NOT CURRENT YEAR

Grade D+
ChemScore report card 2020

Lotte Chemical

Lotte Chemical Corporation manufactures a wide range of petrochemical products such as high-density polyethylene, polypropylene, and ethylene glycol. Lotte Chemical’s products are used in the manufacture of general housewares, pipes, films, fabrics, bottles, containers, and automotive parts. The company has almost 10,000 employees, of which about half are located in South Korea.
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Total score
9 / 48

Grade summary

Lotte Chemical does not produce any SIN List substances, nor does the company produce any substances officially recognised as chemicals of high concern by the EU. However, data is only available for 6% of the Seoul-based company’s production, as the rest takes place outside the EU and US. The company does not have a method in place to screen and assess the sustainability of its products nor does it have a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances. Lotte Chemical follows some voluntary standards of good conduct but has nonetheless been involved in a few environmental violations over the last ten years, including collusion with pollution reporting agencies to fudge and misreport air pollutant emissions.

Opportunities for improvement

  1. Add transparency to the hazardous product portfolio. We can only rank 6% of Lotte Chemical’s overall production since the rest takes place outside the EU and US. For other regions there are no reliable and publicly available sources for identifying producers of hazardous chemicals. Informing ChemSec of hazardous chemical production outside the EU and US could help raise the company’s score.
  2. The company should develop more safer alternatives. Although we identified some safer products, more should be developed and actively marketed.
  3. To prevent discharges of harmful chemicals by organising inspections and training is very important, but it’s not ambitious. Lotte Chemical should implement a screening method and a chemicals management strategy in its “Sustainability Management System” in order to understand the company’s toxic footprint.

Category breakdown

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Product Portfolio
1 / 18

Lotte Chemical does not produce any SIN List substances, nor does the company produce any chemicals present on the REACH Candidate List or the REACH Authorisation List. It does not produce any persistent chemicals either. However, no data is available for the 94% of the company’s production that takes place outside the EU and US.

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Development of Safer Chemicals
2 / 12

Lotte Chemical does not have a method in place to screen and assess the sustainability of its products and, therefore, does not investigate the intrinsic hazards of ingredients. The company does not make use of the GreenScreen assessment tool nor does it exclude substances with toxic properties from new products. The company does not follow the principles of green chemistry, but does actively market safer alternatives on its website.

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Management & Transparency
3 / 12

The Seoul-based company shares chemical safety information on its website but does not have a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances. Lotte Chemical is a member of Responsible Care and follows a Code of Conduct.

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Lack of Controversies
3 / 6

Lotte Chemical is one of the top three chemical giants, along with LG and Hanwah, that are under investigation for Korea’s Hazegate scandal of 2019 when the company was found to have colluded with pollution reporting agencies to fudge and misreport air pollutant emissions data. Two years earlier, the plant was issued a stop work order following two separate incidents involving a fire and an odour and surface oil sheen incident. Based on the company’s own information, the levels at its plant site in Malaysia are above the Observed Threshold Values due to the ongoing industrial activities.

Download detailed information on controversies (PDF, 106 KB)
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Overall rank
30 / 35
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Total score
9 / 48
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Product Portfolio
1 / 18
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Development of Safer Chemicals
2 / 12
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Management & Transparency
3 / 12
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Lack of Controversies
3 / 6
Download report
Other years
Year Rank Total score
2023 21 / 50 15 / 48
2022 43 / 54 9 / 48
2021 29 / 50 11 / 48
2020 30 / 35 9 / 48