Sherwin-Williams has a relatively large production/use of hazardous chemicals and data tells us that it is producing/using 18 highly hazardous chemicals, including two persistent chemicals, which is on par with last year. The large production/use of very problematic…
Sherwin Williams produces/uses 18 highly hazardous substances – 18 SIN List chemicals, 1 PIC, and 3 HHPs – 6 of which are included on the EU’s REACH Candidate List. 2 of these highly hazardous substances are either banned or severely restricted, with set dates when production needs to cease (2 Authorisation List substances, and no POPs). The company produces 1 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.
Please note that there is no available data for the 9% of the company’s production that takes place outside of the EU and US. Lower EU/US production means higher uncertainty with regard to the total production of hazardous chemicals, which will have a negative impact on the company’s score in this category.
Sherwin-Williams has a method in place to screen and assess the sustainability of its products and includes the intrinsic hazards of ingredients in the screening process. It does not, however, exclude substances with toxic properties from its new products. Sherwin-Williams actively markets safer alternatives both on its own website as well as on ChemSec Marketplace. The company has at least one true circular product, process or innovation. Sherwin-Williams does not use biobased resources. However, it does source and treat recycled materials in a sustainable way, which is one of the key elements of a circular economy. Sherwin-Williams is actively reducing the hazardous waste it generates.
The American company does not produce only sustainable products, and has no phase-out strategy for hazardous substances that go beyond regulatory compliance. It shares chemical safety information on its website and is following a credible code of conduct standard. Sherwin-Williams responded to ChemSec’s attempts to communicate around its ChemScore ranking, but it does not share any information about what kind of chemicals it produces in regions with low regulatory demands for transparency (e.g. Asia). Sherwin-Williams does not have a circular economy program in place, thus lacking objective and measurable circular economy targets.