NOT CURRENT YEAR

Grade C+
ChemScore report card 2022

Johnson Matthey

Johnson Matthey is a British multinational with sites and locations in more than 30 countries around the world. It was founded in 1817 and has its headquarters in London, UK. The company is engaged with clean air, catalyst and hydrogen technology. Its offers include products and processing services for the use and transformation of oil, gas, biomass, and metals.
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Total score
24 / 48

Grade summary

Johnson Matthey scores four points more than last year, moving up from fifth to third place in the ranking. While the company’s ChemScore has increased, the number of times the word “sustainability” is mentioned in its annual report has decreased – from 200 to 166. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the amount of hazardous waste generated by Johnson Matthey has gone up, even though the company’s portfolio has gone from 12 to 10 hazardous chemicals. Johnson Matthey’s solidified position in the ChemScore ranking is due to its increased circularity efforts; the company is now the world’s largest recycler of platinum group metals. It also performs product life cycle analyses, including hazard assessments, to demonstrate the environmental benefits of its products. However, Johnson Matthey still lacks a clear and timed strategy for phasing out hazardous chemicals, and doesn’t advertise its safer alternatives on independent third-party platforms, such as ChemSec’s Marketplace.

How did we come to this score?

Opportunities for improvement

  1. Hazardous portfolio
    Scientists agree that chemical pollution has crossed a planetary boundary and become an urgent global problem. This threatens the stability of global ecosystems upon which humanity depends, by damaging the biological and physical processes that underpin all life. Since Johnson Matthey has ten hazardous chemicals in its production portfolio (two less than last year), a paramount improvement point for the company is to reduce this number. Johnson Matthey should therefore make sure to identify all uses, and publish volumes and percentage of total revenue of its hazardous substances. The company should also publish a reduction road map of each hazardous chemical and an annual progression report. If Johnson Matthey continues to produce any hazardous substances, it needs to present a rationale for its essential use, motivate the production volume and state how much money it spends on research and development to find a safer alternative.
  2. Marketing of safer alternatives
    Johnson Matthey either does not have or does not market any safer alternatives in its portfolio. Safer alternatives replace the use of hazardous substances and are important to put an end to chemical pollution. The company should, therefore, start producing safer alternatives or market existing ones. A good place to market these is ChemSec’s Marketplace where buyers and suppliers can find and market safer alternatives.
  3. Increase transparency for the entire product portfolio
    A large part, 64 percent, of Johnson Matthey’s revenue comes from EU or US markets, where information is available in public records. However, nothing is known about the company’s portfolio outside of these markets. Johnson Matthey should follow the example of companies like Eastman and Lanxess, and make a public statement that it does not use or produce any hazardous chemicals outside of the EU and the US, or state which these additional chemicals are.

Category breakdown

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Product Portfolio
6 / 18
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Development of Safer Chemicals
7 / 12
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Management & Transparency
5 / 12
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Lack of Controversies
6 / 6
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Overall rank
3 / 54
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Total score
24 / 48
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Product Portfolio
6 / 18
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Development of Safer Chemicals
7 / 12
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Management & Transparency
5 / 12
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Lack of Controversies
6 / 6
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Controversies
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