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The Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3) released today a statement developed by its Retailer Leadership Council outlining priority product categories where innovation in safer chemical alternatives is needed, as well as a road map to encourage improvement in supply chain and public transparency of chemical ingredients in consumer products. The GC3 Retailer Leadership Council is made up of ten major multi-brand retailers including general merchandise and specialty big box stores, online retailers, grocery and healthcare chain stores.
Retailers face ever-increasing consumer demands for safer chemical ingredients in the products they sell. Global government regulation of chemicals in consumer products is also accelerating. In May 2018, Verdantix research identified tightening chemical restrictions throughout the world, concentrating in Europe and individual states in the US, but also emerging across APAC and developing countries. This is a key driver for retailers and brands to remove chemicals of concern from the products they manufacture and source.
Given these global trends, the GC3 Retailer Leadership Council was formed in 2013 to promote safer chemicals, materials and products across retail supply and value chains. From 2014-16, the GC3 Retailer Leadership Council engaged in a structured dialogue, facilitated by the GC3, with five major chemical manufacturers. This resulted in the Joint Statement on using Green Chemistry and Safer Alternatives to Advance Sustainable Products. The Joint Statement identifies how retailers, brands and chemical suppliers can work effectively in their respective organizations to accelerate the commercialization of safer chemical alternatives.
The release of today’s Retailer Statement on Chemical Innovation Priorities and Transparency Roadmap builds on that earlier work, helping implement several key elements of the Joint Statement, including goal setting and transparency. Although each participating retailer has a different product assortment and therefore a different set of priorities for safer chemistry, the GC3 Retailer Leadership Council has now collectively identified a set of chemical function and application priorities for innovation in safer alternatives. “This work sends a clear demand signal to the supply chain, focusing on chemical functions -- such as plasticizers, surfactants and flame retardants – and articulating where innovation is needed,” said GC3 Executive Director Joel Tickner. “The Transparency Road Map, a critical starting point to understanding chemical innovation needs, outlines both best practices in the short-term (2019–20) and includes a longer-term vision that will need further development by all GC3 stakeholders.”
According to GC3 Retailer Leadership Council member Paul Ellis, Head of Chemicals Management at UK-based building products retailer Kingfisher, “Our supply chains are diverse, complex and located across the globe, heightening the complications of managing chemicals in our supply chain. Our biggest challenge is achieving transparency on which chemicals are present in our products. It’s also a challenge for our suppliers as they receive differing requirements from their various customers. This is why we very much welcome this collaboration among like-minded retailers of the GC3 Retailer Leadership Council to achieve fuller ingredient transparency.
The GC3 operates as a trusted convener of the entire supply chain with members from every part of the value chain. The GC3 Retailer Leadership Council Statement will guide other areas of work within the GC3 organization, including its collaborative innovation projects and supply chain working group.
About the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3)
Started in 2005, the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3) is a business-to-business collaborative that drives the commercial adoption of green chemistry by catalyzing and guiding action across all industries, sectors and supply chains. Over 125 organizations are members of the GC3. For more information, visit www.greenchemistryandcommerce.org.
Michele Jalbert Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3) 202-423-3106 firstname.lastname@example.org