Teijin’s ChemScore rating reveals a concerning trend as it experiences a significant drop, regressing in three key categories and declining from 15 points to 11 over the last two years. This places the company in the D+ category. Same as last year, Teijin’s portfolio contains one SIN List substance — which is a persistent chemical — in the EU and US markets. However, the company’s transparency remains limited, with less than a fifth of its sold production publicly disclosed.
Teijin demonstrates efforts to assess its products with a focus on water, energy, and emissions. While the company claims to manage chemicals of concern, there is a notable absence of a clear chemical management method that adequately takes intrinsic hazards into account. Teijin employs plant-based raw materials, yet it’s unclear whether these compete with food production. The company does engage in recycling fibres, although it does not provide a statement on the absence of hazardous chemicals. Furthermore, Teijin has experienced an increase in hazardous waste, contributing to its declining score.
Opportunities for improvement
- Map and phase out persistent chemicals
Teijin 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. Teijin 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.
- Increase transparency
Much is still unknown about Teijin’s production of hazardous chemicals. At least when it comes to public information. In order to allow a comprehensive global evaluation, Teijin should disclose the share of revenue and production volume of hazardous chemicals (or products that contain them). This information should cover all operations globally. This is particularly important since only 18% of the company’s sales are in the EU/US, where some degree of chemical transparency exists.
- Increase circularity
The chemical industry finds itself at the beginning of the value chain. Therefore, it has a responsibility to act fast against the ever-growing scarcity of our planet’s resources. But Teijin receives one point for circularity since we were unable to identify any circular products, processes or strategies. Nor did we see a decrease in hazardous waste or increased use of recycled hazard-free feedstock or biobased material. Teijin should start by identifying its current production and use of circular products and processes, and then specify the share of revenue that is derived from such products. The company should also develop and present a circularity strategy, including a commitment to increase the share of revenue derived from circular products.