Sustainable Supply & Ethical Supply

We aim to leverage our sustainability approach in the value chain, both upstream with our suppliers and downstream with our customers.

As a global materials technology and recycling group, we purchase and recycle minerals and metals for use in a wide range of products and technologies. For our operations to function, we need raw materials, transportation, energy and other goods and services. Sustainable procurement is a key driver in Umicore’s Horizon 2020 aspiration to turn sustainability into a greater competitive edge.

Our Sustainable Procurement Charter mitigates the supply chain risks, including human rights. The Charter outlines our commitment to fair dealing, transparency and communication, health and safety, and our efforts to include smaller sized and local suppliers in our procurement processes wherever possible, to support local economies where we operate.

We are determined to ethically and sustainably secure a competitive edge in our approach to critical raw materials. To avoid misuse of precious metals and minerals to finance armed conflict, cause human rights abuses, draw upon forced or child labor or support corruption and money laundering, we ensure that conflict minerals procurement is in line with Umicore’s values through our policy for Responsible global supply chain of minerals from conflict affected and high-risk areas which is based on the OECD guidelines.

Umicore also continues to ensure that gold production operations are certified as conflict-free. Our customers are increasingly requesting such guarantees and we provide them with the necessary documentation to assure the conflict-free status of our products.

Our Hoboken and Guarulhos sites are certified as conflict-free smelters by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), and in 2019, our Hoboken smelter successfully passed the LBMA voluntary conflict-free silver audit of its 2019 activities. Umicore is certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council’s Chain of Custody program. For more information on our many accreditations see note V2.

We expect our suppliers to be committed to business integrity, to promote the principles of sustainable procurement in their supply chain, to be compliant with local environmental laws and to respect international human rights law on their own sites and from their own suppliers, including to abolish child and forced labor and eliminate discrimination.

Overall, we have over 18,000 suppliers worldwide to which we paid over € 15.6 billion (including the metal content of raw materials) in 2019. Umicore’s Purchasing & Transportation teams worldwide manage indirect procurement processes for energy and other goods and services (accounting for 10% of our spend) while the metal-bearing raw materials are purchased directly by the business units (accounting for 90% of our spend).

In 2019, EcoVadis continued to assess indirect procurement streams for Umicore.

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