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General management approach

Goals and Performance

Our approach to sustainable development derives in the first instance from our vision, values and organizational principles as stated in The Umicore Way.

Based on The Umicore Way, and in the context of the economic, societal and environmental trends, we have developed our Vision 2015 strategy. This strategy sets our economic, social and environmental goals to 2015 and beyond.

In order to achieve these goals we have set specific performance and impact related objectives.

The economic aspects of the strategy and the resulting objectives were elaborated through a review process involving the Executive Committee and project teams involving representatives from business units and corporate departments. This process identified four key megatrends where Umicore was positioned to make the most telling contribution through our materials and services: resource scarcity, increasingly stringent emission control, the drive for renewable energy and the electrification of the automobile.

Our social and environmental objectives were developed through an initial broad internal consultation of experts in the business units and experts in corporate departments such as Human Resources, Environment Health & Safety, Finance and Procurement & transportation. During 2009, internal recommendations were further refined at internal and external stakeholder panels before being discussed at Umicore's Executive Committee. The objectives were approved by the Executive Committee in April 2010.

Vision 2015 objectives were divided in four main themes.

Economic Performance

  • Growth and Return

Great Place to Work

  • Zero Accidents
  • Occupational exposure reduction
  • People Development
  • Preferred employer


  • Reduce carbon footprint
  • Emission reduction
  • Product sustainability

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Sustainable procurement
  • Local community


In addition to The Umicore Way, we have also developed a comprehensive framework for ethical business practice through our Code of Conduct and the Corporate Governance Charter, a document which sets out our management philosophy and governance principles. A number of internal policies have also been developed in support of our vision and values including Safety, Human Rights and Working Conditions, Training & development, Donations & Sponsorship and Energy Efficiency & Carbon Footprint.

Who is responsible?

Final accountability for all aspects of Umicore’s business lies with the Executive Committee. The broad sustainability approach is guided by a team including representatives of Environment, Health and Safety, Human Resources, Finance, and Procurement & Transportation.  This team is responsible for developing and gaining approval for the various sustainable development objectives and guiding the business units in their efforts to contribute to these objectives. At segment level the environmental and social performance is owned by the Executive-Vice President of that entity. At business unit level the environmental and social performance is owned by the head of the business unit and he/she is assisted by technical experts and sustainable development champions. At site level the site manager is responsible for the social and environmental performance of the site.

Monitoring and follow up

Corporate EHS and Corporate HR have developed detailed technical guidance notes to assist the business units and sites to ensure a common understanding of concepts, definitions, roles and responsibilities.  Their work is supported by the sustainable development champions in each business unit. Regular workshops and meetings are organized each year at various levels of the organization to exchange best practice.

Progress towards the Group objectives is measured annually against a set of KPI’s reported through a group data management system. The data is collected and reported at the relevant entity level: site, business unit or Umicore Group.

Other performance indicators that are relevant to the social and environmental performance of the company are also measured and reported. The selection of these performance indicators are based upon the Global Reporting Initiative reporting guidelines (G3) to the extent these are relevant and material in the context of Umicore’s operations. Corporate EHS, Corporate HR and Corporate Finance aggregate the performance of the business units at Group level to evaluate Umicore's overall progress towards the Vision 2015 objectives. Sustainable Procurement, which is a new area for Umicore and measured since 2010, has different measurement tools. Monitoring in this area is carried out by the Purchasing & Transportation department.

On-site data verification relating to social and environmental performance and progress towards objectives is carried out by Umicore’s internal teams.  In addition, Umicore uses an assurance provider to check its social and environmental data.  From 2011 this function has been carried out by the same company responsible for the audit of Umicore’s financial data - PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). PwC evaluates the completeness and reliability of the reported data as well as the robustness of the associated data management system. Wherever necessary, performance indicators and reporting processes are reviewed and updated after every assurance cycle as part of a process of continuous improvement.

Umicore is a materials technology group.

Umicore is a global materials technology group. It focuses on application areas where its expertise in materials science, chemistry and metallurgy makes a real difference.


  • 29/03/2013

    Umicore’s Annual Report 2012 now online


  • 25/05/2012

    Umicore wins at the European Business Award for the Environment


  • 18/04/2012

    Umicore announces partnership with the International Life Cycle Chair