Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the EU’s main chemical regulation, REACH, the Helsinki Chemicals Forum held in June focused on the presence of hazardous chemicals in articles and how those can be controlled in supply chains.
It brought together representatives from legislators around the world, the chemical industry and businesses. The HCF looked back on 10 years of REACH and what has been achieved since, concluding much work has been done but more work is ahead. Panellists provided their views of what the next decade will bring.
FTA was invited to speak at the forum to represent retailers, brands and importers in a panel debate looking at the future drivers for market supply and demand of chemicals and the effect they would have on chemical safety.
Anouschka Jansen, FTA Senior Manager Environmental Programmes, presented the Downstream Users’ perspective and practical tools (such as RSL and MRSL) used to respond to increasing consumer awareness and demands from NGOs demands for greener chemicals. Serving on the panel, NGO IPEN Australia explained the complexity of tracking chemicals in global supply chains. Other panellists included speakers from Dow Chemicals and the European Chemical Industry (ECHA).
The key take-aways of their discussion include:
- Supply Chains remain complex, with different actors who may not have the same understanding of requirements or technical skills to ensure compliance.
- More and better communication channels between the different supply chain actors will be key to success.
- Downstream Users can no longer be overlooked, and need to be included in discussions and global frameworks such as the UNEP led CiP Programme (Chemical in Products) in support of SAICM (Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management).
- A specific outreach to SMEs is necessary, both within the chemical industry and downstream users, to ensure everyone is on board.
Implementation of practical tools with a collaborative network supports the understanding and meeting of requirements by companies and their supply chains. BEPI is that network, with over 250 member companies and more than 1500 producers and the BEPI Supply Chain Chemical Management Module provides participant with the practical tools.
Contact: Anouschka Jansen, Senior Manager Environmental Programmes