Advocacy for impact
We focus on supporting clean mobility for the global transition towards reducing climate impact and on supporting a better understanding and faster implementation of circular economy models related to Umicore activities.
We also engage in national and international programs and initiatives that develop longer-term technology roadmaps.
Well-developed science and facts form the basis of the opinions and positions we take.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Battery Alliance was launched in September 2017. This global public-private partnership comprises over 40 international organizations to establish a sustainable battery value chain to power the decarbonization of the world’s energy and transport systems. Umicore chairs the Executive Board. As part of this initiative we maintained a strong effort toward ensuring that the cobalt extraction industry is free of child labor and that alternative livelihoods for cobalt-dependent households are made available. In addition, we contributed to a new WEF working group (Circular Car Initiative) focusing primarily on policy recommendations to make a circular economy model for batteries viable in the future. This work also explored also the impact of a second life battery market, material passports and focused on design-for-recycling concepts in the future automotive and transportation business models.
As concerns on air quality continue to increase, legislation aiming to minimize the impact of transportation using internal combustion engines on air quality is becoming increasingly stringent. As a producer of key components of catalytic emission control systems, Umicore is a member of various industry associations worldwide through which, in close collaboration with automotive engineering companies, we aim to contribute significantly to the portfolio of ultra-clean transportation options of the future using the most advanced emission control technologies. We also engage with authorities responsible for air quality impact as a result of maritime transport to further increase the emission purification of ships and vessels.
ENERGY & SURFACE TECHNOLOGIES
Accelerating the transition to a low-carbon society requires driving down the cost of clean mobility technologies and clean energy. Electrification of transport and heating processes in industry using electricity generated from renewable sources are crucial to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Advanced materials represent a sizeable part of the cost of these clean technologies and are key enablers of the low-carbon society. The advanced materials path from lab to market is long, risky and capital-intensive, so industry welcomes risk-sharing initiatives supporting European industrial leadership. Founded in 2012 by Umicore and other industrial and research organizations, EMIRI (the Energy Materials Industrial Research Initiative) works to increase awareness about the role of advanced materials in everyday life and in the European economy, and advocates for stronger EU-level innovation support.
Umicore has also actively participated and supported the creation of the European Battery alliance (since 2017) and the Battery European Partnership Association (BEPA) which is the public-private entity that will support the European Commission in defining the technology roadmaps and the research and innovation priorities to be funded in the 2021-2027 time frame (under the Horizon Europe program).
The European Union is striving to establish a Circular Economy. Umicore, a frontrunner with our “closed loop” business model, contributes to numerous conferences and expert working groups. Specifically, we emphasize the links between a Circular Economy and responsible sourcing, resource efficiency, waste management and high-quality recycling. We use our experience to promote electromobility as a gateway to a Circular Economy in Europe. In 2020, Umicore chaired the ‘Traction Batteries’ working group of the Circular Economy Initiativ Deutschland to develop recommendations for the future in creating a circular economy model for batteries.