Resonac (formerly Showa Denko) maintains its D+ grade with 10 points, showing no notable progress over the last three years. The company’s portfolio contains 17 SIN List substances, marking an increase of one from the previous year. Four of these are persistent chemicals, which is an increase of two from the previous assessment. Transparency is severely limited, with only nine per cent of the sold production documented in EU/US markets.
Resonac conducts chemical substance risk assessments, but lacks a stringent hazard-based commitment to refrain from developing new products containing harmful substances. While the company describes some eco-friendly production processes, no specific product category could be found. Furthermore, Resonac fails to demonstrate any reduction in hazardous waste.
The company demonstrates some recycling processes and offers a generic description of its contributions to a circular economy. However, Resonac lacks a dedicated internal circular policy and clear targets and indicators for measuring its success.
Opportunities for improvement
- Map and phase out persistent chemicals
Resonac produces or uses at least four persistent chemicals. These substances are known as “forever chemicals” due to the fact that they do not break down in nature. These chemicals — which are linked to many negative health effects — instead build up over time, creating consequences that are becoming increasingly detrimental. Not only for human health and the environment but also for investors. Companies reliant on such chemicals risk stranded assets now that the regulatory speed is accelerating. They are also exposed to significant liability risks since more chemical companies are being sued for contamination and bodily injury. Resonac should therefore identify all uses, as well as publish the share of revenue and production volume of persistent chemicals (or products that contain them). The company should publish a time-bound phase-out plan for each persistent chemical and a realistic road map with clear KPIs to track progress.
- 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 Resonac has 17 hazardous chemicals in its product portfolio, a key improvement point for the company is to reduce this number. Resonac 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.
- Market safer alternatives
Resonac 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.