NOT CURRENT YEAR
Sasol scores two points more than last year, moving up from place 31 to 26 in the ChemScore ranking. The company produces or uses 18 hazardous substances, none of which are persistent. However, since only about 40 percent of the company’s revenue comes from EU or US markets, where information is available in public records, not much is known about the majority of the product portfolio. Sasol publishes Sustainability Good Stories and offers products eligible for ChemSec’s Marketplace and other independent third-party platforms, but doesn’t actively advertise outside its own channels. The company doesn’t offer any circular products or processes fulfilling the ChemScore criteria. It is using biobased materials, but we miss a statement from the company on the recycled material streams being free from hazardous chemicals. Sasol’s hazardous chemicals policy aims to minimize the hazard potential of products, but we would also like to see clear phase-out plans for specific substances.
Opportunities for improvement
- Hazardous portfolio
Scientists agree that chemical pollution has crossed a planetary boundary and become an urgent global problem. This threatens the stability of global ecosystems upon which humanity depends, by damaging the biological and physical processes that underpin all life. Since Sasol has 18 hazardous chemicals in its production portfolio, a paramount improvement point for the company is to reduce this number. Sasol should therefore make sure to identify all uses, and publish volumes and percentage of total revenue of its hazardous substances. It should also publish a reduction road map of each hazardous chemical and an annual progression report. If the company continues to produce any hazardous substances, it needs to present a rationale for its essential use, motivate the production volume, and state how much money it spends on research and development to find a safer alternative.
- Market safer alternatives
We did identify safer alternatives in Sasol’s product portfolio, but these are not marketed on any independent third-party platform. Therefore, they are hard to find for downstream users looking to substitute hazardous chemicals. A good place to market these is ChemSec’s Marketplace, where buyers and suppliers can find and market safer alternatives.
- Increase circularity
The chemical industry finds itself at the beginning of the value chain. Therefore, it has a responsibility to act fast and ambitiously against the ever-growing scarcity of our planet’s resources. Sasol only receives two out of eight points for circularity, since we were unable to identify any circular products, processes or strategies. Nor did we see any uses of recycled hazard-free feedstocks. For these reasons, it is important that Sasol starts with identifying its current production and use of circular products and processes, and then specifies how many percent of its total revenue comes from circular products. The company should also develop and present a strategy, which includes an activity plan, with clear indicators for how to expand the area of circular products and processes.