Annual report 2017

Annual report 2017


Business model

We believe the circular use of resources is essential for sustainable growth. Our business model centers around a shift away from a linear ‘take, make, waste’ economy

A circular business model

Our recycling services recover a wide range of metals which we use to manufacture new products. Explore examples of our business model below.

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From phones to wedding rings

Smart phones have components that contain gold and other metals. We recycle old smart phones to recover these metals. Our recycled gold is used in wedding rings. We apply the same closed-loop approach to silver.

Closing the loop for batteries

We buy sustainably mined cobalt raw materials that we use to manufacture materials for rechargeable batteries that power electric vehicles. When the batteries are no longer useful, we recycle them to recover the cobalt. We re-use the cobalt to make new battery materials. The same happens with nickel.

Getting the most from precious metals

Umicore treats complex mining residues to valorise the platinum, palladium, rhodium and other metals. Our Catalysis business group integrates these precious metals in emission control systems in cars. At the end of the vehicle’s life, the catalyst is dismantled and sent back to Umicore for recycling.


What we need

There are some critical resources and relationships we need in order to run a successful and sustainable business.

  • Metal-containing raw materials
  • Energy and auxiliary materials
  • Skills and expertise
  • Investment and funding


What we do and & how we do it

We produce and recycle metal-related materials. Our closed loop operational model ensures that we extract the valuable metals from industrial residues and end-of-life materials enabling them to be reused.

We combine our competences in metallurgy, chemistry and materials science with a thorough understanding of our customers’ needs. The Umicore Way outlines our values, our commitment to the principles of sustainable development and the way in which we wish to achieve our business goals. We aim for a high degree of focus and to simplify the way we do things. This supports us in realizing our ambitions.


The contribution we make

Our integrated approach to business means we believe in delivering value for all stakeholders.

  • Enhanced quality of life through all of our products
  • High quality employment
  • Shareholder returns
  • Societal contribution