Umicore confirms its commitment to ethical and sustainable cobalt


Latest update on 17 December 2019

Umicore commits to supply battery materials, including cobalt, in an ethical and sustainable way. We take all possible actions and measures in order to ensure clean and ethical cobalt in our supply chain. Accordingly we strongly contest any allegations to the contrary. 

Umicore was one of the first companies to proactively address issues such as human rights, child labor, occupational health and safety conditions and environmental impact related to the extraction of cobalt. 

Almost 15 years ago, Umicore made the decision to exclude entirely from its supply chain cobalt obtained from Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM), as these involve unsafe and unhealthy working conditions and very often child labor, and established its specific sustainable procurement framework for cobalt. Since then, Umicore has acted as an industry leader to promote a responsible and sustainable supply of cobalt, exempt not only from ASM but also from abuses of the environment, workers’ health and their safety, and became the first supplier of battery materials to have a reputable third party reviewing its supply chain framework in accordance with the OECD Due Diligence Guidelines. 

Being the first company in the world with such a framework for cobalt and the first to obtain external validation for its ethical procurement approach in this area, Umicore is a true pioneer in providing its customers in the rechargeable battery value chain with materials of a certified clean and ethical origin.

Umicore’s approach to ethical cobalt sourcing is further described in its Sustainable Procurement Framework for Cobalt: https://www.umicore.com/storage/main/sustainablecobaltsupplybrochurefinal.pdf.