up almost 80% sequentially and is 2.5x higher than our adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter of last year.
Our results reflect strong global demand for recycled metals and finished steel products as well as benefits from the commercial initiatives and productivity improvements related to the transition to our One Schnitzer operating model. Notably, our adjusted EBITDA per ton of $73 was significantly better than in fiscal '11, which was the last time that ferrous and nonferrous prices were at higher levels than we saw in Q2. This illustrates the benefits we've been able to achieve from our productivity and commercial initiatives. Notwithstanding the strong quarterly demand and our overall performance, our ferrous sales volumes were down approximately 5% sequentially due to the impact of severe weather in February on the timing of shipments and our nonferrous volumes were down slightly due to tight availability in the container market.
During the quarter, we also returned capital to our shareholders through our 108th consecutive quarterly dividend.
Let's turn now to Slide 6 for a review of pricing trends for recycled metals and finished steel products.
As you can see on this slide, prices for ferrous export and domestic scrap rose to multiyear highs during the quarter. Price volatility during the quarter and through the first month of Q3 was significant, but trading was maintained at much higher levels than in the recent past, reflecting the stronger demand associated with both the post-pandemic economic recovery and positive structural commodity trends. Nonferrous scrap prices also reached multiyear highs during the quarter, driven by strong global demand, including from China. Zorba, which was trading as low as $0.34 per pound last year, now trades around $0.75. And while not shown on these charts, PGM pricing has also reached multiyear highs. The sharp increases in ferrous and nonferrous prices during the quarter were driven by low inventory levels after many quarters of destocking, followed by significantly higher steel mill and smelter buy plans and production levels. There are also many long-term trends that support strong and sustainable ferrous and nonferrous scrap demand, including the new domestic steelmaking capacity that is projected to come online in the coming months; the global transition to lower-carbon technologies, such as electrification and renewables; the increased use of scrap and basic oxygen furnaces; China's elimination of quotas for nonferrous scrap imports that meet its metal content standards; and lastly, the prospect of China's reemergence as an importer in the global ferrous scrap market.
During the quarter, we also saw strength in demand for our finished steel products.
Our steel mill is one of the very few whose primary energy source comes from hydroelectricity. Combined with the use of recycled scrap metal as its primary raw material, the steel made in our electric arc furnace steel mill in Oregon has an exceptionally low carbon impact as compared to the industry average. In a world that is seeking decarbonization, recycled scrap metal as well as the low carbon emission steel we produce will be increasingly important metals carbon solutions, and we expect demand to continue to accelerate.
Let's turn now to Slide 7. Decarbonization and broader ESG factors, including government-supported green investments, together with the catalyst effects of global stimulus are serving as structural drivers of demand for recycled metals. Scrap, in other words, is now an important strategic solution for companies, industries and governments that are focused on carbon reduction. It is a differentiator for metal producers and fabricators, and it is a critical part of every community's commitment to reducing material going to landfills and their commitment to supporting a circular economy. A low-carbon economy and many low-carbon technologies are widely acknowledged to be more metal-intensive. Whether it is the transition to electric vehicles, the increased use of renewables such as wind and solar for energy, the transition to 5G or the efficiency and convenience of smart grids, these low-carbon technologies require more metal, and recycled metals require less carbon to produce than mined metals.
While a variety of solutions will be required to decarbonize the manufactured metals value chain, increasing the use of recycled metals is one path that is achievable immediately. We can see how some of these trends have already been translated into higher ferrous scrap metal usage by looking at the chart in the upper right-hand corner of this slide. Electric arc furnace steelmaking, which uses scrap as its primary raw material, has been expanding and is projected to increase further. In China, scrap usage in steelmaking is expected to increase by 50% from current levels driven by additional EAF capacity as well as by the increased use of scrap in their BOF.
Let's turn now to Slide 8 to review the strategic actions we have underway, which are aligned with these long-cycle trends. Efficiency, innovation and volume growth underpin our strategic initiatives to leverage the positive long-term trends underlying our business.
Our innovative investments in advanced metal recovery technologies are critical components of our strategic plan to increase our efficiency and grow our nonferrous volumes. Since the end of the quarter, we have commissioned two of the advanced metal recovery technology systems, which are key to the execution of our strategic plan and the achievement of our sustainability goals. Extracting more nonferrous metals from our shredding activities is a significant value-added process and is directly aligned with global demand trends. Copper and aluminum demand, for example, will benefit materially from the low carbon transition through growth in electrification and renewables.
We expect the benefits from these projects to be substantial and to increase our volumes and revenues, lower our operating costs and improve our margins, expand our product offerings and our customer base and support our sustainability objectives of increasing recycling and reducing waste.
We expect the remaining systems to be commissioned in stages and for all of them to be fully operational by the end of the first half of fiscal '22.
So now let me turn it over to Richard for a more detailed review of these projects and our financial performance.