NOT CURRENT YEAR
The Rotterdam-based company produces 53 SIN List substances (including one persistent chemical), with five of these 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, but not a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances. LyondellBasell is third on the list of the top 10 polluting companies in the world, according to a recently published index on air, water and greenhouse gas pollution.
Opportunities for improvement
- A sustainable circular economy needs products that can be safely recycled over and over again. This can only be achieved without hazardous ingredients. We therefore recommend that LyondellBasell acknowledges its responsibility and publicly announces a phase-out strategy that dramatically reduces both the volume and the number of hazardous chemicals that the company produces.
- With a long track record of accidents and spills, fine words in sustainability reports aren’t enough. LyondellBasell needs to put stricter chemicals management into practice.
- LyondellBasell states that “risks are assessed and managed at every stage of the product’s lifecycle”. However, it is unclear if intrinsic hazards play a part in this assessment. Moreover, LyondellBasell doesn’t market any safer alternatives. The company needs to develop sustainable and less-toxic products and show them publicly.
LyondellBasell produces 53 SIN List substances, five of which are included on the REACH Candidate List, with one of them also found on the REACH Authorisation List. The Dutch company produces one persistent chemical. Persistent chemicals are particularly problematic since they do not break down, but instead accumulate in humans and the environment. Because of this, persistent chemicals should be of extra concern for investors. Substances that are not considered a problem today could become huge liabilities in the future.
LyondellBasell has a method in place to screen and assess the sustainability of its products, however, it is unclear if an investigation of the intrinsic hazards of ingredients is included in the method. The company does not make use of the GreenScreen assessment tool, nor does it exclude substances with toxic properties from its new products. It does not follow the principles of green chemistry or market safer alternatives on its website either.
The Dutch company shares chemical safety information on its website but does not have a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances. LyondellBasell is a member of Responsible Care and follows a Code of Conduct.
LyondellBasell is third on the list of the top 10 polluting companies in the world, according to a 2019 index on air, water and greenhouse gas pollution by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts. A couple of years ago, the company’s Houston refinery endangered millions of citizens when it released over 50,000 pounds of volatile organic compounds in less than one and a half hours due to a leak. Between 2010 and 2019, LyondellBasell paid almost 165 million USD in penalties for 64 environmental violations according to the violation tracker project of Good Jobs First.Download detailed information on controversies (PDF, 116 KB)