Umicore 2030 RISE Strategy

Umicore is entering a new phase in its history with the ambition to build a significantly larger business as a circular materials technology company. A business that is built on profitable and sustainable growth with tangible value for our stakeholders. Based on our unique, historical metallurgical, material science and chemical competences that underly our activities, and with our unique portfolio of mutually reinforcing activities, we are well-positioned to succeed. 

Our ambition is to close the loop within our Group and be a reliable transformation partner for our customers, helping them become more sustainable and – in the automotive industry – successfully transition to carbon-free mobility in the following decades. 

The world is changing fast and our response to those changes needs to be faster, bigger, bolder. 

Building on strong foundations

Umicore’s 2030 RISE Strategy, unveiled in June 2022, is our new strategic plan designed to accelerate value creative growth and help us achieve ongoing success through to 2030 and beyond. 

Umicore successfully delivered on its Horizon 2020 Strategy goals, achieving its financial target to double its earnings two years in advance, and emerged with a very clear and sharp focus on clean mobility materials and recycling. We turned sustainability into a greater competitive advantage. We rebalanced our portfolio of activities and we doubled the size of our business.

Now we are ready to RISE to meet the new challenges.

This new strategy builds on Umicore’s proven ability to embrace megatrends as our business drivers as well as our strong market positions, technological leadership and organizational excellence. These strong foundations will enable us to accelerate sustainable and profitable growth, while being a net beneficiary of the changing world, particularly of the rapidly accelerating mobility transformation. 

In line with the Company’s vision for sustainable growth, the 2030 RISE Strategy strengthens Umicore’s clear purpose to produce Materials for a better life through businesses that help shape a healthy planet and society, while delivering sustainable value to our stakeholders.

At the core of our strategy is a unique value proposition to be a reliable transformation partner for our customers, supporting them on their own sustainability journey.

Driven by megatrends

Umicore’s 2030 RISE Strategy is driven by the powerful megatrends facing our industry, particularly mobility transformation with the rapid acceleration towards cleaner transport. This transition alone has the potential to triple Umicore’s addressable mobility market by 2030. Such acceleration comes with stringent emissions legislation and an exponential growth in electric transportation. Automotive Catalysts provides customers with the technology that enables historically low emissions of harmful substances for the next generation of combustion engines. As the pace at which car producers transition to electromobility increases, so will the growth of Rechargeable Battery Materials. Whilst Fuel Cells used in hydrogen-based mobility will similarly play a greater role in the move to decarbonize mobility. 

As the world continues to look for faster, more scalable, more efficient and more sustainable solutions to tackle the challenges of society, the demand for high-tech advanced materials for various industries and applications (e.g. electronics, aerospace, food sector, pharmaceuticals, etc) is increasing. Umicore’s businesses continue to meet this demand in a sustainable way, most notably Cobalt & Specialty Materials, Electro-Optic Materials, Metal Deposition Solutions, Precious Metals Chemistry, Jewelry & Industrial Metals and Precious Metals Management. These businesses have a strong technology leadership position in their field. (See more on our industries page here).

This increasing requirement for advanced materials will also push our economies to become more circular. Across all our markets, circularity of vital metals through recycling will be a major source of materials for our clients. This trend, whilst most visible in both Precious Metals Refining and Battery Recycling Solutions, is embedded in all our activities. For more information about all our activities see Operations.

After careful and well-thought preparation to get Umicore ready and in ideal shape, we are now able to capture this tremendous growth opportunity and scale up our winning strategy. We have anticipated these megatrends, prepared for them and now we are ready with our new strategic roadmap for the journey that lies ahead. 

Scaling up our winning strategy: RISE-ing up together

Umicore is ready to embark on the next chapter as the circular materials technology company as we’re building on excellent foundations supported by powerful megatrends, the right portfolio and our purpose-driven and talented teams. 

What makes Umicore exceptionally well positioned to benefit from this shift? All our activities are mutually reinforcing. There are clear commercial synergies in our portfolio, such as shared know-how in metal science, chemistry and metallurgy, as well as strong synergies in circularity and customer intimacy covering the full spectrum of clean mobility solutions for our automotive customers. 

We also take advantage of strong operational synergies, such as digital initiatives and the Let’s Go for Zero ESG ambitions at Group level. Strong internal free cash flow generation in Automotive Catalysts and Precious Metals Refining also allows us to re-invest in our growth businesses (Rechargeable Battery Materials, Battery Recycling Solutions and Fuel Cell & Stationary Catalysts). 

All the pieces of the puzzle are in place for us to scale up. But to leverage this position we must work as one team across Umicore aligning around our shared direction; harnessing speed; and drawing on our diverse talents to meet the demands of the megatrends impacting our business on a global scale.

Our new 2030 RISE Strategy is our roadmap for this journey ahead. Implementation of our strategy has already begun. Scaling up our winning strategy and business will be based on the four strong pillars of RISE: 

With these four distinct RISE pillars we will grow like a start-up company, while continuing to add value as the long-established company we already are. This is a unique combination.

Our success in this new journey depends on every member of staff and every business unit RISE-ing together and rising with our stakeholders globally.

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