NOT CURRENT YEAR

Grade C
ChemScore report card 2021

Toray Industries

Headquartered in Japan, Toray Industries manufactures chemical products such as polyester films, engineering plastics, and resin materials using organic synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry and biotechnology as its core technologies. The company also makes yarns, synthetic fibres, and man-made leather used in apparel and industrial materials. It also develops IT equipment, such as electronic circuits and liquid crystal colour filters.
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Total score
18 / 48

Grade summary

Second only to Lyondell Basell, Toray Industries has made the highest climb in the ChemScore ranking this year. This dramatic upward turn is due to the company’s newly adopted circular efforts, active marketing of safer alternatives, and work to screen and assess intrinsic hazards of ingredients. The company is up 6 points, have gone from a D+ to a C, and is now ranked 6 instead of 20. However, there is still no available data for the 83 percent of Toray’s production that takes place outside of the EU and US, leaving the company that “only” produces 3 hazardous substances with just 2 points in the first category. This low transparency is a big issue for investors, as it makes it hard to do a proper evaluation of the risks connected to the product portfolio. On a positive note, there is no record of Toray being involved in any major controversies, rendering the company all 6 points in the last category.

How did we come to this score?

Opportunities for improvement

  1. Toray is one of the companies that are progressing, scoring 6 points higher than last year. On its website, the company states: “Toray is putting a great deal of energy into expanding its green innovation business in order to lessen the environmental burden of products’ entire lifecycle.” The ChemScore ranking confirms the company’s sustainable agenda. If it becomes more transparent on if and how intrinsic hazards are assessed and hazardous ingredients are designed-out from new products, we would be even happier.
  2. The company embeds circularity in its strategy through various technologies and products, and receives 5 out of 8 circularity points. We would like to see more tangible and specific SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) targets, and Toray’s vision “sustainably managed resources by 2050” should be more ambitious.
  3. We can only rank 17 percent of Toray’s overall production, since the rest takes place outside the EU and US, where there are no reliable and publicly available sources for identifying producers of hazardous chemicals. Informing ChemSec about hazardous chemical production outside the EU and US could raise the company’s score considerably.

Category breakdown

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Product Portfolio
2 / 18

Toray produces/uses 3 highly hazardous substances – 3 SIN List chemicals (no PICs and no HHPs). 2 of these chemicals are included on the EU’s REACH Candidate List. None of these highly hazardous substances is banned or severely restricted (no Authorisation List substances, and no POPs). The company produces no persistent chemicals.

Please note that there is no available data for the 83 percent of the company’s production that takes place outside of the EU and US. Lower EU/US production means higher uncertainty with regard to the total production of hazardous chemicals, which will have a negative impact on the company’s score in this category.

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Development of Safer Chemicals
7 / 12

Toray Industries has a method in place to screen and assess the sustainability of its products, but does not include the intrinsic hazards of ingredients in the screening process. Nor does it exclude substances with toxic properties from its new products. Toray Industries actively markets safer alternatives both on its own website as well as on ChemSec Marketplace. The company has at least one true circular product, process or innovation. Toray Industries uses biobased resources without occupying extra land or competing with food production. It also sources and treats recycled materials in a sustainable way, which is one of the key elements of a circular economy. However, Toray Industries is not actively reducing the hazardous waste it generates.

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Management & Transparency
3 / 12

The Japanese company does not produce only sustainable products, and has no phase-out strategy for hazardous substances that go beyond regulatory compliance. It does share chemical safety information on its website and is following a credible code of conduct standard. Toray Industries did not respond to ChemSec’s attempts to communicate around its ChemScore ranking and it does not share any information about what kind of chemicals it produces in regions with low regulatory demands for transparency (e.g. Asia). Toray Industries does have a circular economy program in place, but it is lacking objective and measurable circular economy targets.

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Lack of Controversies
6 / 6

In 2017, it was revealed that a Toray Industries subsidiary (Toray Hybrid Cord, Inc) had been falsifying the data from its product tests for eight years. The company manipulated 149 numbers against 13 client companies. Toray Industries disclosed the information, but only after it was leaked online. According to the company’s CSR report for 2018, there was one incident of chemical liquids leaking out of its factory into the environment, polluting the water.

Download Controversies Toray Industries (PDF, 104 KB)
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Overall rank
6 / 50
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Total score
18 / 48
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Product Portfolio
2 / 18
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Development of Safer Chemicals
7 / 12
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Management & Transparency
3 / 12
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Lack of Controversies
6 / 6
Download report
Other years
Year Rank Total score
2023 24 / 50 14 / 48
2022 22 / 54 14 / 48
2021 6 / 50 18 / 48
2020 25 / 35 12 / 48