Honeywell, a new company in the ranking, scores a D in ChemScore 2023. This is primarily due to its PFAS production. The company produces 36 SIN substances and 17 persistent chemicals in the EU/US market, but only 28 per cent of its global production is known. While Honeywell focuses on eco-efficiency and offers sustainable product lines, including aviation fuel from biomass, it lacks a clear strategy for the design-out of hazardous chemicals and does not advertise any alternatives on ChemSec’s Marketplace. The company has a code of conduct and aims to reduce and eliminate classified toxic or hazardous materials but a clear phase-out strategy is missing. Furthermore, information about revenues from the production of harmful chemicals is missing, and no global hazardous substances portfolio is available. Honeywell does not have a dedicated circular policy or circular KPIs.
Opportunities for improvement
- Map and phase out persistent chemicals
Honeywell produces or uses at least 17 persistent chemicals. These substances are known as “forever chemicals” due to the fact that they do not break down in nature. These chemicals — which are linked to many negative health effects — instead build up over time, creating consequences that are becoming increasingly detrimental. Not only for human health and the environment but also for investors. Companies reliant on such chemicals risk stranded assets now that the regulatory speed is accelerating. They are also exposed to significant liability risks since more chemical companies are being sued for contamination and bodily injury. Honeywell should therefore identify all uses, as well as publish the share of revenue and production volume of persistent chemicals (or products that contain them). The company should publish a time-bound phase-out plan for each persistent chemical and a realistic road map with clear KPIs to track progress.
- Reduce hazardous portfolio
Scientists agree that chemical pollution has crossed a planetary boundary and become an urgent global crisis, threatening both ecosystems and human health. Since Honeywell has 36 hazardous chemicals in its product portfolio, a key improvement point for the company is to reduce this number. Honeywell should therefore identify all uses, as well as publish the share of revenue and production volume of hazardous chemicals (or products that contain them). It should also publish a reduction road map of each hazardous chemical together with an annual progression report. Ideally, the company should commit to having a toxic-free product portfolio within the next decade. If the company decides to continue producing a hazardous substance, it needs to present a rationale for its essential use and prove that no feasible alternatives are available at present. In such a case, the company should also state the share of the R&D budget spent on finding a safer alternative for that particular substance.
- Market safer alternatives
Honeywell does not have any safer alternatives evaluated by independent third parties in its product portfolio. Safer alternatives replace the use of hazardous substances and are crucial in order to put an end to chemical pollution. The company should, therefore, start producing safer alternatives or market existing ones on an independent third-party platform. A good place to advertise is ChemSec’s Marketplace, where buyers and suppliers can find and market safer alternatives.