Global Product Strategy
19 February 2009
Dedicated to improving the responsible handling of chemicals throughout the value chain, the ICCA Global Product Strategy (GPS) was launched in 2006 in conjunction with the Responsible Care Global Charter (RCGC) at the International Conference on Chemical Management (ICCM-1). The objective of these efforts is to improve industry performance and reputation, and position the chemical industry as a constructive contributor to the implementation of UNEP’s Strategic Approach to Chemicals Management (SAICM). With GPS, the ICCA has committed itself to improve risk assessment and risk management procedures and practice within its global membership to complement existing national and regional regulatory requirements. Over the past year, the Chemical Policy & Health (CP&H LG) has made significant strides toward developing guidance to implement GPS and is preparing to report industry progress at the upcoming ICCM-2 in May 2009.
We have targeted ICCM-2 as the venue to publicly report our progress, describe goals we’ve set for 2020, and share our plans for how we will achieve them. At ICCM-2 the GPS key messages and achievements will be presented during the ICCA side event round table discussion. Nine regional CEO Representatives of the global chemical industry (Europe, US, South America, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Japan) will be engaged in a professionally facilitated discussion on chemicals management with key international IGOs and NGOs.
Our commitments will be met through a combination of compliance with government regulatory initiatives and meaningful science-based, transparent and cost effective voluntary industry programs under the banner of Responsible Care®.
ICCA’s progress to date:
One of the achievements of the GPS is the development of a comprehensive set of global guidelines for product stewardship. The guidelines provide practical help to all those in the chemical chain of commerce, particularly those with less product stewardship expertise or fewer resources at their disposal. The guidelines include principles to be applied from beginning to end of the product life cycle in research and development, raw-materials procurement, manufacturing, sales, distribution, handling, use and disposal or recycling of chemicals
In parallel the CP&H LG has defined a “base-set” of hazard and exposure information for chemicals in commerce and developed a detailed technical guidance for member companies to use to help them define safe use conditions for chemicals and provided recommendations on best practices to achieve safe conditions of use
We are currently developing a mechanism to make relevant information available from co-producers to the public in an understandable, targeted form. Continuing a long-standing practice, as new risk information becomes available, we will share it with downstream customers, which will enable them to improve their environmental, health and safety performance. We will also share this information with governments to meet regulatory requirements and improve industry performance in countries where such regulations are not yet in place
Along the way we are providing capacity building for SMEs in our industry, as well as to downstream customers and governments in developing countries. This is being accomplished by conducting GPS awareness building workshops, basic Product Stewardship workshops and value chain outreach activities
We will test the workability of the detailed technical guidance for SMEs in developing countries. Within the testing scope we will determine how best to leverage information developed under regulatory (e.g. REACH) and voluntary (e.g. HPV) programs, and further refine the guidance
We will use the experience from the testing phase and refine the guidance to expand GPS implementation in a prioritized manner with the ultimate goal of full implementation by 2020
We will engage in longer-term capacity building efforts to improve the competency of SMEs and provide outreach to developing countries; such as GPS awareness building workshop, basic Product Stewardship workshops and value chain outreach
The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) is the worldwide voice of the chemical industry, a sector with 2007 turnover of more than US$3 trillion. ICCA members come from countries that account for more than 70 per cent of global chemical manufacturing operations. Chemicals management, international climate negotiations, government and business partnerships, regulatory affairs, stakeholder outreach, advocacy and communications are key areas of focus for the Council which also promotes and co-ordinates Responsible Care® and other voluntary initiatives, advancing best practices within the industry.