In response to growing scientific and public concern about chemicals in products, negative product safety attention, and increased government attention to and regulation of toxic substances in products, many leading edge businesses are instituting efforts to screen, prioritize and substitute chemicals of high concern in their products. They are using this information to exert their own market influence to advance safer chemistry in their supply chains. Yet, firms face a number of barriers to advancing safer chemicals in their products, including missing formulation and toxicity information, higher costs for safer materials and technological and performance challenges of substitutes. These challenges are consistent across sectors and levels of supply chains. Firms are beginning to work together within and across sectors to remove technological, market, information and economic barriers to safer products. Below are some links to several corporate chemicals policies representing various sectors and levels of supply chains.
The HP General Specification for the Environment specifies HP’s global product environmental requirements for all HP brand products, including subassemblies, parts, materials, components, batteries, and packaging that
are incorporated into HP brand products.
In 2001, SC Johnson developed the Greenlist™ process to classify ingredients considered for use in products by their impact on the environment and human health. Today, SC Johnson scientists have a computerized, global system that helps them select the best available ingredients and continually improve products.
Nike has implemented a number of restricted substances lists. They are based on worlwide legislation and on substances Nike has voluntarily decided to restrict. Nike challenges their designers to use the "Considered Design" process, a technique that uses innovative design to reduce waste, chemicals and energy, and to use new materials and approaches.
The Green Filter works by evaluating product performance and quality and then assessing whether the products are safe for people and the planet.
Method assesses their ingredients based on a framework of the material's past (sourcing), present (safety in use) and future (return to the environment). Through this framework, they assess and score each ingredient across the range of its possible effects on people or the environment.
The Boots Chemicals Working Group is charged with maintaining a database of chemicals and providing the business with expert, impartial advice on the use of chemicals.
The Dell Materials Guidance Document has served as the cornerstone of the Dell chemicals management process. It has been incorporated into the Dell engineering specifications and supplier contractual agreements.
In late 2008, REI became a member of bluesign technologies ag. Bluesign in an independent environmental standard for the textile industry that supplies certification to suppliers.
Wherever possible, Staples uses available standards, guidance and certifications to identify products that qualify for Staples EcoEasy. EcoEasy relies on credible third-party certifications or meets such standards (ENERGY STAR®, Forest Stewardship Council, EcoLogo, GreenGuard and Green Seal)
Companies define “designing for the environment” in many different ways. For Steelcase, “designing for the environment” is comprised of three components:Life Cycle Assessment, Materials Chemistry and Recycle/Reuse.
A number of Diversey chemical products are tested and certified by independent organizations such as Green SealTM, Environmental Choice, GreenGuard, EU Flower and Nordic Swan.
To see more examples of companies involved in addressing chemical safety, please visit the participant's page of the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council.