Toray Industries has shown a fluctuating performance since 2020, but over the past two years, it has maintained a consistent track record with 14 points and a C- grade. Toray produces three SIN List substances but no persistent chemicals. However, there’s room for improvement in terms of transparency, as only a fifth of the company’s sold production is publicly known.
Toray indicates its commitment to managing Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs). Nevertheless, it remains unclear whether all intrinsic hazards are evaluated in its product stewardship process. The company expresses an intention to use “safer chemical substances,” yet there are no apparent design-out plans for harmful substances in new products. While Toray markets eco-friendly products, the company does not actively advertise safer alternatives on ChemSec’s Marketplace. Toray is involved in PET recycling, a positive step towards sustainability. However, a clear statement regarding the absence of hazardous chemicals in the recyclate is missing.
Opportunities for improvement
- 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 Toray has three hazardous chemicals in its product portfolio, a key improvement point for the company is to reduce this number. Toray 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
Toray 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.
- Increase transparency
Much is still unknown about Toray’s production of hazardous chemicals. At least when it comes to public information. In order to allow a comprehensive global evaluation, Toray 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 21% of the company’s sales are in the EU/US, where some degree of chemical transparency exists.