Skip to main content Skip to primary navigation

Sustainable Development Goals

Umicore supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through innovative products and practices that minimize negative impacts, protect the environment, promote social progress and support economic growth.

Umicore also supports the ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact on Human Rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. We are committed to integrating these principles in the strategy, culture and day-to-day operations of our company - and to engaging in collaborative projects which advance the Sustainable Development Goals.

SDG 3: Good Health & Wellbeing

The Zero harm pillar of our ‘Let’s go for zero’ strategy is a significant challenge for an industrial player. However, Umicore is prioritizing our employees’ and neighbors’ wellbeing and safety and minimizing its operations’ negative impact.

Intensified efforts in favor of occupational health and safety and the overall wellbeing of our employees promote wellbeing and healthy lives, as does safeguarding the safety of our products.

Our catalysts also contribute to SDG3 by preventing harmful pollution and contributing to cleaner air for people to breathe.  

SDG 5: Gender Equality

To ensure gender equality and cultivate diversity of thought within the company, Umicore strives to build an inclusive culture and increase women among our employees and our management.

We’ve set ourselves an ambitious goal of gender parity as soon as possible, with 35% of women in management by 2030.

Beyond the borders of our company, we promote anti-discrimination against women and enforce equal opportunities in our supply chain by asking suppliers to adhere to our Global Sustainable Sourcing Policy. 

SDG 6: Clean Water & Sanitation

Water availability and sustainable management (SDG6) are vital in the Zero Harm pillar of our Let's Go for Zero mission.

Umicore aims to implement a water stewardship program for all its activities, with extra attention to water-stressed areas. The program has two main goals: to raise global awareness of water sustainability and to address local water risks.

This program helps our sites identify and mitigate water risks, share best practices, limit our environmental impact, prevent water pollution, and reduce water usage.

SDG 7: Affordable & Clean Energy

Through our electromobility technologies, Umicore is contributing to ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. We are a leading producer of cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries.

These are key in determining the power and energy density of rechargeable batteries to maximize the driving distance of electrified vehicles. This improves efficiency for downstream customers who manufacture the electrified vehicles and for users of cars and heavy-duty vehicles.

Our hydrogen cell technologies are used as a new chemical carrier for energy, which could become the major energy carrier in the future and can be used to decarbonize the industry.  

SDG 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth

Decent work and economic growth are an important focus for Umicore. Through job creation and thanks to our innovative and resource-efficient business model, Umicore contributes to the global transition.

Umicore respects the principle of collective bargaining and is committed to fair wages and equal pay for work of equal value.

We ensure a safe and secure working environment within our organization and ensure that Human Rights are respected within our supply chain.

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 

Umicore builds resilient infrastructure, promotes inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fosters innovation. Our strategic focus tackles society’s resource scarcity and environmental concerns. Our closed-loop business model supports the circular economy and our clean mobility solutions enable our customers to reduce negative environmental impacts.

We are a leading producer of catalysts and catalytic filters used in emission abatement systems for light- and heavy-duty vehicles, on-road and off-road.

Umicore’s products have prevented hundreds of millions of tons of harmful pollutants from being emitted into the air.

Our continued investment in R&D advances technological capabilities, as we remain committed to open innovation; collaboration with dozens of research institutes, start-ups and universities worldwide.  

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Umicore's strategic focus addresses society's resource scarcity and environmental concerns. Our closed-loop business model supports the circular economy and our clean mobility solutions help customers reduce their environmental impact.

As a leading producer of catalysts and catalytic filters for vehicles, on and off-road, we enable customers to meet present and future environmental standards by converting pollutant emissions into harmless gases and trapping particulate matter.

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

To support sustainable consumption and production patterns, we deliver technologies that provide resource efficiency and sustainability throughout industrial supply chains.

Our recycling services – processing over 200 types of raw metal-containing materials, including industrial residues and “end-of-life” materials – deliver sustainable sourcing solutions to our customers.

Our pioneering role in implementing sustainable sourcing practices in the supply chain has raised the bar for the industry and thus reduces waste generation on a large scale.

At the same time, we continue to innovate to minimize negative impacts, for example, by limiting emissions and reducing waste in our industrial operations.

SDG 13: Climate Action

Our 'Net Zero' pillar drives Umicore's efforts to fight climate change. We have set a net zero GHG emissions target by 2035 for scope 1 and 2 emissions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

With a closed-loop business model, we use materials from non-primary sources to avoid emissions, and we aim to reduce the carbon intensity of purchased materials by 42% by 2030, limiting our Scope 3 emissions.

Our Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) validated our 2030 decarbonization targets, which align with evidence-based science and support the Paris Agreement's goals. Our clean mobility solutions and partnerships also aid in decarbonization efforts. Lastly, we participate in public and private partnerships to increase awareness and education on climate change mitigation, such as in clean energy and mobility.

To gain more insights about our contribution to the SDGs, we assessed 169 targets of the 17 United Nations’ SDGs. More detailed insights in the Annual Report 2022