Cefic Reports on EU Chemical Industry Sustainability Initiatives


The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) published The Chemical Industry in Europe: Towards Sustainability on May 8. In the report, Cefic stresses the importance of applying sustainable chemistry to the entire product life cycle, beginning with consideration of raw material sourcing impacts, and including manufacturing, packaging, transport and distribution, sales and use, and post-use recovery or disposal. Towards Sustainability asserts that chemistry innovation is a catalyst for sustainable innovation in up- and downstream industries including consumer product sectors. In addition, the authors argue that “Industry’s ongoing focus on using renewable raw materials is helping identify new ways of protecting the environment.”

Towards Sustainability details chemical industry initiatives to reduce waste, drive down emissions, conserve resources, and improve energy efficiency. Major reductions in emissions purportedly have been achieved through optimizing production processes and implementing improved emission control technologies. Industry initiatives promote energy efficiency through the value chain. Many companies have applied new technologies and processes to use fewer raw materials and to reuse or recycle products in a closed loop system. In addition, reducing the amount of material in products without performance loss, down-gauging, has helped industry optimize resources. Also, partnerships throughout industry have turned waste into resources. According to the report, successes include:

  • an International Association for Soaps sustainability project which reduced water use during manufacture, emissions, packaging;
  • detergent manufacturers reduced the impact of shipping by reducing chemicals, packaging and energy used in product manufacturing;
  • excess heat and CO2 from fertilizer manufactures pumped to local greenhouses;
  • glucose-containing effluent generated by a one producer is used by a nearby chemical complex to maintain bacteria levels in its biotreatment plant; and
  • a new abatement system at an ink manufacturer reduced emissions from the stream by 98 percent.

The industry has also published technical information on abatement and recovery options for solvent emissions.

Featured in the report is a case study on the relationship between new chemical industry products and development of a sustainable construction sector. For example, Cefic explains, plastic insulating materials save many times the amount of energy used in production. The materials are stable and durable, and unaffected by moisture, rotting, or mold. And plastic materials are easily and completely recyclable or recoverable.

Towards Sustainability stresses the importance of sustainability to corporate viability. The authors quote securities analyst statements, such as

“Investors are beginning to acknowledge the impact of sustainability topics on a company’s financial valuation. By adopting effective product life cycle assessment strategies chemical companies can realign their portfolios towards sustainable innovation and at the same time provide financial investors with increased transparency about their commitment to sustainability.” Andrea Ricci , Equity Analyst -Sustainable Asset Management

The report also highlights Cefic members’ efforts to enhance chemicals management throughout the supply chain. Activities include:

  • an effort in the polyvinyl chloride industry to improve behavioral safety;
  • outreach by the solvents sector on safe working practices;
  • safe handling cyanides through the entire value chain; and
  • best practices outreach by the formaldehyde industry.

Towards Sustainability also reports that industry is working with academia, regulators and NGOs to identify alternatives to the use of animal testing. Cefic is a founding member of the European Platform for Alternatives to Animal Testing which focuses on meeting safety requirements while also reducing the use of and replacing animal testing.

Towards Sustainability can be downloaded from Cefic’s website.

DTSC Requests Nominations to Green Chemistry Category of GEELA 2012 Awards

Green Chemistry:

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control is requesting nominations for the “Green Chemistry Category” of the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) Program.  The so-called GEELA awards are California’s highest environmental honor.  More information is available in the excerpt below.  If readers know of any deserving candidate – and there undoubtedly many – please forward to the appropriate person a link to this blog entry.


The Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards

GEELA 2012

The Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award Program is California’s highest environmental honor. The program recognizes individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions in conserving California’s precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the State’s economy. 

The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) invites your organization to submit entries for the 2012 GEELA Awards in the Green Chemistry category. This category focuses on businesses, academia and nongovernmental organizations that are leading innovation and development of safer, and more environmentally benign consumer products, formulations, and technologies. Entries should demonstrate benefits to human health and the environment through using less hazardous chemical components and processes. Lifecycle perspectives should also be presented, especially those incorporating pathways for reuse, recycling, and improved management of chemical components.   

Anyone wishing to apply for, or nominate an individual, organization, or business, for a 2012 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award should submit an application by June 22, 2012.

For more information, visit:http://www.calepa.ca.gov/Awards/GEELA/2012/GrnChemApp.htm

Phil Moffat Will Speak at Informa Conference about REACH-like Programs Outside the EU and US

Global Chemical Regulation:

Verdant Law is pleased to announce that Phil Moffat will be speaking at the upcoming Informa conference, “REACH and CLP:  Practical and Technical Strategies for American Exporters to Europe on REACH and CLP Requirements and the Impact of Future Regulatory Strategy.”  Mr. Moffat will talk about other chemical regulatory programs outside the EU and the US in his presentation, “Beyond REACH: Comparing and Approaching Upcoming REACH-like Regulations Across the World.”  The conference is being held August 1 – 2, at the Hilton North Raleigh/Mid Town Hotel in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.  Additional details are available here

Update:  A copy of Mr. Moffat’s presentation is available here. Moffat_REACH_around_world

California DTSC Announces Two-Day Workshop on Alternatives Assessment

Green Chemistry/Alternatives Assessment:

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has announced an upcoming two-day workshop on alternatives assessment, a key component of the department’s much-anticipated Safer Consumer Product Alternatives (SCPA) Regulations.  Those regulations are in turn a key component of the state’s vaunted Green Chemistry Initiative.  The timing of this announcement suggests that DTSC will soon release the official draft of the SCPA Regulations.  The workshop will be held in Chatsworth, California from June 4 -5, 2012. Registration information and other details are set out below.


Alternatives Assessment 101

What: Two-Day Training

When: June 4-5, 2012

Where: Chatsworth, CA

California’s Safer Consumer Products draft regulation requires alternative assessments for certain priority chemicals and products. Would you like to know more about alternatives assessment?



If you have not performed an alternatives assessment-



This training is for you! Gain practical, hands-on experience and insights.


If you have already conducted alternatives assessments-



Strengthen your understanding, exchange experiences, and learn from your peers through this two day training from specialists in alternatives assessments.

This two day training from the University of Massachusetts (UM) is in partnership with California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). Participants will be introduced to the process of assessing safer alternatives for chemicals and products through sharing experiences with researchers from UM’s Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) and the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production. DTSC staff will lead a discussion on the role of alternatives assessment in California’s draft Safer Consumer Products Regulation.




Visit for more information and to register:


















Irene Hantman to Moderate ABA Panel on Federal Suspension and Debarment Authority


Verdant Law is pleased to announce that Irene Hantman will be moderating a panel on the federal government’s suspension and debarment authority.  The program, “Suspension and Debarment an Administrative Tool for Addressing NonCompliance: Perspective from EPA,” is sponsored by the ABA Sections on Administrative Law and Environment, Energy, and Resources.  It will be hosted at EPA Headquarters Tuesday, May 15, 2012 from 12:00 – 1:30 EST.  Additional details are set out below, and available here.


Tuesday, May 15

Suspension and Debarment:   An Administrative Tool for Addressing NonCompliance: Perspective from EPA

The Section of Administrative Law, Environmental Law Committee and the Section of Environment, Energy and Resources In-House Counsel Committee invite you to attend a Brown Bag program 12:00-1:30 EST Tuesday, May 15, on the federal government’s suspension and debarment authority. Companies subject to these actions are unable to participate in government contracts, subcontracts, loans, grants, and other assistance programs. Being subject to such an action, or even the threat thereof, can have an immeasurable impact on a company, and can serve as a powerful incentive for a company to improve its compliance program. The effect of suspension and debarment by a Federal agency is government wide and can be extended to include subsidiaries and parent companies. Join SEER’s In-House Counsel Committee and EPA officials to learn how the Agency uses suspension and debarment as a tool for deterrence, what constitutes an actionable offense, and the regulatory framework. The program will also present industry perspectives and address control systems and remediation efforts.

Panelists are:

  • Stacey Dey-Foy, EPA
  • Irene Hantman, Verdant Law PLLC (Moderator)
  • Richard Pelletier, EPA
  • Steve Solow, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Washington, DC
  • Mike Walker, EPA

To Register:

To attend this brown bag on-site free of charge at EPA or for remote participation contact Alice Mims: (202) 564-6069 or mims.alice@epa.gov.