October 2018, Product Safety and Regulatory Affairs
Nouryon has a company-wide commitment to manage hazardous substances in its products to ensure safe use. This includes reduction, restriction, and phase-out when they can be substituted with safer and sustainable alternatives.
Our Priority Substance Management process takes a systematic approach to the identification, review, and management of hazardous substances used in our products. Priority substances are identified for review by scoring hazardous substances on the basis of their human and environmental hazards and where societal concern exists over their use. Those with higher scores are designated as priority substances and are reviewed by our experts. Where a safer and effective alternative exists, priority substances are substituted with less hazardous materials. If substitution is not possible, a full risk assessment is carried out using techniques from the EU REACH Regulation. Only when safe use of a priority substance can be demonstrated can it remain in use in Nouryon products.
In 2016 we updated the scoring methodology used in the prioritization process, taking into account recent scientific developments and public concerns over hazardous substances. During 2017, we continued with the second phase of the program where we reviewed and managed a further 17 substances. Eight of these were prohibited and nine substances were restricted only to uses proven to be safe, bringing the total number of prohibitions to 80 and restrictions to 169 since the program was started in 2011.
Our priority substance process is embedded into key business processes and in our raw material databases so that safer materials can be sourced.
In 2017, Nouryon's Surface Chemistry business was recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as Safer Choice Partner of the Year. The Safer Choice program evaluates the environmental and human health impacts of every chemical ingredient in a product. Our business was recognized for its role in proactively advancing the safer chemistry and safer product goals of the EPA Safer Choice program. The EPA chooses Safer Choice Partners of the Year in five categories; Nouryon was selected in the "Innovators" category for an innovative ingredient for cleaning products, Berol® DR-B1.
In addition, Nouryon’s approach to hazardous substances management received the Responsible Care® Award from the European Chemicals Industry Association in 2015, the Responsible Care® award from the Association of International Chemical Manufacturers in China, and a Product Safety award from the American Chemistry Council. We have introduced the program to customers and stakeholders such as senior government regulators from the European Commission and NGOs, and we have received positive feedback on this approach.