New blog

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What can we learn from the most sustainable company in the world?

Sustainability’ is a buzzword. More and more companies are integrating it into their business plan. This seems to be a good development, but it does not say anything about whether the sustainability ambitions are actually realized. Words are not always translated into action. However, there are inspiring examples of companies that do well. Meet 'the most sustainable company in the world': Umicore!

Clean capitalism
At Corporate Knights Inc they must have thought: ‘to measure is to know’. Since 2005, each year they execute a comprehensive 'sustainability assessment'. Following this in-depth analysis it becomes clear which companies in the world can claim the title ‘clean capitalism’. During the World Economic Forum in Davos on 23 January last the latest sustainability champion was announced: the company Umicore with headquarters in Belgium, was honoured. Umicore was named most sustainable company in the world in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations index.

The Umicar Imagine during the World Solar Challenge 2011 
in Australia (Wikimedia Commons).

Well-timed action
Umicore is a materials technology company, which produces highly efficient solar cells for instance. The biggest plant of Umicore in Hoboken, Belgium, is a leading member of EFQM community and uses the EFQM Excellence Model to manage the plant. Sustainability is an integrated part of their business model and not an artificial add-on. The rationale: early anticipation of the expected shortage in precious metals. Already some years ago, based on a comprehensive analysis of the commodity market the Umicore Vision 2015 was designed. At the core of this vision lies taking responsibility towards people, the planet and society at large. Some attention points are:
• Provide a safe and healthy working environment for employees;
• Implement ethical and safe production methods in developing countries;
• Monitor harmful side effects of production;
• Involve employees, neighbours, customers and authorities in business activities.

Excellent practice
The EFQM Excellence Model is deeply rooted at Umicore in Hoboken. By responding to future developments in time and using the EFQM Model as their management model, they have shown that users of the EFQM Model are indeed able to achieve sustainable excellence. As I believe that truly excellent organisations will make the world a better place, I am Umicore very grateful for this!

No comments:

Post a Comment