Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


chemicals sector is slow to act

June 2006

The world’s largest chemical companies are making only limited progress on managing safety and sustainability risks, according to a study by Ethical Investment Research Services.

Eiris found that although most of the seven large global chemical producers it analyzed had taken ‘some initial steps’ to address chemical product safety and sustainability concerns, only two – Akzo Nobel (Netherlands) and ICI (UK) – had undertaken to phase out chemicals of concern where feasible, or to avoid them in new products.

Eiris executive director Peter Webster said the findings showed that the industry was ‘not yet fully prepared for the challenge of phasing dangerous chemicals out of the environment’ – a task given added urgency as the European Union prepares to implement the so-called Reach framework, which regulates the use of chemicals in products.

In addition to Akzo Nobel and ICI, Eiris analyzed Ciba (Switzerland), Clariant (Switzerland), Dainippon (Japan), Lanxess (Germany) and Solvay (Belgium).

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