Climate & environment

Strategic focus area

Value chain & society Eco efficiency

Change in risk profile

No change

Change in opportunity profile

No change

Potential impact

Climate and environment impacts are mostly related to our supply of primary raw materials or to our suppliers’ extraction of these primary raw materials. Easy-to-mine deposits are becoming increasingly scarce and ore bodies poorer. Many specialty metals required for new, environmentally-friendly technologies can only be obtained as a by-product of other metals. Treating complex materials from above-ground sources, such as industrial residues and end-of-life materials, is increasingly important.

Climate change causes extreme natural events, chronic deviations in mean temperatures and precipitation patterns, and rising sea levels. This could impact our sites or supply chain. Historical industrial activity requires active management and remediation. Increasingly stringent regulations on energy use and emissions can induce higher operational costs.

Change in context

Civil society and political discourse are increasingly demanding that business takes an active role in mitigating climate change.

Our accelerated expansion combined with increased demand for our products have increased Umicore’s exposure to potential climate or environmental risks and the opportunity to expand in a way that can mitigate or address these risks.

Measures taken by umicore

Umicore plays a key role in the transition to a low-carbon future as our materials tackle global trends for clean air and e-mobility, and our closed loop business model tackles resource stewardship. Our facility in Hoboken is the world’s largest and most complex precious metals recycling operation, processing over 200 types of raw material and recovering over 20 different metals.

We ensure that a high volume of our metals come from secondary sources – production scraps, residues and end-of-life materials. We can also recycle customers’ residues and production scrap to help them maximize their material efficiency and then transform the recovered materials into new products. In total we recover 28 metals from our closed loop activities. Our high yield recycling process continues to be a driving force in resource efficiency and contributing to the circular economy. In 2019 Umicore carried out several studies to feed our process of climate and environment-related strategy for the future, these include studying our scope 3 emissions and climate related risks and opportunities. Umicore performed a life cycle assessment on the production of cathode materials and has identified the leverage it can have for a lower carbon mobility through the right choice of the cathode chemistry, energy mix, and raw materials, including recycled materials. For the new battery production plant in Poland, Umicore ensured that electricity will be from renewable sources.

We ensure that our current activities keep to the most stringent environmental standards for air and water and work every year to improve our energy efficiency despite our growth and increased production. For more information, see notes E2 through E6.

Our global footprint and diverse site locations reduce our exposure to physical risks. New sites have been chosen considering proximity to customers, access to skilled workforce, excellent logistics, infrastructure and green energy. Umicore manages its historical environmental legacy, ensuring adequate financial provisions that are reviewed twice a year. For more
information, see notes E7 and F29.

Discover the stories behind our success!

Read now
×

      Umicore uses certain monitoring and tracking technologies such as cookies. These technologies are used in order to maintain, provide and improve our services on an ongoing basis, and in order to provide our web visitors with a better experience.

      By clicking on the button accept you agree to the use of these cookies while using the website. For further information regarding how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please see section 10 of our website privacy notice

          Necessary cookies are essential and help you navigate our website. This helps to support security and basic functionality and are necessary for the proper operation of our website, so if you block these cookies we can't guarantee your use or the security during your visit.

          Cookies that help us to understand the behaviour of users of our website. This allows us to continuously improve our website to provide the best information in support of our project aims. These cookies are also used to help us understand how effective our website is. For instance these cookies tell us which pages visitors go to most often and if they get error messages from web pages.

          Cookies that deliver content to you based on your interests, which are assumed from your browsing history. Most Targeting Cookies track users via their IP address and, thus, may collect some Personal Data. Personal Data collected by Targeting Cookies may be shared with third-parties, such as advertisers.