We recognize that we have a role to play in the drive toward a more sustainable society. We therefore create business value by providing safer and more sustainable solutions for our customers through our product stewardship programs at company and site levels. At a global level, and across our businesses, Larry Ryan oversees Nouryon’s product stewardship.
This proactive global approach is designed to consider product safety and sustainability and manage potentially harmful substances throughout the value chain, often acting ahead of legislation. It also enhances our ambition to develop and deliver our Eco-Premium Solutions to our customers and the market.
In addition, we support the aims of the European Green Deal, the European Union (EU) Chemical Strategy for Sustainability, the US Toxic Substances Control Act legislation, among others. We also advocate the further development of chemicals management legislation around the world.
Risk assessment and hazard communication
We handle more than 4,000 unique substances, including raw materials used in our production and R&D samples. Of these, 2,200 are sold and used throughout the world and have been subjected to a hazard assessment. In 2021, 87% of Nouryon’s net revenue came from products containing substances that are classified as Globally Harmonized System (GHS) categories 1 and 2 Health and Environmental Hazards.
Our core competencies are in complex and hazardous chemistries and the handling of highly reactive chemicals. Our product stewardship and regulatory affairs teams address the requirements for hazard information and communication, and our processes are aligned with GHS chemical classification and labeling requirements as well as other applicable national and regional regulations.
Nouryon conducts hazard and risk assessments to ensure new raw materials in our products can be used safely. This process includes assessment of potential exposure to workers, consumers, or the environment. Hazard classification and recommendations for safe use are subsequently communicated to customers via Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and alternatives are sought when needed. A hazard and risk assessment must be performed for 100% of new substances manufactured by, or toll manufactured for, Nouryon.
In connection with the aforementioned risk assessment of new products in the EU member states, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, Nouryon uses REACH chemical hazard assessment and communicates safe uses through an extended safety data sheet, e-SDS, in accordance with REACH regulations. REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals and includes established procedures for collecting and assessing information on the properties and hazards of substances. One of the main steps in REACH is the registration of all substances imported/manufactured above one ton in the EU.
Nouryon continuously works to ensure that our products can be safely used in alignment with REACH (Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006), which aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the possible risks posed by chemicals. To this end, we actively maintain 518 REACH registrations and continuously implement other REACH developments to ensure continued compliance.
Learn more about REACH @Nouryon
Substances of concern (SoC) are formulations that can be harmful to humans and the environment when they are not used appropriately. We proactively monitor new and future SoCs to ensure that no new SoCs are introduced in Nouryon products. This systematic global program uses the aforementioned REACH methodology for risk assessment and promotes substitution of harmful substances in our production processes and products with more sustainable alternatives. The basic process for all Nouryon innovation projects is a stage gate project methodology whereby we determine whether the new product or process contains any prohibited, restricted or possible SoCs.
In 2021, 3% of Nouryon’s net revenue came from products containing SoCs (>0.1% by weight). Of our net revenue, 0.1% is on the REACH Annex XIV (Authorization) list, and 0.3% is on the REACH Annex XVII (Restriction) list. These substances are carefully managed to ensure they can be manufactured and used safely. All have undergone a risk assessment according to the REACH methodology.
We do not manufacture GMOs. We do not sell products that use GMOs to provide any specific functionality, nor do we use GMOs in manufacturing processes to impart any specific variability. Certain raw materials we use are
derived from crops that have been produced from GMOs prior to our use, for example, soybean oil and cotton linter cellulose. These materials are used in products that make up roughly 5% of our products by revenue. We continually monitor the ongoing debate around GMO usage and will act upon any new findings, as appropriate.
Nouryon has a proven track record when it comes to substitutions for SoCs for our all-important end-markets. In recent years, Elfan® AT84, Redicote® E-47 NPF, and a safer alternative to Di-cyclo hexylphthalate (DCHP) were just some of the substitutions we have offered to address evolving customer and regulatory needs, such as eliminating nonylphenol ethoxylate. For the cleaning market, we introduced innovations such as Dissolvine® GL, wetting agent AG 6206, and Berol® 260 – part of Nouryon’s low dioxane portfolio, including degreasers and cleaners from the Berol® and Ethylan® surfactant product lines.
These are produced using a proprietary process that reduces the amount of 1,4-dioxane created as a byproduct. Our innovative process also makes formulating more cost effective for our customers and offers the possibility of optimizing raw material purchases, reducing inventories, and simplifying production. All products within our low-dioxane portfolio are also listed in database CleanGredients, meeting the US EPA’s Safer Choice standard. They include:
In 2021, Nouryon introduced a new addition to our Berol® portfolio to comply with new regulations in New York and California that require cleaning products to contain low 1,4-dioxane levels. Consequently, we developed a new low-dioxane product to help customers transition existing formulations or create new ones that comply with these regulations – some of the strictest in North America – without compromising performance.
Nouryon introduced a new dispersing agent and emulsifier for industrial cleaning, hard-surface cleaning and adhesives. This ethoxylated fatty acid alcohol is a low foaming nonylphenol ethoxylate-free surfactant that has excellent wetting and dissolving properties at room temperature. It demonstrates outstanding detergency and solubility properties when formulated into multipurpose hard surface cleaners, heavy-duty degreasers, and textile treatment cleaning. The versatility of its application extends to all other cleaning applications that require alternatives to replace NP9/NP10 surfactants.