Umicore obtains third party validation for its sustainable procurement framework for cobalt

Regional website Germany

Umicore, the global materials technology and recycling group, today unveiled annual third-party verification for its Sustainable Procurement Framework for cobalt. Umicore was the first company in the world to have introduced such a framework for cobalt supply and the first to obtain external validation for its ethical procurement approach in this area.

Umicore is a world leader in cobalt-based chemicals and materials. These products are used in applications such as tooling, catalysis and lithium-ion rechargeable batteries for portable electronics and electric vehicles.

Umicore introduced a specific approach to sustainable and ethical cobalt sourcing in 2004. This has evolved over time to take into account the specific risks involved in the mining of cobalt in certain countries, such as child labour and poor health and safety practices.

Umicore’s framework, which has received third party validation from PwC, is inspired by the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. It aims to minimize the risk of any connection between the cobalt in its supply chain – and subsequently that of its customers – and human rights abuses or unethical business practices.

Commenting on the framework Marc Van Sande, Executive Vice-President of Umicore’s Energy & Surface Technologies business group said: "Our customers have valuable brands to protect. Umicore’s unique approach provides comfort to customers about the provenance and the ethical nature of the cobalt used in the materials they source. We will continue to make improvements to our framework and I firmly believe that this type of approach should become the norm in the industry. We look forward to working with other stakeholders such as governments, civil society and other industrial players in order to driving broader improvements in the sector."

Click here to access a detailed description of the Framework

Click here to access the validation statement for 2015

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You'll find a video about about Umicore's sustainable procurement framework for cobalt here.

Note to editors: About Umicore’s sustainable sourcing approach

Umicore’s Sustainable Procurement Charter provides the basis for the company’s sustainable sourcing of raw materials and other products. The Charter requests that suppliers adhere to specific standards in terms of environmental stewardship, labour practices and human rights, business integrity and supply chain engagement. The charter has been deployed throughout the organization since its introduction in 2011 and further information can be found in Umicore’s 2015 Annual Report.

Umicore’s Sustainable Procurement Framework for cobalt has been specifically designed and deployed to take into account the challenges and nature of the cobalt supply chain.