Nitto Denko scores a D+ in ChemScore 2023. The company does not produce any SIN List substances or persistent chemicals, but only 10 per cent of its global production is known. Nitto Denko claims to reduce risk by decreasing chemical substance use and developing alternative technologies, but the company lacks clear cut-off criteria for harmful chemicals in newly developed products.
It has a range of eco-friendly products but does not advertise any of them on third-party platforms, such as ChemSec’s Marketplace. The company offers circular products but is missing a statement confirming the absence of hazardous chemicals. Nitto Denko appears to use biobased materials, but there is no mention of whether these materials are sourced without competing with food production or land use. The company has many commendable statements and ambitions but lacks KPIs and clear SMART targets.
Opportunities for improvement
- Market safer alternatives
Nitto Denko 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.
- Increase transparency
Much is still unknown about Nitto Denko‘s production of hazardous chemicals. At least when it comes to public information. In order to allow a comprehensive global evaluation, Nitto Denko 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 10 per cent of the company’s sales are in the EU/US, where some degree of chemical transparency exists.
- Increase circularity
The chemical industry finds itself at the beginning of the value chain. Therefore, it has a responsibility to act fast against the ever-growing scarcity of our planet’s resources. But Nitto Denko receives one point for circularity since we were unable to identify any circular products, processes or strategies. Nor did we see a decrease in hazardous waste or increased use of recycled hazard-free feedstock or biobased material. Nitto Denko should start by identifying its current production and use of circular products and processes, and then specify the share of revenue that is derived from such products. The company should also develop and present a circularity strategy, including a commitment to increase the share of revenue derived from circular products.