Umicore is a publicly listed company. As such, we interact with many parties who have an interest in the way we conduct business. The relationship that we foster with these parties or stakeholders has a direct impact on our success.
Stakeholder engagement at Umicore is based on a localized approach whereby all sites are required to identify their respective stakeholders and establish suitable ways of engaging with them. In many cases, such as the dialogue with customers and suppliers, the stakeholder relationships are primarily managed by the business units themselves, in line with our decentralized approach to unit management.
The management board receives feedback from stakeholders in several ways, ranging from direct feedback from visits to customers, suppliers, employees and investors, to information provided by the business units, departments or workers’ representatives during their regular briefings to senior management. Other forms of input include periodic employee survey results.
The Horizon 2020 strategy represents a strong focus on what is of material importance for Umicore through 2020. The development of the strategy has involved a specific stakeholder approach, described in the materiality assessment process in this chapter.
Umicore is an active participant in various industry associations through which we engage with policy makers to contribute to a better understanding of industry-related issues. These associations are also important platforms for Umicore to contribute to broader, industry-wide action on sustainable development.
On a less formal level, members of our senior management are often called upon or volunteer to participate in public forums to discuss our business strategy and sustainable development approach. Such events provide the opportunity to interact with various groups including business leaders, academics and civil society.
Umicore’s main stakeholder groups are highlighted and have been categorized in broad terms, using generic stakeholder categories that apply to most industrial organizations. Also shown are the nature of the transactions that occur and a brief description of the dialogue between Umicore and the stakeholders.
Umicore materials can be found in a variety of applications that deliver solutions for cleaner air and increased e-mobility.Umicore’s unique closed-loop services turn waste metals into a resource. To be the preferred partner of our customers, we work closely with them to develop, produce and recycle metal-related materials for material-based solutions tailored to their needs.
Umicore materials can be found in a variety of applications that deliver solutions for cleaner air and increased e-mobility. Umicore’s unique closed-loop services turn waste metals into a resource. To be the preferred partner of our customers, we work closely with them to develop, produce and recycle metal-related materials for material-based solutions tailored to their needs.
We provide advanced products that are built on our customers’ specific performance, environmental and sustainable sourcing needs, including development of bespoke solutions when needed. Beyond this customer-oriented approach, we provide close collaboration across all regions to deliver a sustainable and secure supply of high-quality products and services. Umicore has an international customer base and the presence to support them in both growing and established markets. Our high investments in R&D provide advanced and efficient production and process technologies that enable our customers to meet the most stringent sustainability demands and ambitions.
Ongoing interaction with customers is managed by the business units. In addition to this close contact, all business units have a customer feedback process to periodically gauge customer satisfaction.
Countries with Umicore customers
In salaries & other benefits
Umicore can only continue operating if it has the license to do so from society and we the utmost to operate in a way that promotes sustainable development, going beyond the legally defined boundaries set for all companies. We set our own standards, applicable across the Group, often surpassing the legislative demands in many areas where we operate. Umicore also strives to develop materials that enhance quality of life and specifically addressing certain critical environmental or societal challenges.
Contact with the communities where Umicore operates is the most direct way that we interact with society. Open and transparent dialogue with such communities is an integral part of our stakeholder engagement. Through employment, Umicore participates in the generation of wealth in the areas where it operates. Although wealth generation is an obvious benefit, the way in which this wealth is generated is also of great importance. We strive to be top employer wherever we operate. ivil society groups periodically declare a stake in our operations and the way we do business. Umicore welcomes such interest and attempts to engage openly and constructively.
Umicore makes voluntary contributions at site and Group-level to a range of charitable causes. We manage Group-level engagement efforts through a Group Donations Committee that has the mandate of engaging with civil society groups and determining the extent of partnerships. For information on these initiatives in 2020 see Giving Back to Society.
Donated to charitable causes
Umicore operates through 3 business groups on 5 continents. These business groups not only require materials to make their products but also energy, transportation and a range of other services. Overall, Umicore has over 18,000 suppliers across over 90 countries. These suppliers benefit from our presence as a customer: in 2020, Umicore paid these suppliers € 18.7 billion (including the metal content of raw materials).
We are engaged in a constant dialogue with our suppliers to define technical specifications and to ensure mutually acceptable terms and conditions for continued partnership, such as prompt and uninterrupted delivery of materials/services. The business units are responsible for the purchase of raw materials while the corporate Purchasing and Transportation department works to ensure that transportation, energy and other provisioning needs are met.
Our approach is shaped by our Sustainable Procurement Charter. This charter is complemented by specific approaches or frameworks for some critical raw materials. Our Horizon 2020 strategy includes an objective on sustainable supply that builds on the experience gained through our previous objective on sustainable procurement. For information, see Value Chain & Society.
Paid to suppliers worldwide
Umicore has investments in various business activities over which it does not exercise full management control. Associate companies are those where Umicore has a significant influence over financial and operating policies, but no control. Typically, this is evidenced by ownership of between 20% and 50% of the voting rights, while joint ventures usually entail a 50:50 split in ownership and control. Joining forces is a way to speed up technological developments or gain access to specific markets.
Where management control is not exercised by Umicore, we are able to guide and control the management and monitor business developments through representation on the board of directors. Although we cannot impose our own policies and procedures on any associate (or indeed any joint venture where we do not possess majority voting rights), our expectations that the operations be run in accordance with the principles of the Umicore Way are clearly communicated.
Umicore is rigorous in safeguarding any intellectual property that is shared with associate or joint venture partners. For a full list of associate and joint venture companies, see note F17.