NOT CURRENT YEAR
For the second year, Showa-Denko gets ten points in the ChemScore ranking. In other words, the company has not made any progress since last year. Even though 93 percent of its chemical production is unknown to us since it takes place outside of Europe and the United States, we were still able to find a high number of harmful chemicals in its product portfolio. The company produces 16 hazardous substances, including two persistent ones. Needless to say, the company receives zero points in the first category. Showa-Denko does not have a phase-out strategy for hazardous chemicals nor does it market any sustainable product lines. The company receives zero circularity points since no relevant policies or statements could be found. Showa-Denko gets full points in the last category since the company has not been linked to any major controversies.
Opportunities for improvement
- Map and phase out persistent chemicals
Showa-Denko produces two persistent chemicals. These substances are also known as “forever chemicals” due to the fact that they do not break down in nature. Instead, these chemicals — which are linked to many negative health effects — build up over time. The consequences of these substances are becoming increasingly detrimental, not only for human health and the environment but also for investors. Investors risk stranded assets now that the regulatory speed is accelerating, and are also exposed to significant liability risks since more chemical companies are being sued for contamination. Showa-Denko should therefore make sure to identify all uses, and publish volumes and percentage of total revenue of its persistent substances. The company should also publish a time-bound phase-out plan for each persistent chemical and an annual progression report to go with it.
Reduce 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 Showa-Denko has 16 hazardous chemicals in its production portfolio, a paramount improvement point for the company is to reduce this number. Showa-Denko should therefore make sure to identify all uses, and publish volumes and percentage of the 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.
- Increase transparency
Only seven percent of Showa-Denko’s production of hazardous chemicals is known. We have requested that the company disclose information about its chemicals management, but the company has not responded to that request. In order to be more transparent, the company should disclose the full list of hazardous chemicals that it produces, including the volume of each of these chemicals as well as its percentage of the total revenue. It would also be wise to specify which chemicals are intended for end products and for intermediate use. Generally speaking, information about chemicals sold in EU and US markets is available through public records, which is not the case in other parts of the world. For that reason, Showa-Denko should make the details of its revenue generated outside of these regions public to ensure chemical transparency and allow for a comprehensive global evaluation.