Grade D
ChemScore report card 2023


Westlake Corporation is an international manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers and fabricated building products. The company serves a variety of different sectors such as the agricultural, food, construction, automotive and electronics industries. The Houston-based company is the largest producer of low-density polyethylene in the US and operates in two segments — olefins and vinyls.
Category icon
Total score
8 / 48

Grade summary

Westlake’s performance has seen a decline over the past year, shifting from 14 points to 8 points and a D grade. This significant decrease is notable, with points diminishing in three categories. The company’s portfolio now includes 19 SIN List substances (including one persistent chemical), marking an increase of seven compared to last year. With a quarter of its sold production outside the EU and US markets, the company’s transparency score is affected.

In Category 2, there’s room for improvement regarding the methodological assessment of intrinsic hazards for their full portfolio. The company mentions some examples, but it’s crucial to provide a comprehensive assessment. While Westlake states that reducing Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) is a goal, a clear public commitment to designing out SVHCs in new product development is needed. Although the company has expanded its sustainable product portfolio through acquisitions, they do not advertise safer alternatives on ChemSec’s Marketplace or any other third-party platform. Westlake currently lacks specific circular products and has seen an increase in hazardous waste.

How did we come to this score?

Opportunities for improvement

  1. Map and phase out persistent chemicals
    Westlake 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. Westlake 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.
  1. 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 Westlake has 19 hazardous chemicals in its product portfolio, a key improvement point for the company is to reduce this number. Westlake 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.
  1. Market safer alternatives
    Westlake 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.

Category breakdown

Categories diagram
Category icon
Overall rank
45 / 50
Category icon
Total score
8 / 48
Category icon
Product Portfolio
3 / 18
Category icon
Development of Safer Chemicals
3 / 12
Category icon
Management & Transparency
2 / 12
Category icon
Lack of Controversies
0 / 6
Company facts
Houston, USA
15.8 billion USD
Market capitalization
13.1 billion USD
Plastic & Rubber & Fibres
Download report
Download hazardous substances
Other years
Year Rank Total score
2023 45 / 50 8 / 48
2022 20 / 54 14 / 48
2021 23 / 50 13 / 48