Grade C-
ChemScore report card 2023

Lotte Chemical

Lotte Chemical Corporation manufactures a wide range of petrochemical products such as high-density polyethylene, polypropylene, and ethylene glycol. The company’s products are used in the manufacture of general housewares, pipes, films, fabrics, bottles, containers, and automotive parts. Lotte Chemical has almost 10,000 employees, of which about half are located in South Korea. The company has undergone acquisitions and mergers to expand its business, including the acquisition of Samsung's chemical businesses.
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Total score
15 / 48

Grade summary

Lotte Chemical has shown an upward trend and scores a C- in ChemScore this year, with only two other companies having increased their scores more. Notably, Lotte Chemical has significantly improved its reporting on chemical management and circular topics. Currently, the company produces zero SIN List substances and zero persistent chemicals, but only 14 per cent of its production is known.

Even though the company has a strategy for reducing the content of hazardous chemicals in products and developing alternative substances, it needs to define hazardous substances more clearly and commit to not introducing new products with harmful chemicals on the market. While the company markets eco-friendly products and has set targets for recycled plastic and hydrogen supply, there’s room for more detail in its claims of sustainable and circular initiatives. Mechanical recycling is mentioned in the company’s roadmap but no information is available regarding its use of mechanically recycled material.

How did we come to this score?

Opportunities for improvement 

  1. Market safer alternatives
    Lotte Chemical 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.
  1. Increase transparency
    Much is still unknown about Lotte Chemical‘s production of hazardous chemicals, as not much of it is publicly available. In order to allow a comprehensive global evaluation, Lotte Chemical 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 14 % of the company’s sales are in the EU/US, where some degree of chemical transparency exists.
  1. Publish design-out and phase-out strategies
    Lotte Chemical states that it conducts product hazard analysis starting with highly hazardous substances and develops products with improved safety. Also, its target to reduce environmentally hazardous substances by 50 per cent by 2030 is in place. A step further would be to publicly commit to design-out hazardous substances in newly developed products and phase-out in existing products with a clear timeline and progress reports.

Category breakdown

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Overall rank
21 / 50
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Total score
15 / 48
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Product Portfolio
3 / 18
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Development of Safer Chemicals
4 / 12
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Management & Transparency
5 / 12
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Lack of Controversies
3 / 6
Company facts
Seoul, South Korea
17.1 billion USD
Market capitalization
5 billion USD
Plastic & Rubber & Fibres
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