IHS Chemical Week


The Chemical Industry and Carbon Intensity

9:16 AM MDT | June 12, 2009 | By VINCENT VALK

Among the many interesting bits in a recent report by Trucost and the IRRC Institute about carbon risk for S&P 500 companies was some data on the carbon intensity of chemical companies. Unsurprisingly, considering the kind of manufacturing chemical makers engage in, the industry is quite carbon-intensive. The thirteen chemical companies in the S&P 500 have the seventh-highest total emissions, but are third in carbon intensity, after only the utilities and basic resources sectors.

The report divided the S&P 500 into quintiles based on carbon intensity, ranked from first to fifth, where the first quintile is the least-intensive and the fifth the most-intensive. The first quintile is dominated by financial services and software companies, the fifth, utilities, energy, and chemical companies. Here's a list of the chemical makers I spotted in each quintile – as you can see, most are in the fifth, and none higher than the third:

Fifth quintile (most intensive):
3M Company
CF Industries
Dow Chemical
PPG Industries
Rohm & Haas
Eastman Chemical

Fourth quintile (second most intensive):

Third quintile (middle):
Sherwin Williams

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