Management of chemical substances
Management of chemical substances
In 2021, Japan Group launched the chemical substance management system named “Green 30,” in order to minimize the impact on environment and human health. The system is developed to manage chemical substances not only from Japanese chemical regulations, but also chemical substances of global concern from international treaties such as REACH regulations. We classify the chemical risks in three categories according to the laws and regulations in the countries where our business operates: prohibited, restricted for new introduction, and avoided for new introduction. The system started in operation in Japan in 2021, and the practice is being introduced to our partner companies outside Japan.
Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEO) are surfactants and include a subcategory of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEO/NPE). These types of nonylphenols (NPs) are being regulated by the EPA and REACH. Nippon Paint has been steadily phasing out APEO-containing surfactants. In 2021, we eliminated the use of the nonylphenol compounds in our products in Europe.
Dunn-Edwards continues to phase out APEO-containing surfactants through product improvement and ensures that no new APEO-containing raw materials are allowed in the newly developed products. In addition, we have been substituting the UV absorbers that are being considered as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Our next plan is to completely phase them out in all products for Europe by the end of 2023.
In DuluxGroup, managing the risks associated with hazardous chemicals used in the formulation of the products is an important priority for our businesses. We have developed a management approach to ensure that substances with potential for long term health or environmental effects (chemicals of concern) are identified, with their risk evaluated. Improvement actions, such as formulation changes or improved packaging and labelling, are put in place to reduce or eliminate the risk of harm.
Chemicals of concern are identified from information on supplier safety data sheets, regulatory lists such as the European “Substances of Very High Concern” and stakeholder sustainability program listings (e.g. Living Building Challenge Red List).
Whenever a new ingredient is proposed for introduction, it is reviewed against the Chemicals of Concern criteria and existing listing. If identified as a chemical of concern, a risk assessment is undertaken to determine if the chemical can be safely used in the specific product and by the intended end-user or if additional controls or an alternative formulation is needed.
Scientific knowledge, regulations and community concern related to chemicals are constantly evolving. To keep our knowledge up to date, DuluxGroup has also established a process for monitoring and reviewing stakeholder and regulatory reviews of chemical classification so that emerging concerns can be picked up and acted on pro-actively.
The effectiveness of our program is measured by tracking the usage of priority chemicals of concern (in kilograms per $000 sales) and the proportion of chemicals that have had a risk management plan developed. Since 2018, DuluxGroup has had a 17% reduction in the usage of priority chemicals of concern, despite the addition of some new substances to our chemicals of concern listing. Some examples of our chemicals of concern initiatives in 2021 include:
|Dulux Protective Coatings:||Congard product is now Cobalt and Meko free.|
|Dulux Protective Coatings:||Formulation of a new toluene-free epoxy primer, Durepon 66.|
|Dulux Porter’s:||Reformulation away from crystalline silica in its product range.|