Umicore plays a key role in the transition to a low-carbon society.
We produce rechargeable battery materials for EVs, catalysts for reducing transport and industrial emissions, and contribute to resource stewardship by recycling metals and end-of-life products in a closed loop. In our own operations, we are committed to achieving further energy efficiency compared to our 2015 levels.
Energy consumption is continually monitored and regulated at all sites. The bigger contributors are additionally encouraged to develop energy efficiency projects and are required to report on them. Several Umicore sites have implemented the ISO 50001 energy efficiency standard and the 2 largest sites in Belgium have been part of the energy efficiency covenant with the Flemish government since 2004.
In 2019, 27 sites accounted for 95% of the Group’s energy consumption with a total of 34 energy efficiency projects implemented over the course of the year. By the end of 2019, Umicore had achieved a 23% reduction in energy consumption compared to the 2015 baseline, correcting for production intensity. This result is the combination of improvements in productivity and the implementation of energy efficiency projects.
When looking at our direct carbon emissions, despite our continued growth, we only register a 3% increase in comparison with 2018.
In recent years, as part of our commitment to sustainable operations, we began examining the share of renewable energy in our purchased energy mix. 2019 marks the first year in which we have systematically collected that information from our sites and can report the result: 14% of Umicore’s purchased electricity was sourced from wind, solar and/or biomass energy.
While choosing the share of renewables in our purchased energy mix is a challenge in some of the regions where we are most active, Umicore is actively pursuing an increase in the share of renewables in our purchased energy mix.