NOT CURRENT YEAR
Evonik Industries produces 37 SIN List substances (including two persistent chemicals), ten of which are officially recognised as chemicals of high concern by the EU. 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 a couple of controversies over the last ten years, including the death of two workers at one of its plants.
Opportunities for improvement
- Evonik’s perspective of managing exposure risks rather than the intrinsic hazards of chemicals is, unfortunately, still common in the chemical industry. Nevertheless, frontrunners are nowadays committing to timed phase-out plans. Evonik should follow this trend and communicate its efforts to reduce the production of hazardous chemicals in a clear and transparent way.
- As a top priority, the company should begin phasing out persistent chemicals as soon as possible in order to avoid future financial liabilities.
- If a company produces many substances officially recognised as chemicals of high concern by the EU, it can get into trouble when the chemicals are further restricted or banned. As a way of future-proofing its business, Evonik should develop and offer more safer alternatives.
Evonik Industries produces 37 SIN List substances, ten of which are included on the REACH Candidate List and three of which are also found on the REACH Authorisation List. The company produces two persistent chemicals. Persistent chemicals are particularly problematic since they do not break down, but instead accumulate in humans and/or the environment. Because of this, persistent chemicals should be of extra concern for investors. Substances which are not considered a problem today could become huge liabilities in the future.
Evonik Industries 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.
The company shares chemical safety information on its website but does not have a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances. Evonik Industries is a member of Responsible Care and follows voluntary standards such as a Code of Conduct and a Supplier Code of Conduct.
Between 2010 and 2019, Evonik and its subsidiaries have paid over 210,000 USD in penalties for 10 environmental violations according to the violation tracker project of Good Jobs First. In November 2012, a subsidiary of the company was fined for not implementing or maintaining an adequate risk management prevention plan at one of its facilities. Earlier the same year, an explosion and subsequent fire killed two workers at the Evonik Industries chemical plant in Marl, Germany.Download detailed information on controversies (PDF, 109 KB)