ChemScore, our ranking of the world’s top 50 chemical producers on their work to reduce their chemical footprint, is gaining both speed and attention.
– I’m pleased to see that ChemScore is so relevant for the companies, Sonja Haider, senior business and investors advisor at ChemSec, says. We are closing an information gap for the investors regarding how companies perform in this area.
ChemScore was introduced in 2020. During the first year, we ranked 35 companies, and out of them got 19 responses.
– In 2021, we ranked 50 companies and received reactions from 26 of them, Sonja Haider says. This shows that ChemScore is relevant and that many companies on the list are genuinely interested in understanding what we are aiming for.
ChemScore ranks the 50 largest global stock exchange-listed chemical companies based on their 2020 revenue. The ranking is made in four categories; product portfolio, development of safer chemicals, management & transparency, and lack of controversies.
– As the ranking goes into its third year, we have stepped into in-depth discussions with high-level company representatives of more than ten companies, Sonja Haider explains. Some responses have been generic, but we have also gotten some very detailed reflections on questions and criteria, including naming some challenges the companies face.
Some examples of questions that have come up:
Lanxess told us about the company’s phase-out of hazardous substances, which weren’t reflected in ChemScore because the American authorities did not update US data. Lanxess published a statement on its website to list the substances that the company no longer produce.
AkzoNobel has split into two companies, where Nouryon now produces some hazardous substances. However, this had not yet been reflected in the chemical data we obtained from the US Chemical Data Reporting registry. This data is only updated every four years – not like the European database at ECHA with its continuous updates.
– The US update should have been done already in spring 2021. We are still waiting for the data but are hopeful to include the new version in ChemScore 2022 and change the ranking for AkzoNobel and Lanxess accordingly, Sonja Haider says.
Solvay explained the company’s circular concepts to us, where it works with the whole value chain like Renault and Veolia to tackle the issue of EV batteries and recycle the metals in a closed loop.
– We do believe that this type of cooperation is needed for the circular economy, Sonja Haider says. For rewarding points, we need to understand the impact and role of Solvay, which appears as a technology enabler to close the loop of circularity. In our dialogue, we also learned to understand Solvay’s phase-out plans, and we are confident that it will improve its ranking in the following assessment.
Since the very beginning, companies on the list have been curious about the criteria for the ranking.
– Several companies have been very active, asking us for clarifications and wondering what they need to do to change their score, Sonja Haider says. They are keen on showing their sustainability work, and they want it to be reflected in the ranking.
The work with ChemScore is ongoing, and the new ranking for 2022 will be presented this fall. Sonja Haider encourages companies to contact ChemSec for any clarifications or questions they might have.
– We are happy to learn about the practical challenges, the motivation, and strategies for working towards corporate sustainability, she says. And we believe that our critical, external eye delivers added value for the companies and allows them to compare and use best practices.