NOT CURRENT YEAR

Grade C
ChemScore report card 2020

Johnson Matthey

Johnson Matthey is a specialty chemicals company that manufactures catalysts, pharmaceutical materials and pollution control systems. The company also refines platinum, gold and silver, and produces colour and coating materials for the glass, ceramics, tile, plastics, paint, ink and construction industries. Johnson Matthey operates around the world.
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Total score
20 / 48

Grade summary

London-based Johnson Matthey produces ten SIN List substances, four 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 a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances. Johnson Matthey follows several voluntary standards of good conduct, but has, nonetheless, been involved in a few environmental violations over the last ten years, including the release of 5,000 litres of toxic iron sulphate solution following an explosion at its UK facility in 2018.

Opportunities for improvement

  1. Johnson Matthey has already committed to replacing hazardous chemicals “where safer and economic alternatives are available”. But ChemSec would like the company to go one step further and publicly announce phase-out plans with clear deadlines for these plans.
  2. The company’s PARS (Prior Approval Required Substances) committee evaluates the risks of “high hazard substances” and approves the use of some of them for a limited time. However, society needs safer products without harmful chemicals, and product designs should reflect this. Johnson Matthey should, therefore, restrict the use of hazardous chemicals in newly developed products – even if the chemicals have a time limit.
  3. The British company should improve safety processes and train employees in order to reduce environmental incidents.

Category breakdown

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Product Portfolio
7 / 18

Johnson Matthey produces ten SIN List substances, four of which are included on the REACH Candidate List and one of which is also found on the REACH Authorisation List. The company does not produce any persistent chemicals.

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Development of Safer Chemicals
4 / 12

Johnson Matthey 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 the 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
6 / 12

Johnson Matthey has a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances and shares chemical safety information on its website. The company 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
3 / 6

Between 2010 and 2019, Johnson Matthey paid more than 238,547 USD in fines for 14 environmental violations according to the violation tracker project of Good Jobs First. In addition, the company is responsible for the release of 5,000 litres of toxic iron sulphate solution following an explosion at its UK facility in 2018.

Download detailed information on controversies (PDF, 111 KB)
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Overall rank
5 / 35
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Total score
20 / 48
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Product Portfolio
7 / 18
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Development of Safer Chemicals
4 / 12
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Management & Transparency
6 / 12
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Lack of Controversies
3 / 6
Download report
Other years
Year Rank Total score
2023 4 / 50 23 / 48
2022 3 / 54 24 / 48
2021 5 / 50 20 / 48
2020 5 / 35 20 / 48