Skip to main content Skip to primary navigation

Nissan Group of the Americas Rewards Umicore for Sustainability Excellence


In October, Umicore North America was honored to receive the Sustainability Environment Award from Nissan Group of the Americas at their 2023 Annual Supplier Appreciation event in Nashville, U.S. This prestigious customer award was made possible by the long-standing commitment, innovation, and collaboration of Umicore’s international teams and each of their 11,942 colleagues.

The Sustainability Environment Award given to Umicore North America by Nissan is one of the top environmental awards the global automotive group can bestow on its suppliers. It recognizes achievements in demonstrating sustainable and socially responsible business practices.

Josh Slocum, Senior Sales Manager for Automotive Catalysts (AC), and Rob Privette, Business Development Manager, Rechargeable Battery Materials (RBM), were at the ceremony on behalf of all Umicore colleagues, and with their joint presence, they highlighted the joint team efforts of Umicore’s business units. They were proud to accept an award that celebrates Umicore’s long-standing leadership in clean mobility materials and recycling, as well as the outstanding work of our expert teams in striving to be a sustainability champion. Josh points out how the award was a testament to the outstanding progress Umicore colleagues have made together in its Let’s Go For Zero ambitions.

“It was a huge honor to collect this award for Umicore, but I wish that all 11,942 Umicore employees could have been on stage with us. We can all be proud that such a leading international company as Nissan recognizes Umicore as a Sustainability Champion. It shows our collective passion for our Let’s Go For Zero ambitions and how our achievements are valued at the highest levels of industry.’’

Josh Slocum, Senior Sales Manager for Automotive Catalysts (AC)

Outstanding progress in 2022

The award recognizes Umicore’s sustainability milestones achieved in 2022, including the inauguration of Europe’s first battery materials gigafactory powered by 100% clean energy for its production in Nysa, Poland, doubling its global electricity consumption from renewables, putting Umicore on track to meet its net zero GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions target by 2035; and the announcement of Umicore’s plans to build North America’s first cathode and precursor battery materials gigafactory also powered by 100% renewable energy. The site, based in Loyalist (Ontario), Canada, recently had its ground breaking ceremony and will be key to stimulating the market for electric vehicles (EVs) in North America.

Umicore was also recognized for its EcoVadis Gold Medal in 2023 – one of the world’s most trusted business Corporate Social Responsibility ratings. Our 2023 award represents a repeat performance, as Umicore has achieved several gold and platinum ratings since 2013. For 2023, it means we’re in the top 2% of the 100,000 rated companies globally. Umicore remains dedicated to promoting fair and ethical business practices, prioritizing health and safety, and minimizing the impact on people, climate, and the environment. 

This is the third consecutive supplier appreciation award Umicore North America has won from Nissan Group of the Americas in a row, having received awards for Spirit (continuous improvement/cost-savings) in 2021 and Sustainability Procurement in 2022. But as Rob says, international collaborations are key: ‘’This isn’t down to one or two people – it’s the combined efforts of so many people in different teams. And although we received it in North America, it’s for the work Umicore’s people do across continents. I was proud to be there, but even prouder of all the colleagues I was there to represent. This shows our commitment to raise the bar on environmental leadership and how highly the market values our collective efforts and achievements.’’

20 years of sustainability achievement

As Benedicte Robertz, ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) - Program lead Scope 3 & LCA, says: ‘’This award doesn’t just celebrate a single sustainability initiative – it’s recognition for all of Umicore’s sustainability efforts. It’s the result of what we’ve been doing for over 20 years: constantly measuring, defining objectives, and improving our environmental performance. There’s a lot of painstaking work that goes on behind the scenes to build and deliver our Let’s Go for Zero ambition, so it’s a good feeling when this is applauded externally.’’

Rob confirms that the work by the ESG team in Umicore’s Corporate office in Brussels was essential to winning the award. ‘’The ESG team pulls everything together by showing the proof points of our sustainability performance and the science-based targets that you need to win this kind of award. We’re lucky to have experts like Benedicte and her team to support us.’’

Trusted partners on the road to clean mobility

It’s significant that representatives from AC and RBM collected the award, as it shows the collaboration and connection between Umicore’s business units as they enable customers’ clean mobility transformation, accelerating the transformation to carbon-free mobility and helping drive the world towards a circular economy.

As Josh says: ‘’In AC, we’ve been supplying critical products that have helped Nissan Group of the Americas on its clean mobility journey for many years, and now our RBM team continues that journey with us into the future with EVs. To see this from Nissan’s point of  view, they have trusted Umicore for years on the catalysis side, and now they see us as trusted partners in the transition to electrified vehicles. I think this combined strength in the value chain gives us a big competitive advantage.’’

Benedicte ends with an inspiring message: ‘’I think we can proudly say at Umicore that we don’t just have good products – we make them with a sustainable mindset. We can use that to challenge our customers, always bringing sustainability to the table. And as we see with Nissan, the market values working with partners who challenge them – that’s how we make progress, after all.’’