Grade D+
ChemScore report card 2021

Umicore

Umicore is a multinational materials technology company that operates in advanced materials, precious metal products and catalysts along with zinc specialties. Umicore was formed by the merger of four companies in the mining and smelting industries and transformed into a technology-focused business, encompassing areas such as the recycling of precious metals and batteries.
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Total score
9 / 48

Grade Summary

Umicore has a large production/use of hazardous chemicals and data tells us that it is producing 30 highly hazardous chemicals, which is an increase compared to last year. The company does not, however, produce/use any persistent chemicals –…

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Product Portfolio
2 / 18

Umicore produces/uses 30 highly hazardous substances – 27 SIN List chemicals, 6 PICs, and 2 HHPs – 11 of which are included on the EU’s REACH Candidate List. 3 of these highly hazardous substances are either banned or severely restricted, with set dates when production needs to cease (3 Authorisation List substances, and no POPs). The company produces no persistent chemicals.

Please note that there is no available data for the 44 percent of the company’s production that takes place outside of the EU and US. Lower EU/US production means higher uncertainty with regard to the total production of hazardous chemicals, which will have a negative impact on the company’s score in this category.

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Development of Safer Chemicals
5 / 12

Umicore has a method in place to screen and assess the sustainability of its products, but does not include the intrinsic hazards of ingredients in the screening process. Neither does it exclude substances with toxic properties from its new products. Umicore does not actively market safer alternatives on its own website, neither on ChemSec Marketplace. The company has at least one true circular product, process or innovation. Umicore uses biobased resources without occupying extra land or competing with food production. It sources and treats recycled materials in a sustainable way, which is one of the key elements of a circular economy. Umicore is not actively reducing the hazardous waste it generates.

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Management & Transparency
2 / 12

The Belgian company does not produce only sustainable products, and it does not have a timed phase-out strategy for hazardous substances that go beyond regulatory compliance. It does not share chemical safety information on its website, but it is following a credible code of conduct standard. Umicore responded to ChemSec’s attempts to communicate around its ChemScore ranking, but it does not share any information about what kind of chemicals it produces in regions with low regulatory demands for transparency (e.g. Asia). Umicore does not have a circular economy program in place, and it is lacking objective and measurable circular economy targets.

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Overall rank
41 / 50
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Total score
9 / 48
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Product Portfolio
- / 18
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Development of Safer Chemicals
- / 12
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Management & Transparency
- / 12
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