NOT CURRENT YEAR

Grade D
ChemScore report card 2020

Sasol

Sasol is an integrated chemicals and energy company that produces oil and chemical products. Based in South Africa, but operating in 32 countries, the company offers products such as automotive lubricants, greases, cleansers, fuels, polymers, and specialty gases.
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Total score
6 / 48

Grade summary

Sasol produces 17 SIN List substances, four of which are officially recognised as chemicals of high concern by the EU. 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. Sasol follows several voluntary standards of good conduct, but has nonetheless been involved in a couple of environmental violations over the last ten years, including severe air pollution in the region of Sasolburg, South Africa where the company operates an oil refinery.

Opportunities for improvement

  1. Sasol has the second lowest score in the entire ChemScore ranking. A first step to improve a company’s chemicals management is to gain an overview of where and how much hazardous chemicals are being used. The company should, therefore, implement a screening method to increase knowledge of the company’s production and use of hazardous chemicals.
  2. Add transparency to the hazardous product portfolio. We can only rank 37% of Sasol’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.
  3. Sasol’s perspective of managing exposure risks rather than the intrinsic hazards of chemicals is, unfortunately, still common in the chemical industry. Nevertheless, frontrunners are nowadays committing to timed phase-out plans. Africa’s biggest chemical company should follow this trend and communicate its efforts to reduce the production of hazardous chemicals in a clear and transparent way.

Category breakdown

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Product Portfolio
2 / 18

Sasol produces 17 SIN List substances, four of which are included on the REACH Candidate List but not on the REACH Authorisation List. The company does not produce any persistent chemicals.

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Development of Safer Chemicals
0 / 12

Sasol 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. It does not follow the principles of green chemistry or market safer alternatives on its website either.

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Management & Transparency
4 / 12

The South African company shares chemical safety information on its website but does not have a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances. Sasol is a member of Responsible Care and follows voluntary standards such as a Code of Conduct and a Supplier Code of Conduct.

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Lack of Controversies
0 / 6

In June 2019, environmental groups sued the South African government over its failure to crack down on Sasol refineries and Eskom power plants for causing severe air pollution in the region. Sasolburg, where Sasol operates an oil refinery, frequently has poorer air quality than Beijing and Jakarta, two of the world’s most polluted cities according to AirVisual, an app that gives data on global air pollution levels. Between 2010 and 2019, Sasol and its subsidiaries paid over 8 million USD in penalties for six environmental violations according to the violation tracker project of Good Jobs First.

Download detailed information on controversies (PDF, 115 KB)
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Overall rank
34 / 35
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Total score
6 / 48
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Product Portfolio
2 / 18
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Development of Safer Chemicals
0 / 12
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Management & Transparency
4 / 12
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Lack of Controversies
0 / 6
Download report
Other years
Year Rank Total score
2023 14 / 50 17 / 48
2022 26 / 54 13 / 48
2021 31 / 50 11 / 48
2020 34 / 35 6 / 48