Is Umicore really the most sustainable company in the world?

By Nick Meynen

UMICORE is elected as the ‘most sustainable company in the world’. A Canadian magazine that claims to defend ‘clean capitalism’ has put the Belgian company at number 1 in its global top 100 of ‘sustainable’ businesses. But UMICORE has not fully come to terms with its past in Hoboken, a 30.000+ community that is part of Antwerp, Belgium.

In 2004, Umicore signed an historic agreement with the Flemish government for 77 million euro, mainly to replace heavily contaminated soil, for example in gardens of hundreds of people around their factory in Hoboken. Today, the company does an outstanding job in the field of recycling and in efforts to reduce emissions. But does that compensate for their remaining local ecological debt in Hoboken?

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