NOT CURRENT YEAR
Wanhua Chemical Group ends up in the bottom five in this year’s ChemScore ranking as well, despite scoring three points more than it did in 2021. Just like last year, the 16 hazardous substances that the company produces is a big reason for the poor score. Another is the fact that only a quarter of the company’s sold production — which mainly takes place outside of the EU and US — is known. Wanhua has been encouraged to share information about its production, but has declined to do so. The company scores zero points also in the final category due to a lethal accident in 2016, which killed four people. On the positive side, however, Wanhua outperforms its plastic-producing peers at the bottom of the ranking due to the fact that it assesses the sustainability (including intrinsic hazards) of its product portfolio.
Opportunities for improvement
- Reduce hazardous portfolio
Scientists agree that chemical pollution has crossed a planetary boundary and become an urgent global problem. This threatens the stability of global ecosystems upon which humanity depends. Since Wanhua has 16 hazardous chemicals in its production portfolio, a paramount improvement point for the company is to reduce this number. Wanhua should therefore make sure to identify all uses, and publish volumes and percentage of total revenue of its hazardous substances. It should also publish a reduction road map of each hazardous chemical and an annual progression report. If the company continues to produce any hazardous substances, it needs to present a rationale for its essential use, motivate the production volume, and state how much money it spends on research and development to find a safer alternative.
- Increase transparency
Not much is known about Wanhua’s production of hazardous chemicals. We have requested that the company disclose information about its chemicals management, but Wanhua has not responded to that request. In order to be more transparent, Wanhua should disclose the full list of hazardous chemicals that it produces, including the volume of each of these chemicals as well as its percentage of the total revenue. It would also be wise to specify which chemicals are intended for end products and for intermediate use. Generally speaking, information about chemicals sold in EU and US markets is available through public records, which is not the case in other parts of the world. For that reason, Wanhua should make the details of its revenue generated outside of these regions public to ensure chemical transparency and allow for a comprehensive global evaluation.
- Increase circularity
The chemical industry finds itself at the beginning of the value chain. Therefore, it has a responsibility to act fast and ambitiously against the ever-growing scarcity of our planet’s resources. But Wanhua receives zero points for circularity, since we were unable to identify any circular products, processes or strategies in the company business. Nor did we see a decrease in hazardous waste or commenced/increased use of recycled hazard-free feedstock or biobased material. For these reasons, it is important that Wanhua starts with identifying its current production and use of circular products and processes and then specifies how many percent of its total revenue comes from circular products. Wanhua should also develop and present a strategy, which includes an activity plan, with clear indicators for how to expand the area of circular products and processes.