NOT CURRENT YEAR

Grade C+
ChemScore report card 2021

Avery Dennison

Avery Dennison Corporation is a multinational manufacturer and distributor of pressure-sensitive adhesive materials – such as self-adhesive labels – apparel branding labels and tags, RFID inlays, and specialty medical products. The company is a member of the Fortune 500.
Category icon
Total score
23 / 48

Grade Summary

ChemScore’s bronze medalist Avery Dennison produces three hazardous chemical – none of them included on the EU’s REACH Candidate List – and no persistent chemicals. Despite this relatively low number, the company is only awarded seven out of a maximum 18 points in the Product Portfolio category. This is because there is no available data for the 45 percent of the company’s production taking place outside of the EU and US. Like all companies in the ranking, Avery Dennison has been encouraged to share information about its production, 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. There’s no record of Avery Dennison being involved in any major controversies, rendering the company all six points in the last category.

Opportunities for improvement

  1. Having a restricted substance list or merely complying with regulation does not qualify as progressive chemical management. We recommend that Avery Dennison implements a systematic tool to assess intrinsic hazards of products, and adopt strategies for designing or phasing them out.
  2. The company is exploring circular economy in depth by developing labels and adhesives that allow easy recycling of the packaging material. We would like to see it refrain from using hazardous ingredients, in order to create clean, toxic-free material streams, instead of contributing to a continuous pollution cycle.
  3. Avery Dennison should market safer, less toxic alternatives. For a manufacturer heavy in the plastic packaging sector, there are numerous possibilities for improvement. Using bio-based materials and recycled feedstock are just two examples. Safer, circular products are urgently needed to achieve a circular and healthier world.

Category breakdown

Categories diagram
Category icon
Product Portfolio
7 / 18

Avery Dennison produces/uses 3 highly hazardous substances – 3 SIN List chemicals (no PICs and no HHPs) – none are included on the EU’s REACH Candidate List. None of these highly hazardous substances are either 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 45 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.

Category icon
Development of Safer Chemicals
5 / 12

Avery Dennison has a method in place to screen and assess the sustainability of its products, but it does not include the intrinsic hazards of ingredients in the screening process. Nor does it exclude substances with toxic properties from its new products. Avery Dennison actively markets safer alternatives on its own website, but not on ChemSec Marketplace. The company has at least one true circular product, process or innovation. Avery Dennison does not use biobased resources. Nor does it source and treat recycled materials in a sustainable way, which is one of the key elements of a circular economy. However, Avery Dennison is actively reducing the hazardous waste it generates.

Category icon
Management & Transparency
5 / 12

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. Avery Dennison did not respond to ChemSec’s attempts to communicate around its ChemScore ranking. Nor does it share any information about what kind of chemicals it produces in regions with low regulatory demands for transparency (e.g. Asia). Avery Dennison has a circular economy program with objective and measurable targets.

Category icon
Lack of Controversies
6 / 6

There have been three incidents involving Avery Dennison and its subsidiaries this past decade, and none of them have resulted in deaths or severe injuries. In October 2015, there was a fire at Avery Dennison’s plant in Painesville, Ohio. Five years later, in January 2020, there was another fire at Avery Dennison’s plant in Dayton, Ohio. In October that same year, yet another fire broke out at Avery Dennison subsidiary Paxar Bangladesh Limited’s readymade garment factory in Ashulia, Bangladesh. Avery Dennison has paid 20,000 USD in penalties for one environmental violation over the last ten years, according to the violation tracker of Good Jobs First.

Download Controversies Avery Dennison (PDF, 105 KB)
Category icon
Overall rank
4 / 50
Category icon
Total score
23 / 48
Category icon
Product Portfolio
7 / 18
Category icon
Development of Safer Chemicals
5 / 12
Category icon
Management & Transparency
5 / 12
Category icon
Lack of Controversies
6 / 6
Download report
Other years
Year Rank Total score
2023 7 / 50 21 / 48
2022 8 / 54 20 / 48
2021 4 / 50 23 / 48