Sika lands a C- grade with 15 points, showing no significant improvement compared to last year. Sika’s portfolio contains 13 SIN List substances, marking an increase of two from the previous year. The company produces one persistent chemical. Roughly one-third of its sold production is registered in EU/US markets, impacting the company’s transparency score. Sika seems to consider substitution a strategic option but lacks clear communication regarding cut-off criteria in product design.
While the company does not advertise any sustainable products on Marketplace or other third-party platforms, the company does produce recycled concrete, which is a highly needed and potentially circular product/process. Information regarding the absence of hazardous chemicals in the product is, however, missing. On a positive note, Sika uses biobased resources derived from waste products that do not compete with food production, earning them a point.
Sika is the only European company to never have engaged with ChemSec regarding its ChemScore.
Opportunities for improvement
- Map and phase out persistent chemicals
Sika produces or uses at least one persistent chemical. These substances are known as “forever chemicals” due to the fact that they do not break down in nature. These chemicals — which are linked to many negative health effects — instead build up over time, creating consequences that are becoming increasingly detrimental. Not only for human health and the environment but also for investors. Companies reliant on such chemicals risk stranded assets now that the regulatory speed is accelerating. They are also exposed to significant liability risks since more chemical companies are being sued for contamination and bodily injury. Sika should therefore identify all uses, as well as publish the share of revenue and production volume of persistent chemicals (or products that contain them). The company should publish a time-bound phase-out plan for each persistent chemical and a realistic road map with clear KPIs to track progress.
- Reduce hazardous portfolio
Scientists agree that chemical pollution has crossed a planetary boundary and become an urgent global crisis, threatening both ecosystems and human health. Since Sika has 13 hazardous chemicals in its product portfolio, a key improvement point for the company is to reduce this number. Sika should therefore identify all uses, as well as publish the share of revenue and production volume of hazardous chemicals (or products that contain them). It should also publish a reduction road map of each hazardous chemical together with an annual progression report. Ideally, the company should commit to having a toxic-free product portfolio within the next decade. If the company decides to continue producing a hazardous substance, it needs to present a rationale for its essential use and prove that no feasible alternatives are available at present. In such a case, the company should also state the share of the R&D budget spent on finding a safer alternative for that particular substance.
- Market safer alternatives
Sika does not have any safer alternatives evaluated by independent third parties in its product portfolio. Safer alternatives replace the use of hazardous substances and are crucial in order to put an end to chemical pollution. The company should, therefore, start producing safer alternatives or market existing ones on an independent third-party platform. A good place to advertise is ChemSec’s Marketplace, where buyers and suppliers can find and market safer alternatives.