Environmental Health & Safety

GC3 Retailer Council Outlines Priorities For Chemical Innovation, Transparency

By Chemical Processing Staff

Jun 05, 2019

The Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3) releases a statement developed by its Retailer Leadership Council outlining priority product categories where innovation in safer chemical alternatives is needed, and 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 10 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, according to GC3.

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 the 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 a different set of priorities for safer chemistry, the GC3 Retailer Leadership Council has 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,” says 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.”

For more information, visit www.greenchemistryandcommerce.org