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The World of precious Metals

The Umicore Way

The Umicore Way is the cornerstone of everything we are doing within Umicore. Our strategy displays our commercial goals and growth projects for the years to come as well as our ambitions for sustainable development. The Umicore Way describes our values, the way we want to achieve these goals just as our total engagement for the principles of sustainable development. We believe that the broad values and ambitions in this document should be put into practise in any context - in different regions, cultures and social situations. The Umicore Way is not just designed for the employees of Umicore but also covers the relationships to our different partners. The Umicore Way is completed with the company´s detailed standarts, including the Code of Conduct and the Corporate Governance Codex. Our final goal is to become an even more successful and respected company by the use of the Umicore Way.

Marc Grynberg
Chief Executive Officer
november 2011



We believe that materials have been a key element in furthering the progress of mankind, that they are at the core of today’s life and will continue to be enablers for future wealth creation.

We believe that metal related materials have a vital role, as they can be efficiently and infinitely recycled, which makes them the basis for sustainable products and services.

We want Umicore to be a leader in providing and creating material based solutions which contribute to fundamental improvements in the quality of life.

We hold the values of openness, innovation, respect, teamwork and commitment to be crucial to our success. We promote these values and ensure that deficiencies in living up to these values are addressed in an appropriate way.

  • Openness:
    We communicate openly, accurately and with enthusiasm. We provide reliable and relevant information on our activities in a timely, regular manner within the limits of commercial confidentiality. We consider interaction important and therefore have a positive attitude towards constructive dialogues with all of our stakeholders.
  • Innovation:
    We believe in continuously searching for better ways of doing things. We believe that innovation is the ultimate driver for long-term profitability and growth. We are open to new ideas and ready to take considered risks.
  • Respect:
    We show respect for eachother and for cultures, customs and values in our dealings with employees and others who have a stake in our activities. We do not compromise on occupational health and safety and act in an environmentally responsible manner.
  • Teamwork:
    We believe in teamwork to realize our goals. We encourage a flow of information across divisional, functional and geographical borders to make full use of knowledge and experience available to us. By working together towards shared goals, we want our people to derive pride, satisfaction and fun from their work.
  • Commitment:
    We believe in keeping our promises, adhering to high performance standards and continuously searching for the best solutions we can possibly deliver.


As we strive to be a preferred employer of both current and potential employees, we are guided by the following principles:

  • We do not compromise on safety and seek to create an accident-free working environment for all.
  • We aim to ensure Umicore is a healthy place to work and we seek to continually improve our occupational health performance.
  • We empower all our employees to contribute to our success. Performance is appraised regularly and rewarded in a fair way.
  • We support our employees, offer them training and challenge them with development possibilities.
  • We believe in equal opportunities, fairness and diversity. We recruit and promote on the basis of qualifications for the work to be performed.
  • We engage in constructive dialogue with our employees and their representatives.


As part of our commitment to sustainability, we take into account the environmental impact of our operations. In this respect:

  • We seek continual improvement of our environmental performance.
  • We implement risk management strategies based on valid data and sound science.
  • We actively participate in the management and remediation of risks that are the result of historical operations.
  • We facilitate and encourage responsible design, use, re-use, recycling and disposal of our products.

We act and operate in line with the expectations of society:

  • We uphold fundamental human rights and respect those rights in conducting the Group’s operations throughout the world.
  • We engage with the communities around our operations and seek to make a positive contribution to these communities.
  • We engage in effective and transparent communication with all our stakeholders and use this dialogue to further improve our performance.


  • We aim for shareholder value creation with a primary focus on the medium and longer term (3 to 5 years and beyond).
  • Our key measure of value creation is Return on Capital Employed. We seek returns from each of our activities that are in excess of the cost of the capital needed to sustain the activity.
  • We seek sustainable growth – growth which takes into consideration financial, environmental and social aspects.
  • In our communication with the financial markets, we strive to give an accurate, fair and comprehensive picture of the company


  • Business Units: Business units are the key organizational units. We believe in decentralization and in entrusting a large degree of autonomy to each of our business units. The business units in turn are held accountable for their contribution to the company’s value creation and commitment to sustainability. Business units are regrouped in business groups according to strategic business development themes.
  • Shared Operational Functions: In areas where economies of scale or the advantages of a centralized expertise are significant, shared operational functions are organized.
  • Corporate departments: Corporate departments manage specific company-wide tasks and common resources, set general policies and exercise a control function.
  • Executive Committee: The Executive Committee creates a vision for the Group and approves the strategies of the business units and monitors their implementation. It develops the overall company strategy and submits it to the Board of Directors. It approves all major human resources and capital allocation decisions.
  • Board of Directors: The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall strategy of the company. It appoints the CEO and the members of the Executive Committee and oversees their performance. It ensures that Umicore operates in accordance with principles of good corporate governance.

Wherever we operate, our reputation is a most valuable asset, and it is determined by how we act. We shall avoid any action that would jeopardize respect for Umicore:

  • We have high standards of business and personal ethics; we adhere to our internal policies, and follow all applicable laws and regulations in the countries where we operate.
  • We support and strive for fair competition, and thus refuse to enter into unlawful discussions or agreements with competitors concerning pricing, market sharing, or other similar activities.
  • We avoid all situations that create or have the potential to create a conflict between the interests of Umicore and our personal interests. We refuse to offer any improper financial advantage for the purpose of obtaining business or other services.
  • We respect and safeguard all company assets, whether tangible or intangible, including all proprietary information, intellectual property and innovative ideas.
  • We seek business partners whose policies and practices regarding ethical, social and environmental issues are consistent with our own.



This document summarizes policies common to all Umicore companies. The Umicore Code of Conduct and the full set of more detailed procedures and policies can be found on Umicore’s intranet.

Internal audits are conducted throughout the company in order to ensure the implementation of these policies.