What is a chemical footprint?
"Chemical Footprint" is defined as the total mass of chemicals of high concern (CoHCs) in products sold by a company and used in its manufacturing operations. If it's not possible to determine the total mass of CoHCs, a company may be able to report on the number of CoHCs that are in the products it sells and are used in its manufacturing operations.
What is chemical footprinting?
Chemical footprinting is the process of evaluating progress away from chemicals of high concern to human health or the environment to chemicals that have a lower hazard profile than the ones they replace. In this way, a chemical footprint is a measure of the actions an organization takes to advance the development and use of safer chemicals in products and across supply chains.
What actions are reflective of leadership action in chemical footprinting?
- Know chemicals in products and supply chains.
- Disclose chemicals in products and supply chains to the public.
- Assess chemicals in products and supply chains for their inherent hazards using the GreenScreen.
- Select inherently safer chemicals and avoid chemicals of concern to human health and the environment.
- Set goals for improving chemical footprint and publicly reporting on progress towards those goals.
- Support voluntary initiatives and public policies that advance the avoidance of chemicals of concern and the production and use of safer chemicals.
What is the value of chemical footprinting?
The value of chemical footprinting is its focus on being proactive. It places organizations on the path of moving away from being passive actors whose only concern is legal compliance to being active participants in advancing the use of safer, greener chemicals. Chemical footprinting will help to:
- Provide a gap analysis of an organization's performance in managing chemicals.
- Identify opportunities for action.
- Enable benchmarking of performance within a sector.
- Highlight the need for collaboration, including sharing data, best practices and failures.
What tools and actions best reflect chemical footprinting implementation?
See BizNGO Guide to Safer Chemicals for an in-depth examination of tools and initiatives that are integral to chemical footprinting.