The Umicore Way is the cornerstone of everything we do at Umicore. It defines our mission to deliver “materials for a better life” as well as our commitment to maximizing our positive impact on the environment and society, including protecting human health. Transparent communication with our stakeholders combined with a deep knowledge of the products and their uses are essential elements of Umicore’s approach to product stewardship. The approach is defined in an internal policy, the scope of which is described below.
Umicore’s Product Stewardship Policy ensures:
- Knowledge of and communication on the properties, hazards, safe use and disposal of our products, and effective risks management
- Evaluation of environmental, health and safety performance of our products through their life cycle to identify and implement improvements -- from the supply chain, to up- and downstream production, to recycling or end-of-life
- Substitution planning, aiming to reduce the use and production of substances of very high concern
- Product development is aligned with societal needs, regulatory frameworks, and stakeholder expectations
The Policy covers:
1. Raw materials and operating materials
- Upstream: consequences on human health and environment
- Use and transformation: in-house consequences on human health and environment
2. Finished products and intermediates, by-products, and waste
- In-house and downstream consequences on human health and environment
Each Umicore business unit must identify a manager responsible for Product Stewardship, who works in tandem with a central team offering scientific support for the evaluation and minimization of the impact of Umicore’s activities and products on human health and environment, e.g., to conduct life cycle assessments (LCA) to identify the environmental impact of products and services and set a baseline for improving the footprint of our products and services.
Umicore is subject to international chemicals regulations in the regions where its products are manufactured and/or marketed. Beyond compliance, Umicore has a systematic approach for the hazard assessment of its portfolio of low volume chemicals, using a hierarchy of sources, from in-house data to publicly available information. The outcomes of the hazard assessments are stored in Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and shared with Umicore customers and partners directly.
Regulations such as REACH in Europe, TSCA, and K-REACH require all chemical substances and intermediates to be registered and/or evaluated may involve toxicology tests for new, unregistered substances. In the EU, animal testing is strictly regulated and is only authorized in cases where no satisfactory substitute method exists, as a last resort, in accordance with “the 3Rs” (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement). The need for tests can be further minimized when regulations define central information-sharing frameworks, such as in REACH. Umicore abides by the 3Rs principle and in addition does not perform any animal testing itself; should studies occur, they are performed by third parties vetted for ethical and animal welfare standards, and where applicable, outcomes are shared.
Out of scope
Economic, social, ethical, security aspects related to the production and use of the products. These aspects are already in scope of other complementing Umicore policies, including but not limited to: Global Sustainable Sourcing Policy, Safety, Human Rights and working conditions, etc.