Ensuring Safety and Environmental Standards
In line with its Sustainability Policy and as part of its Responsible Care commitment, Clariant attaches particular importance to product stewardship and that our products can be used over their entire life cycle in a safe manner for employees, customers, the public and the environment. Clariant has developed comprehensive guidelines and systems to ensure product and production safety that are intended to minimize the impact of its business on people and the environment. The company’s Product Stewardship organization ensures that the product portfolio corresponds to applicable envrionemental and safety standards at national and regional levels, such as specified, for example by REACH, as well as constantly looking for possibilities to further enhance product safety improvement. Employee training takes place on a regular basis, while processes, procedures and measures are continually monitored both internally and by means of external audits.
These measures include Reach @ Clariant, a Globally Harmonized System, a Global Product Strategy, and an Intelligent Testing Strategy. Read more about these measures here.
The "Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)", addresses the classification of chemicals by types of hazard and proposes harmonized hazard communication elements, including labels and safety data sheets, in order to enhance the protection of human health and the environment during the handling, transport and use of these chemicals.
The GHS also provides a basis for harmonization of rules and regulations on chemicals at national, regional and worldwide level; also an important factor for trade facilitation.
GHS is a UN recommendation and an invitation to competent authorities to introduce GHS elements into local or regional legislation. The worldwide implementation of GHS is a dynamic process throughout different countries of the world.
The Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP) implements GHS in the European Union (EU) and replaces all previous regulations into the EU.
New pictograms are used to warn of hazards, together with warning terms such as “Danger” or “Beware” depending on the level of risk. The previous R and S phrases have been replaced by hazard phrases (H phrases) and precautionary phrases (P phrases).
The CLP Regulation has to be implemented for substances by December 1, 2010, and for mixtures by June 1, 2015.
Clariant’s Product Stewardship Organization has set up an implementation program to ensure the incorporation of all new legal requirements into its business processes and documents according to the transition periods for REACH respective CLP. CLP & REACH compliant Safety Data Sheets for classified substances were introduced by 1 December 2010. Safety Data Sheets for mixtures will be phased in over the next couple of years and before the 2015 deadline.
In addition to that Clariant naturally extends the application of GHS on a global level. It monitors GHS implementation across the world and ensures that the company systems ensure legal compliance with the varying requirements.
The European Community Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) came into force on June 1, 2007.
The main aims of REACH are to ensure a high level of protection for human health and the environment, to improve the communication of information on handling chemical products and to preserve and enhance the competitiveness of the chemical industry in the European Union.
REACH requires industry-wide registration of about 30,000 existing substances in accordance with the transitional provisions of REACH.
Clariant is fully committed to the REACH targets. Our Product Stewardship Organization ensures the efficient implementation of REACH and close communication with our customers and suppliers to ensure the compliance of all marketed Clariant products.
Clariant has successfully completed registration phase I during which substances with a volume of more than 1 000 t per year, plus substances of very high concern, were registered until 30 November 2010. In this phase, Clariant registered a total of 152 chemicals with a quantity of more than 1000 tonnes.
In May 2013, registration phase II was completed on schedule and in full for products produced or imported by Clariant in Europe with annual volumes of 100 – 1 000 t. 255 different chemical substances were registered in this phase, involving 66% more chemicals produced in the EU and imported into EU by Clariant in comparison to REACH phase 1.
In the coming registration phases, products with a volume of 10 – 100 t per year or 1 – 10 t per year must be registered by 2018. Clariant’s product stewardship organization has developed efficient structures and processes throughout the organization in a timely manner and is well prepared for meeting its REACH targets.
The Global Product Strategy (GPS) was developed in 2006 by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) as part of its commitment to the United Nations Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) program.
The program promotes the safe use of chemical products through the entire life cycle and enhances product stewardship throughout the value chain. It will also reduce the differences in the safe handling of chemical substances between developing, emerging and industrialized countries.
The Global Product Strategy is the approach to perform risk assessments and the safe management of chemicals across geographical boundaries. Communication and transparency are important key elements for the implementation of the Global Product Strategy by the chemical industry.
So-called GPS safety summaries, a base set of information for the safe use of chemical products giving a general overview of the characteristics and uses of a chemical substance, are intended to provide transparent access to important information in a suitable format and in a general, understandable language. In this way, the aim is to increase public confidence that chemicals are handled safely throughout their life cycle.
Clariant is committed to the Global Product Strategy and is making available GPS summary reports of substances it places on the market on the GPS Chemicals Portal on the ICCA’s web page.
For more information on the Global Product Strategy, see this link.
To learn more about the Global Product Strategy in our North America Region, see this link.
A worldwide in-depth search, inside and outside Clariant (scientific databases, libraries, and archives) on properties and effects of chemical substances is carried out, including personal experience from researchers.
Identification and grouping of substances into chemical categories based on common and comparable structures, properties and (expected) effects.
Use of all existing building blocks of ITS (e.g. existing data, mechanism-based predictive tools, computer based simulation models, analogy considerations) that integrate all available information about the biological/toxicological behavior of a substance to close knowledge gaps and ensure proper scientific evaluation of the substance of interest.
If additional information is still necessary, alternative (in chemico and/or in vitro) test methods will be performed to close existing data gaps without using animals to the greatest degree possible.
In summary, integral components of Clariant’s `intelligent testing and evaluation strategy` (ITS) are
- mechanism-based predictive “in silico” models using “early indicators” of toxicity for the identification, prioritization and simplification of chemical groupings and read-across possibilities (analogy considerations)
- computational simulation models for the evaluation of the biological behavior of sub-stances and the identification of structural alerts of compounds alternative (in vitro) test methods for reduction / replacement of animal tests
Any further testing may be dispensed at this point in the process, provided the ITS approach does not result in new, additional or remaining concerns.
Here's how it works
Chemical substances are processed into most products we use today - in cars, in jeans, in laundry detergents, in televisions and telephones. The list is endless. This is why such chemicals are subject to stringent testing procedures and evaluations, regulated and required by law, which also includes mandatory testing on animals.
Because ethical practices and innovative research go hand in hand at Clariant, we have developed an Intelligent Testing Strategy (ITS) aimed, in the mid and long term, at largely eliminating the need for animal testing.
Clariant is committed to regulatory, scientific and ethical requirements, guidelines and policies to ensure animal welfare and the the 3R principles - i.e. to Replace, Reduce and Refine animal testing - and actively pursue and promote their application.
The three-phase ITS approach pools knowledge from various internal and external data sources in order to predict effects and properties of chemical substances “realistically” based on computer models and simulations (“in silico”) across the full lifecycle of a given substance.
The Intelligent Testing Strategy combines and optimizes the use of limited research resources with enhanced innovation potential, thereby effectively safeguarding animal welfare.