How does Umicore contribute to the European Green Deal?
You might have already heard of the European Green Deal. Seen as Europe’s new growth strategy, the Green Deal aims to make the EU the first continent in the world to be climate neutral by 2050. The action plan includes concrete milestones like zero pollution, affordable and secure energy, quality food, and smart transportation. But what is Umicore’s role in all of this?
Twenty years ago, Umicore transformed itself from mining and smelting activities to providing technology materials and services for a better life. Such metamorphosis meant a commitment to creating sustainable products and services that would address global megatrends. Today, our business focus lays on three concrete megatrends. There is the need for cleaner air and we can provide emission control catalysts that reduce harmful pollutants. Our battery materials offer automobile electrification for transport also enabling decarbonization. The third megatrend is resource efficiency, and we give new life to used metals at its highest value through our recycling services. Therefore, through our know-how, we are contributing to the European Green Deal.
A circular economy is vital in the development of the Green Deal’s action plan. Knowing that there aren’t endless reserves of metals globally, resource scarcity becomes a big topic and priority on the table. Even more, when such materials are enablers to achieve the EU’s 2050 objectives of a carbon-neutral economy. It is crucial to close the loop, keeping materials within the economy as long as possible. That’s when Umicore’s closed-loop business model comes into play, being a global leader in the recycling of 20+ metals.
At Umicore, we also incorporate sustainability into the way we do business. Not only in our products and services that we bring to the market but also in our operations and sourcing of raw materials. We believe there is a need for full transparency in the value chain, ensuring responsible and ethical sourcing of materials. Umicore implements various due diligence standards as part of its risk management, and we support the EU’s recent emphasis on due diligence legislation. To reinforce our position, Umicore is a member of the Global Battery Alliance, a multi-stakeholder plan focusing on sustainability in the battery value chain, and we have engaged strongly in two initiatives:
- The battery passport initiative allows the traceability of materials from mining to electric vehicles and enables the sharing of carbon footprint and other data during a battery’s lifetime.
- Umicore supports UNICEF with its work on the ground in the Democratic Republic of Congo to address the root causes of child labor in mining communities, promoting alternative livelihoods and keeping children out of mines. We are proud to be co-initiator and first contributor to this partnership.