DuPont hides its chemical production behind confidentiality
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DuPont hides its chemical production behind confidentiality

DuPont isn’t the only chemical company infamous for its legal somersaults in dodging responsibility and clouding the facts about its hazardous substances. But the company’s latest move is unprecedented: claiming confidentiality for its entire US product portfolio.

Chemical company DuPont (US) has removed all details of its portfolio from public view in the US, meaning it is now impossible to assess what kind of chemicals the company produces.

The company has not explained its reasons other than claiming there is a legal possibility to claim confidentiality under US chemicals law. Still, there is speculation that it is because of the rise in litigation relating to PFAS.

It is only possible to do this in the US, as it is much harder for companies to claim confidentiality in EU markets due to stricter regulations within EU REACH legislation. In other regions, for example Asia, there are no legal requirements at all to disclose what kind of chemicals you produce.

What are investors investing in?
DuPont’s move is drastic compared to other chemical companies in ChemSec’s annual sustainability ranking of the chemical industry: ChemScore.

“DuPont now sits at the very last place in the ChemScore ranking”

Never in the three-year history of ChemScore has any company been so reluctant to share its hazardous portfolio information as the US-based chemical producer.

The move also resulted in yet another, never seen before debut in the ranking: the first ever F grade given to a company. DuPont now sits at the very last place in the ChemScore ranking.

So, where does DuPont go from here? The overshadowing recommendation from ChemSec continues to be: Increase transparency.

Production transparency is crucial when identifying and phasing out hazardous substances. It goes without saying that you can’t solve what you don’t know. For the leading target group of the ChemScore ranking – institutional investors placing funds with chemical companies – the lack of knowledge regarding the product portfolio is troublesome.

“DuPont now sits at the very last place in the ChemScore ranking”

North American trends
DuPont is not the only US-based chemical company ranking poorly in ChemScore. With an average score of just 12.6 points (out of 48), North American companies have gone backwards this year.

Despite every company, except Mosaic, actively engaging with ChemScore, eight of the twelve US companies are in the bottom half of the table.

The companies diverting from this worrying trend are the regional leader Air Products, whose 25.6 score puts it second in the global rankings. It is followed by Avery Dennison (8th) with 20, and Canada’s Nutrien (13th) with 16.6 points.