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Stakeholder engagement

Stakeholder engagement encompasses dialogue with a diverse range of partners and at all levels of the company.

Sustainable supply chain

Umicore’s commitment to its suppliers in terms of conduct and practices is outlined in the Sustainable Procurement Charter. In return Umicore requests that suppliers adhere to specific standards in terms of environmental stewardship, labour practices and human rights, business integrity and supply chain engagement.

In the course of 2015, our procurement teams and business units continued to select key suppliers based on criteria such as size, geographical location and type of product or service provided (including whether critical to the functioning of a Umicore entity).

The companies selected included suppliers of goods and services as well as some suppliers of raw materials. In total, 1,336 suppliers were invited to adhere to the charter, compared to 1,226 at the end of 2014. By the end of 2015, 83% of these 1,336 suppliers had formally acknowledged their adherence to the terms of the charter.

In addition to the roll-out of the charter, sustainability performance of specific suppliers is assessed by Ecovadis. In 2015, the procurement teams identified 47 suppliers for CSR assessment. The selection of those suppliers by Umicore was based on the above mentioned risk assessment in relation to critical dependency, geographical presence and spend with these suppliers.

The result of the assessment is a score card with an overall score and a score for each of the four sustainability categories: environment, labour practices, fair business practices and sustainable procurement. The scores ranged from 1 to 100 with 1 representing a high risk regarding sustainability issues.

Of the 47 selected suppliers, 7 suppliers did not respond to the questionnaire or did not complete the assessment process. Of the 40 received score cards, 22 companies had a score between 25 and 44, meaning that they have taken basic steps on sustainability issues. Only 1 company had a score equal to 20, representing a high risk regarding sustainability issues. 14 companies scored, overall, between 45 and 64, meaning that they have “an appropriate sustainability management system” and 3 companies scored higher, showing advance practices on sustainability.

Since 2011, the scores of the assessed suppliers is in 44% of the cases above the current Ecovadis community average score of 42 which means that these suppliers have reached the level of being “engaged in CSR” in their overall business approach.

In October 2015, the Umicore Group was re-evaluated by Ecovadis and was scored 73, confirming the company’s advanced practices in sustainability with a “structured and proactive CSR approach, engagements / policies and tangible actions on major issues with detailed implementation information and significant CSR reporting on actions & performance indicators”. The progression from the 2013 score of 67 reflects improvements in the areas of Environment and Sustainable Procurement. Since 2011 a web-based learning tool has been available to all employees on the My Campus learning platform to promote awareness of sustainable procurement. Over the course of this period 219 people have completed the learning module.

In the framework of Horizon 2020 more emphasis will be put on the management of our key raw materials supply requirements as well as seeking to ensure that Umicore’s efforts in the field of ethical sourcing can generate a competitive edge for the company. As the raw materials landscape for each business unit is very different these aspects will be initiated and managed by the business units themselves. The experience gained since 2011 by Umicore’s Purchasing & Transportation teams on the Sustainable Procurement Charter roll-out and the Ecovadis sustainability assessment will be further shared with the business units.

In 2012 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a final rule on conflict minerals based on section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act. This rule obliges US stock listed companies to declare whether the tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold in their products have originated from the Democratic Republic of Congo or an adjoining country. While Umicore is not itself subject to the reporting requirements of Dodd-Frank, we use the above rulings as a guideline for our business. In this regard, our Precious Metals Refining operations in Hoboken and Guarulhos were certified as “conflict-free smelters” in 2015 for their operations of the previous year by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). The Jewellery & Industrial Metals operations in Pforzheim, Vienna and Bangkok are certified as part of the Responsible Jewellery Council’s (RJC) Chain of Custody programme until 2016. The sites in Guarulhos, Amsterdam, Pforzheim and Bangkok are also accredited by the LBMA as Good Delivery refiners. In 2014 the business unit Jewellery & Industrial Metals also passed the audit for responsible platinum sourcing by the RJC. Both the RJC Chain of Custody and LBMA Good Delivery accreditations qualify the accredited sites for listing in the EICC (Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition) Conflict Free Smelter List.

In addition to existing policies and charters such as the Umicore Code of Conduct, Human Rights Policy and Sustainable Procurement Charter, Umicore also has a specific policy regarding “Responsible global supply chain of minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas”.