Photo of Manufacturing at Raytheon Missile Systems
Manufacturing at Raytheon Missile Systems

Many of our stakeholders around the world — including government agencies, customers and supply chain partners — continue to identify materials and substances that may be considered “materials of concern” based on health, safety and/or environmental concerns. In addition, several international regulations — including the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation in the European Union — require manufacturers and importers to report substances in their products, including parts that were furnished from suppliers. For many years, our engineers have worked closely with stakeholders and academia to research safer alternatives that eliminate such materials of concern from Raytheon’s products and processes.



We integrate sustainability into our engineering processes by designing and building our products with sustainable materials and by minimizing materials of concern that pose health, safety or environmental risks. Along with the Department of Defense, government agencies and international organizations, we’re especially focused on reducing the use of two toxic materials — cadmium and hexavalent chromium.

Partnering with Customers, Universities and Suppliers on Alternatives

For the past several years, Raytheon has worked closely with universities, suppliers and third-party organizations to develop, qualify and standardize cadmium-free and hexavalent chromium-free alternatives. This is a challenging task given the harsh environments where many of our aerospace and defense products operate, and the high performance standards required.

Eliminating Cadmium and Hexavalent Chromium

Cadmium effectively protects components from corrosion, conducts electricity and improves durability. As such, it is used in a large number of aerospace and defense products, systems and parts. These include the surfaces of the lightweight connectors Raytheon uses in many designs.

Hexavalent chromium inhibits corrosion on metal surfaces and is commonly used in chromate conversion coatings on aluminum, zinc and cadmium. It is also added to certain paints and sealants to protect against corrosion.

Most new military contracts restrict or control the use of cadmium and hexavalent chromium compounds. Over the last several years we have made significant progress implementing alternatives, and are working closely with research partners and suppliers to develop new alternatives. As of year-end 2018, 97.5 percent of the materials and parts in Raytheon’s standard parts/materials list are free of cadmium and hexavalent chromium.

Understanding the Substances in Our Products

In 2018, we achieved a significant milestone in our Product Material Content system — the system we use to collect and analyze data on the chemical composition of all parts and materials across our product portfolio. By the end of 2018, we obtained full chemical substance information on 84 percent of the parts and materials in the system. The information is needed to comply with increasingly complex and varied global environmental regulations. With this degree of insight into the composition of our products, we can provide more transparent and detailed compliance reporting and more precisely manage our materials of concern.

Raytheon has taken a leading role in industrywide collaborations to collect and share detailed composition data. In concert with both the International Aerospace Environmental Group and IPC, a trade association of the electronics industry, we are establishing data standards and common approaches for data delivery.

Photo of Hadiya Harrigan


In the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region, salt and fine dust particles can induce corrosion on metals used in military equipment in a matter of months.


Corporate Responsibility Report

Corporate Responsibility Report This year’s report provides an expansive review of our corporate responsibility content, and highlights our efforts to enrich the lives of people, strengthen our performance, and reduce our footprint on the planet.

Corporate Responsibility Report