Over time, Johnson Matthey shows a slight upward trend in the ranking and receives a C+ score in ChemScore 2023. Johnson Matthey produces nine SIN List substances and no persistent chemicals. 64 per cent of the production is disclosed. The chemical management of the company includes life-cycle and risk assessments but lacks clear commitments for not having hazardous chemicals in new products.
Johnson Matthey offers safer alternatives and recycling services, but statements regarding the absence of hazardous chemicals are missing. About five per cent of sales come from products that contain or are made with hazardous chemicals. The company has a code of conduct but does not disclose a global hazardous chemicals portfolio. Johnson Matthey has goals for reducing hazardous waste and increasing recycling by 2030 but would receive even more points for more ambitious targets.
Opportunities for improvement
- 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 Johnson Matthey has nine hazardous chemicals in its product portfolio, a key improvement point for the company is to reduce this number. Johnson Matthey 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.
- Increase transparency
In order to allow a comprehensive global evaluation, Johnson Matthey should disclose the share of revenue and production volume of hazardous chemicals (or products that contain them). This information should cover all operations globally. This is particularly important since only 64 per cent of the company’s sales are in the EU/US, where some degree of chemical transparency exists.
- Market safer alternatives
Johnson Matthey 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.