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Umicore and Prysmian Group committed to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of germanium for optical fibre

Renewed partnership for the use of 100% sustainable, low environmental impact germanium in the production of optical fibre

Milan, 27 October 2020 – Prysmian Group, world leader in the energy and telecom cable systems industry, and Umicore, a global materials technology and recycling group, will take part today in the “2020 World Optical Fibre and Cable Virtual Conference” with a joint presentation, to reinforce their partnership on the use of 100% sustainable, low environmental impact germanium for optical fibre production.

Both companies play a key role in the shift towards a low-carbon economy and contribute to the energy transition process. Optical fibre and cable technology will be decisive in this scenario, as they are an essential part of broadband networks for the digitalisation and the development of a decarbonised society and economy. 

Today, Prysmian Group and Umicore introduce the next step in their longstanding relationship in the supply of germanium tetrachloride (GeCl4), one of the main raw materials for the production of optical fibre. Umicore and Prysmian have worked together for many years on recycling solutions, and they are entering now a new level of cooperation aimed at supplying and using 100% sustainable germanium. 

“As stated in our Mission, we are committed to developing the best cable and fibre optic technology for the transition to a cleaner and smarter use of energy resources and to supporting the digitalisation and decarbonisation of economies. Sustainability is therefore effectively included in our business and represents a strategic opportunity to be pursued together with our customers and suppliers,” stated Eric Stoltz, Vice President Optical Fibre BU, Prysmian Group.

“At Umicore we are committed to the principles of sustainable supply and we continuously seek opportunities to further reduce the environmental footprint of our activities. Thanks to the 100% sustainable solution developed for Prysmian, optimising and expanding germanium recycling possibilities and capabilities and providing germanium generated as a by-product of base metal production, we will be able to cut our annual CO2 emissions by 60%, equal to getting approximately 6,800 combustion-engine cars off the road,” explained Pieter Arickx, Commercial Manager, Umicore. 

This partnership shows that the journey towards sustainability requires particular efforts in improving the environmental performance, including in our operations and throughout the supply chain, promoting sustainable raw materials sourcing and product innovation, while ensuring respect of human rights and enhancing human resources.

If you have any question, please contact our colleagues

Pieter  Arickx

Pieter Arickx

Global Commercial Director Germanium Solutions
T: + 32 14 245 306

For all press related questions, please contact

Marjolein Scheers

Marjolein Scheers

Director External Relations
T: +32 2 227 71 47