NOT CURRENT YEAR

Grade D+
ChemScore report card 2020

Sumitomo Chemical

As a major Japanese chemical company, Sumitomo Chemical Company specialises in basic chemicals, petrochemicals, and fine chemicals such as photo-resists, pharmaceutical intermediates and agrochemicals. The Tokyo-based chemical company is a member of the Sumitomo Group and operates manufacturing plants and sales offices worldwide.
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Total score
12 / 48

Grade summary

Sumitomo Chemical Company produces two SIN List substances, but none of them are officially recognised as chemicals of high concern by the EU. However, data is only available for one fifth of the company’s production, as the rest takes place outside of the EU and US. Sumitomo Chemical 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. A couple of incidents have taken place at the company’s facilities over the last ten years, however, no injuries or environmental damage have been reported.

Opportunities for improvement

  1. Add transparency to the hazardous product portfolio. We can only rank one fifth of Sumitomo Chemical’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 of the EU and US could help raise the company’s score.
  2. “Sumika Sustainable Solutions” are products developed to reduce environmental impact. However, the toxicity of ingredients doesn’t seem to play a role in this. We encourage Sumitomo Chemical to implement a thorough screening of its hazardous product ingredients and use “minimisation of hazardous ingredients” in its KPIs for Sumika Sustainable Solutions.
  3. Develop and market more Sumika Sustainable Solutions that minimise the use of hazardous substances.

Category breakdown

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Product Portfolio
3 / 18

Sumitomo Chemical Company produces two SIN List substances, which are not present on the REACH Candidate List or the REACH Authorisation List. The company does not produce any persistent chemicals. However, data is only available for one fifth of Sumitomo Chemical Company’s production, as the rest takes place outside the EU/US.

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Development of Safer Chemicals
2 / 12

Sumitomo Chemical Company 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.

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Management & Transparency
4 / 12

The Japanese company shares chemical safety information on its website but does not have a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances. Sumitomo Chemical Company is a member of Responsible Care and follows voluntary standards such as a Code of Conduct and a Supplier Code of Conduct.

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Lack of Controversies
3 / 6

Several fires have been reported at the Sumitomo Chemical Company’s facilities. Although no injuries or environmental damage were reported, storage facilities containing hazardous waste were burned. After a fire incident in 2014, it was revealed that storage facilities were violating municipal regulations by storing too large an amount of hazardous substances. Four years earlier, another fire occurred at the same plant, damaging an area of at least 2,000 square metres.

Download detailed information on controversies (PDF, 111 KB)
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Overall rank
24 / 35
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Total score
12 / 48
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Product Portfolio
3 / 18
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Development of Safer Chemicals
2 / 12
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Management & Transparency
4 / 12
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Lack of Controversies
3 / 6
Download report
Other years
Year Rank Total score
2023 49 / 50 7 / 48
2022 48 / 54 7 / 48
2021 16 / 50 16 / 48
2020 24 / 35 12 / 48