Eco-efficiency

As a materials technology company, we aim to drive an even more efficient use of metals, energy and other inputs in our operations to balance environmental and economic factors and work to increase closed-loop relationships with our customers.

As part of our commitment to sustainability, we take into account the environmental impact of our operations, and strive to continuously improve our environmental performance, implement risk management strategies based on valid data and sound science, actively participate in the management and remediation of risks that are the result of historical operations and facilitate and encourage responsible design, use, re-use, recycling and disposal of our products.

Energy consumption

-17%

vs 2015

Metal emissions to air

-67%

vs 215

Metal emissions to water

-59%

vs 2015

Our success is measured in our ability to make sustainability a competitive advantage by being increasingly energy and material efficient compared with our 2015 baseline.

Umicore is a world leader in the eco-efficient recycling and refining of precious metal-bearing materials.

These materials include by-products from other non-ferrous industries, end-of-life consumer and industrial products and e-scrap. Our eco-efficient process entails maximizing both the physical recycling of materials and the revenue obtained, while minimizing the associated environmental burden and total cost. We recover and sell precious, special, secondary and base metals and our closed-loop business model maximizes material re-use.

This ambition to address increasing global resource scarcity and achieve material efficiency is an important factor in our strategy. Over the span of our Horizon 2020 strategy we have consistently secured over half our materials supply from non-primary sources. In 2020, 64% of the materials we used were from end-of-life or secondary origin, while 34% were of primary origin.

Secondary & end-of-life materials in input mix

64%

In our Horizon 2020 strategy, we defined energy efficiency and metal emissions reduction as key eco-efficiency performance indicators. We pursue eco-efficiency initiatives to generate compelling value and a competitive edge through reduced costs, minimizing our carbon footprint and strengthening our license to operate. In addition, we believe that it is equally important to continuously monitor, control and report our performance in relation to other environmental aspects. Our Horizon 2020 approach of continuous improvement was successful in improving our efficiency and reducing our impact

We continue to invest in research to innovate in clean mobility and sustainability.

Umicore prioritizes R&D to support our Horizon 2020 ambitions by focusing on the development of innovative solutions for materials and processes. Our ability to create a pipeline for these innovations and solutions is an important component of our long-term eco-efficiency performance.