The ICCA (International Council of Chemical Associations) program Global Product Strategy enhances Product Stewardship performance of the chemical industry worldwide with a focus on developing and emerging economies. ICCA constantly increases the global capacity for safe chemicals management, while at the same time highlighting the economic, social and ecological benefits of sustainable chemistry. The four pillars of GPS are as follows:
- Product Stewardship: The responsibility to understand, manage and communicate the health and environmental impacts of chemical products at each point in their life cycle.
- Risk Assessment and Risk Management: The scientific evaluation of a chemical’s hazards, uses and exposures to determine the probability that it will cause adverse effects under real-world conditions, which determines if steps are needed to reduce the risk of harm or misuse.
- Transparency: Providing health, safety and environmental information about chemicals to stakeholders and the public to enable customers, regulators and consumers to understand how chemistries can and should be used safely.
- Stronger Chemicals Management globally: Promoting risk-based chemicals management through a mix of government rules, voluntary industry programs, and publicly-sponsored training and recognition programs, particularly in countries without robust chemical management systems.
BASF is actively involved in the conceptual design and implementation of GPS. We play a key role at ICCA, with our voluntary corporate commitments even going beyond the requirements for GPS. These include the following core elements:
- A safety relevant “Base Set of Information” is established for all our products in commerce. For the existing product portfolio, BASF successfully achieved this goal in 2008. Further to that, the Base Set of Information is continuously determined for all of BASF’s new sales products.
- Based on the substance specific information and possible exposure scenarios, a risk assessment is conducted. This GPS goal is implemented as part of our voluntary corporate Goal 2020. BASF does not only review the risk assessment of all substances in commerce worldwide > 1t/a, which corresponds to the requirements of GPS. Moreover, the risk assessments of all remaining sales products, e.g. mixtures, is verified. For additional information on our BASF Goal 2020, please visit Product Stewardship Worldwide.
- To advance the alignment of safety standards globally, an ICCA training program helps to build up expertise especially in emerging economies. BASF product safety specialists in the different regions provide in-kind support as trainers at these workshops.
- The conclusions of the risk assessments are transparently shared with the public. ICCA has developed a format called GPS Safety Summaries which summarizes relevant chemical safety information in an easy-to-understand language. BASF continuously publishes and updates GPS Safety Summaries.
Chemical companies in the European Union implement GPS, REACH and the UN Globally Harmonized System (GHS) hand in hand – which applies as well for BASF. Like this, synergies are leveraged and required resources are optimized. For further information on GPS, please visit the website of ICCA.