NOT CURRENT YEAR
Asahi Kasei keeps its D+ score from last year. To our knowledge, the company does not produce any hazardous substances. However, it still performs poorly in the Product Portfolio category because only 14 percent of its production – which mainly takes place outside of the EU and US – is known. The company’s overall grade is significantly improved by its decent score in the Development of Safer Chemicals category. It is implementing initiatives based on circular economy principles and has developed its own guideline to control the environmental impact of its products. Asahi Kasei belongs to the minority of Asian companies that have shared information with ChemSec. It gets zero points in the Controversy category due to several fatal accidents in the last decade.
Opportunities for improvement
- Increase transparency
Although Asahi Kasei has responded to our request for more information regarding the company’s chemicals management, much is still unknown about the company’s production of hazardous chemicals. The company should disclose the full list of hazardous chemicals that it produces, including the volume of each of these chemicals as well as its percentage of the total revenue. It would also be wise to specify which chemicals are intended for end products and for intermediate use. Generally speaking, information about chemicals sold in EU and US markets is available through public records, which is not the case in other parts of the world. For that reason, Asahi Kasei should make the details of its revenue generated outside of these regions public to ensure chemical transparency and allow for a comprehensive global evaluation.
Prevent further controversies
Asahi Kasei has been involved in incidents leading to fatalities and should re-design or dramatically improve its Environment, Health and Safety strategy. This would help the company to better avoid incidents and make sure that controls – functioning even when human errors occur – are in place. If an accident or spill should happen, it is important that Asahi Kasei identifies the cause and publishes a document on strategies that will be implemented to avoid similar occurrences in the future. It is possible to prevent human suffering and environmental pollution when producing chemicals, but it requires a thorough Environment, Health and Safety system.
- Increase circularity
The chemical industry finds itself at the beginning of the value chain. Therefore, it has a responsibility to act fast and ambitiously against the ever-growing scarcity of our planet’s resources. For this reason, it is important that Asahi Kasei continues to develop and improve its circular economy approach. In particular, the company should be transparent about the ingredients in their material recycling technology and make it clear that no hazardous ingredients are used to produce their clean materials. It should specify how many percent of its total revenue comes from circular products. The company should also develop and present a strategy, which includes an activity plan, with clear indicators for how to expand the area of circular products and processes.