Looking for tools to evaluate chemical ingredients in products — for greener chemistry, safer products, a healthier workplace and a more viable supply chain? Recently GC3 designed and published a matrix of tools for green chemistry and an attendant summary document.
Use the matrix here: portal database
Some tools listed are free, some are not. In these matters you typically get what you pay for, but what you want to pay for depends on how big your supply network is and what your sustainability goals are from a product risk management and brand management point of view.
The Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3) is out of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. It bills itself as a business-to-business forum that advances the application of green chemistry and design for environment across supply chains.
GC3 has realized, rightly, that many businesses lack the resources to educate themselves about the tools and systems available for managing greener chemistry. The matrix at the link above will help businesses educate themselves about the choices in tools for evaluating chemical ingredients. Use it, the matrix is free.
Data safer in the cloud? Increasing regulatory requirements and consumer and media pressure to sell safer or “green” products are driving retailers to understand more about the chemical ingredients in the products they sell and to find safer alternatives to chemicals of concern. Some retailers are developing their own tools or systems to evaluate the chemical content of the products they buy and sell, which is an arguably short-sighted approach because it lends significant problems with lack of standardization of data, ergo inability or extreme difficulty with reporting and for suppliers who have to add resources to distribute the data. The alternative is to work with developers of 3rd party evaluation systems to develop customized tools, and others are working collaboratively to develop tools useful to a whole industry sector.
Some think that keeping data “in-house” is safer, but company “proprietary” data is just as easy to hack as is data in the cloud, or data hosted elsewhere. Viruses and malware occur more often in in-house systems. And data losses are more common (and expensive) in on-premises systems. So the data-is-safer-in-house point is mute.
In fact, an Aberdeen study recently revealed that data are actually safer in the cloud. Which means you have more choices, is all; you are no longer tied to your IT team, their capabilities, legacies, politics and budget. Be free!
Chemical ingredient tool matrix GC3 says that the tools included in the matrix are either free or commercially available and enable retailers to evaluate chemicals or chemical-containing products for their potential human health and environmental impacts and identify chemicals or materials that are regulated or are of concern and not yet regulated.
Most of the evaluative systems go beyond ensuring compliance with existing environmental regulations and provide additional information to retailers and manufacturers whose goal is to “green” their product lines by selling chemicals and chemical-containing products that are safer throughout the supply chain.