Covestro produce 22 highly hazardous substances, including two persistent chemicals. Compared to some of the other companies in the ranking that might seem good, but it is still a portfolio full of problematic substances and a big reason…
Covestro produces/uses 22 highly hazardous substances –22 SIN List chemicals, 3 PICs, and 4 HHPs – 10 of which are included on the EU’s REACH Candidate List. 2 of these highly hazardous substances are either banned or severely restricted, with set dates when production needs to cease (2 Authorisation List substances, and no POPs). The company produces 2 persistent chemicals. Persistent chemicals are particularly problematic, since they do not break down, but instead accumulate in humans and the environment. Because of this, persistent chemicals should be of extra concern for investors; substances that are not considered a problem today could become huge liabilities in the future.
Please note that there is no available data for the 44% 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.
Covestro 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. Covestro actively markets safer alternatives on its own website, but not on ChemSec Marketplace. The company has not any true circular products, processes or innovations. Covestro uses bio-based resources without the expense of occupying extra land or in competition with food production. However, it does not source and treat recycled materials in a sustainable way, which is one of the key elements of a circular economy. Covestro is actively reducing the hazardous waste it generates.
The German 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 is following a credible code of conduct standard. Covestro responded to ChemSec’s attempts to communicate around its ChemScore ranking, but it does not share any information about what kind of chemicals it produces in regions with low regulatory demands for transparency (e.g. Asia). Covestro does have a circular economy program in place, but it is lacking objective and measurable circular economy targets.