NOT CURRENT YEAR
Shin-Etsu produces five SIN List substances (including two persistent chemicals), three of which are officially recognised as chemicals of high concern by the EU. However, data is available for less than one fifth of Shin-Etsu’s production, as the rest takes place outside the EU and US. 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. Shin-Etsu follows a couple of voluntary standards of good conduct and has not been involved in any major controversies or accidents over the last ten years.
Opportunities for improvement
- Phase out persistent chemicals from its product portfolio. Shin-Etsu currently has three substances in its product portfolio belonging to the group of chemicals dubbed “forever chemicals”. Financial impacts such as liability costs and loss of trust by investors can be severe due to the long-lasting impacts that persistent chemicals have on human health and the environment.
- Add transparency to the hazardous product portfolio. We can only rank a third of Shin-Etsu’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.
- Shin-Etsu scores very low when it comes to the development of safer chemicals. As a first step, the company should implement a screening method to assess the sustainability of its products, taking toxicity into account. The next step is to develop and offer safer alternatives.
Shin-Etsu Chemical produces five SIN List substances, three of which are included on the REACH Candidate List and one of which is also found on the REACH Authorisation List. The Japanese company produces two persistent chemicals. Persistent chemicals are particularly problematic since they do not break down, but instead accumulate in humans and/or the environment. Because of this, persistent chemicals should be of extra concern for investors. Substances which are not considered a problem today could become huge liabilities in the future.
Shin-Etsu Chemical 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 follow the principles of green chemistry or exclude substances with toxic properties from new products. The company does, however, actively market safer alternatives on its website.
The company shares chemical safety information on its website but does not have a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances. Shin-Etsu is a member of Responsible Care and follows a Code of Conduct.
Only one incident has been reported at the sites of Shin-Etsu Chemical. In February 2018, natural gas blew out abruptly from the company’s Naoetsu plant when excavation was taking place. No major damage or injuries were reported from the incident.Download detailed information on controversies (PDF, 103 KB)