NOT CURRENT YEAR

Grade D+
ChemScore report card 2020

Braskem

Headquartered in São Paulo, Braskem is the largest petrochemicals company in Latin America. It is a very large producer of thermoplastic resins with several plants across the Americas. The company produces ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, xylenes, butadiene, butene, isoprene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and more.
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Total score
12 / 48

Grade summary

Braskem produces seven SIN List substances, but none of them are officially recognised as chemicals of high concern by the EU. However, data is only available for less than one fifth of the Latin American giant’s production, as the rest takes place outside the EU and US. The company has a method in place to screen and assess the sustainability of its products and includes intrinsic hazards of ingredients in the screening process. It does not, however, have a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances. The company follows several voluntary standards of good conduct, but has nonetheless been involved in several scandals over the last ten years, including what is said to be the largest foreign bribery case in history.

Opportunities for improvement

  1. Add transparency to the hazardous product portfolio. We can only rank less than one fifth of Braskem’s overall production since the rest takes place outside the EU and US. For other regions there are no reliable and publicly available sources for identifying producers of hazardous chemicals. Informing ChemSec of hazardous chemical production outside the EU and US could help raise the company’s score.
  2. Develop more safer alternatives. Braskem calls itself the world’s leading biopolymer producer and puts a lot of effort into the innovation of bio-based materials. The company’s “I’m Green” portfolio and its assessment of the environmental impacts of production are a good start.
  3. Since accidents have been a common occurrence, the Brazilian company should improve safety processes and train employees in order to reduce environmental incidents.

Category breakdown

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Product Portfolio
2 / 18

Braskem produces seven SIN List substances, but none of them are found on the REACH Candidate List or the REACH Authorisation List. The company does not produce any persistent chemicals. However, data is available for less than one fifth of the Brazilian company’s production, as the rest takes place outside the EU and US.

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Development of Safer Chemicals
5 / 12

Braskem has a method in place to screen and assess the sustainability of its products and includes intrinsic hazards of ingredients in the screening process. The company does not follow the principles of green chemistry or use the GreenScreen assessment tool, nor does it exclude substances with toxic properties from new products. It does, however, actively market safer alternatives on its website.

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Management & Transparency
5 / 12

The Brazilian company shares chemical safety information on its website but does not have a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances. Braskem is a member of Responsible Care and follows voluntary standards such as a Code of Conduct and a Supplier Code of Conduct.

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Lack of Controversies
0 / 6

In August 2019, Brazil’s Federal Public Ministry filed a public civil action holding Braskem responsible for societal and environmental damage worth five billion USD. This was based on the findings of Brazil’s Geological Survey that linked the company’s salt mining operations with fissures and other geological damage in Maceio, Brazil. In December 2016, Braskem and another company (Odebrecht) pleaded guilty and agreed to pay 3.5 billion USD in combined global penalties to, according to the US Department of Justice, resolve the largest foreign bribery case in history.

Download detailed information on controversies (PDF, 116 KB)
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Overall rank
20 / 35
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Total score
12 / 48
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Product Portfolio
2 / 18
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Development of Safer Chemicals
5 / 12
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Management & Transparency
5 / 12
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Lack of Controversies
0 / 6
Download report
Other years
Year Rank Total score
2023 31 / 50 13 / 48
2022 31 / 54 12 / 48
2021 24 / 50 13 / 48
2020 20 / 35 12 / 48