Sustainability

Batteries are essential to our future, but as we continue to enhance our lives with these devices, we are also facing the mounting challenges of battery disposal and resource scarcity. The good news is that we can recycle them in a safe and eco-efficient process, creating value where others see loss.

At Umicore safety and sustainability come first. It’s safe because we avoid the need for potentially hazardous pre-treatment through shredding and our process is carried out in a controlled environment guaranteeing the destruction and isolation of all hazardous compounds. It’s sustainable because our energy efficient process recovers the existing energy in the batteries resulting in nearly no additional energy input in the high temperature pyro metallurgy process. The organic parts of the battery materials like the plastic, as well as the battery chemical energy, are used as fuels. It’s resource efficient because we recover over 95% of the copper, nickel and cobalt, and we are pioneers in recovering lithium at industrial scale. The waste fraction of the process has been further reduced and what is left is collected for specialized treatment.

Recycling also contributes to the sourcing of sustainable materials limiting the primary sourcing of critical materials that will be essential to the transition to electric driving. Our closed loop business model is our true differentiator and we embrace the concept that metals are infinitely recyclable. From battery to battery, we create advanced innovative rechargeable battery materials and excel in battery recycling, preserving the environment and the earth's natural resources.Our unique ability to close the materials loop together with certified clean and ethical supply are at the heart of our approach to sustainability, maximizing traceability.

We also make a real difference betting it all to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. It is our mission to be an industry leader in sustainability.

Find out more on Let’s go for zero