We developed a successful outreach process for Umicore involving social and political stakeholders to reinforce and highlight Umicore's efforts and investments toward a healthier environment and decreasing lead emissions in various ways.
Umicore Hoboken is one of Umicore's most important and oldest plants. Today the site is responsible for the extraction of precious and non-ferrous metals from used appliances such as cell phones, car catalytic converters and car batteries. Every year, hundreds of thousands of tons are being melted down and processed into new raw material for rechargeable car batteries. Historically, the site, located on the edge of a densely populated area of Hoboken, has had a lead discharge. Those emissions have declined systematically over the past 20 years.
However, in full Corona period, it seemed that this drop was coming to an end and the level of lead-in-blood among children near the plant unexpectedly increased. This led to political and public outcry and reputational damage for Umicore. The listed company group turned to Whyte.
Road map towards corporate responsibility
We developed a successful outreach process with social and political stakeholders on behalf of Umicore in order to reinforce and highlight Umicore's efforts and investments for a healthier environment and reduced lead emissions in various ways. This resulted, among many things, in a strengthened communication service with a proactive attitude towards local residents. We also created a 'Pact voor de Hobokenaar', providing informal guidance for stakeholder outreach in various sub-files for Umicore, including the new road being built around the plant and the green zone that is being developed as a buffer between the site and the population. Within a year and a half, in collaboration with Whyte, Umicore succeeded in restoring its reputation as a responsible corporate citizen.