Global Chemical Consortium Proposes Safety Framework at ICCM Session

Sept. 26, 2023
As part of the proposal, ICCA calls for a plastic additives database and develop a risk-assessment framework for additives

The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) proposed three safety initiatives Sept. 25 during the opening day of a weeklong UN session aimed at finalizing a chemical safety framework.

The ICCA proposal looks to increase accessibility of data on product safety and sustainability, implement chemical management systems in 30 countries, and guide the development of more sustainable product portfolios.

ICCA proposed the “high-level ambitions” at the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) taking place in Bonn, Germany, Sept. 25-29.

The meeting is the fifth ICCM session that was originally scheduled to occur in 2020 but has encountered delays due the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the key goals for the session, organized by the United Nations Environment Program, involves the adoption of the global chemical and waste framework, called Beyond 2020.

The session’s opening speaker Steffi Lemke, head of Germany’s environmental agency, called on the forum participants to send the world a message that they’re “ready to tackle the pollution crisis,” according to published meeting minutes. Delegates from other countries also offered remarks, including the European Union, which emphasized that maintaining the status quo is an unacceptable path forward.

Increasing Access to Safety Data

This ICCA is looking to increase transparency for governments and the public into industry safety and sustainability data. The organization said it plans to collaborate with other stakeholders to identify the best way to make this data publicly available.

As part of the initiative, ICCA also plans to create a plastic additives database and develop a risk-assessment framework for additives. In addition, the organization is conducting advanced research on microplastics and plans to make the findings available to the public.

Global Chemical Management Systems

ICCA proposed the creation of an online platform to help its members with capacity-building needs under the Beyond 2020 framework.

The platform would help stakeholders match needs with others who are willing to provide support. ICCA will assist in the hub and will engage in projects where knowledge sharing about the sound management of chemicals is needed the most.

Developing Sustainable Products

Under existing UN sustainable product development goals, ICCA plans to highlight areas for improvement, including water consumption, carbon footprint and energy consumption and regularly report on the results.

This includes the use of the Portfolio Sustainability Assessment (PSA) developed by several chemical companies under the umbrella of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The PSA framework focuses on health and environmental impacts, social and economic factors throughout a product’s full life cycle.

ICCA is led by representatives from ACC and Europe’s Cefic. ACC President and CEO Chris Jahn, who also serves as ICCA secretariat, said the proposal will continue to evolve.

“The launch of the three ambitions is not the end, it is a new start,” said Jahn in a prepared statement. “As we move forward, we will be setting goals for each ambition to keep industry on track, and will actively engage with the governments, NGOs and other stakeholders as we are taking action.”

About the Author

Jonathan Katz | Executive Editor

Jonathan Katz, executive editor, brings nearly two decades of experience as a B2B journalist to Chemical Processing magazine. He has expertise on a wide range of industrial topics. Jon previously served as the managing editor for IndustryWeek magazine and, most recently, as a freelance writer specializing in content marketing for the manufacturing sector.

His knowledge areas include industrial safety, environmental compliance/sustainability, lean manufacturing/continuous improvement, Industry 4.0/automation and many other topics of interest to the Chemical Processing audience.

When he’s not working, Jon enjoys fishing, hiking and music, including a small but growing vinyl collection.

Jon resides in the Cleveland, Ohio, area.

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