NOT CURRENT YEAR
Air Products & Chemicals
Air Products scores ten points out of 18 in the Product Portfolio category, which is the highest score in the ranking and on par with Nutrien. This is because the company “only” produces one hazardous chemical, and the fact that most of its production – 65 percent – takes place within the EU and US, where reliable data is available. Like all companies in the ranking, Air Products has been encouraged to share information about its production in other regions, but has declined. In the other categories, the company places itself very much in the middle. It does not really excel in anything, but it is not among the worst performers either.
Opportunities for improvement
- Air Products misses out on almost all circularity points. The company uses very generic phrases, like “using waste”, or more specific, such as “supplying hydrogen for a waste oil recycling process”. We recommend that Air Products dedicates time and effort to develop a circular strategy with clear KPIs and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) targets, to be able to contribute to the circular economy with its own products and concepts.
- The company’s hazardous waste generation has more than doubled since last year. Even if the recycling of it has also increased, our recommendation to Air Products is to significantly reduce its hazardous waste.
- With only 1 hazardous chemical in production, creating a phase out plan for this single substance should definitely be within reach for Air Products. Set up a timed plan and communicate it publicly and Air Products will be in a in a winning position.
Air Products produces/uses 1 highly hazardous substance – 1 SIN List chemical, no PICs, and no HHP – none of which are included on the EU’s REACH Candidate List. None of these highly hazardous substances is banned or severely restricted (no Authorisation List substances, and no POPs). The company produces no persistent chemicals.
Please note that there is no available data for the 35 percent of the company’s production that takes place outside of the EU and US. Lower EU/US production means higher uncertainty with regard to the total production of hazardous chemicals, which will have a negative impact on the company’s score in this category.
Air Products has a method in place to screen and assess the sustainability of its products and includes the intrinsic hazards of ingredients in the screening process. It does not, however, exclude substances with toxic properties from its new products. Air Products actively markets safer alternatives on its own website, as well as on ChemSec Marketplace. The company has no true circular product, process or innovation. Air Products uses renewable resources without occupying extra land or competing with food production. However, the company does not source and treat recycled materials in a sustainable way, which is one of the key elements of a circular economy. Air Products is not actively reducing the hazardous waste it generates.
The American company does not produce only sustainable products. Nor does it have a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances that go beyond regulatory compliance. It shares chemical safety information on its website, and follows a credible code of conduct standard. Air Products responded to ChemSec’s attempts to communicate around its ChemScore ranking. The company does not, however, share any information about what kind of chemicals it produces in regions with low regulatory demands for transparency (e.g. Asia). Air Products has no circular economy program in place, thus lacking objective and measurable circular economy targets.
In 2019, there was a hydrogen gas explosion and fire at Air Products’ plant in Santa Clara, California. No one was injured and the area had been evacuated. Between 2011 and 2020, Air Products and its subsidiaries paid 424,712 USD in environmental violation penalties.Download Controversies Air Products (PDF, 106 KB)