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Why has Umicore committed to SBTi?


Last June, we unveiled Umicore’s Let’s go for zero strategy, our bold sustainability ambitions committing to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. There is no question that our carbon ambition should be translated into science-based targets and we have now committed to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

The question is what does this commitment really mean for Umicore?

Umicore has chosen SBTi because as with many of our other initiatives such as our approach to sustainable Cobalt, we seek out opportunities to highlight our commitment to positive impact through third party validation. The SBTi is a partnership between CDP, World Resources Institute (WRI), the WWF, and the UN Global Compact. It provides robust target-setting methods and guidance for businesses to set climate science-based targets, aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and it is increasingly going beyond. SBTi is also the only external validation tool on GHGs targets. It is already recognized as the most credible tool by our investors, customers and suppliers, and their approach is being integrated in many regulatory methods.

Umicore's scope 1 and scope 2 CO2 emissions

“Now is when it matters, and now is when we can. If we play our cards right, we can make a difference for the planet. Sustainability is our competitive edge and part of our DNA since many years. It is the moment to walk the talk.”
Natalia Agüeros Macario, ESG Director.

Umicore is determined, and by joining the SBTi we are not only committed but also joining efforts with others to achieve the race towards net zero GHG emissions.  

The race will be challenging. Firstly, the competition for renewable energy is soaring with high demand and with finding the right long-term strategic contracts. Innovation and R&D will be key enablers to push ourselves to rethink our technology and processes to decarbonize. All our sites, including the smallest, will need to achieve a first intermediate milestone of reducing 20% by 2025 compared to our 2019 baseline. Decarbonizing our value chain will be the biggest challenge emitting five times more than our direct activities, being hard to track and not in our direct control. However, we have what it takes and everyone has a part to play to contribute to getting Umicore to net zero.  

Umicore has made the very first step by committing to SBTi. In the following 24 months we will submit our targets for validation. Setting a highly ambitious goal is no easy task but we want to ensure that our low-carbon transformation journey is aligned with climate science and that we continue with our mission to be an industry leader in sustainability.