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Last month I noted several new, innovative initiatives by major retailers and the State of California to advance the marketplace for safer chemicals. This month, two new initiatives from the nation’s capital will help support the adoption of safer chemistry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched its new web-based resource, Transitioning to Safer Chemicals: A Toolkit for Employers and Workers. Several GC3 members provided input.
And on November 15-16, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will host the first meeting of its Committee on Design and Evaluation of Safer Chemical Substitutions. The goal of this EPA-funded committee is to develop and demonstrate a decision framework for evaluating potentially safer substitute chemicals. Four GC3 members are part of the committee and two others will be presenting at the meeting. The members are Helen Holder (HP), Martin Wolf (Seventh Generation), Kathy Shelton (Dupont) and myself; the presenters are Meg Whittaker (Tox Services); Jennifer McPartland (EDF) and Clive Davies (EPA DfE).
Clearly, GC3 members are playing a critical role in shaping the frameworks, tools and policies that are being rapidly developed to support and accelerate green chemistry.
Lastly, mark your calendars! The 9th annual GC3 Innovators Roundtable will take place on May 28-30, 2014 in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, hosted by 3M. We look forward to the largest and most engaging GC3 Roundtable yet. To get a flavor of the exceptional presentations, discussions, and networking that occur at the GC3 Roundtables, you can download the summary report and presentations from the webpage for this past May’s roundtable at Johnson & Johnson.
As always, thank you for your support.
Joel Tickner, GC3 Director
PS: Don't forget to attend the GC3 networking reception at GreenBuild in Philadelphia, November 20th at 6:30-8:30pm.
The GC3 Education group held their first webinar entitled the Value of Green Chemistry on October 22nd. Three green chemistry champions, Andy Shafer, Executive VP Sales and Market Development at Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc., Tse-Sung Wu, Environment, Health and Safety Program Manager at Genentech and Helen Holder, and Corporate Material Selection Manager at Hewlett-Packard Co. presented efforts of making the case of the value of green chemistry. The audio archive from this webinar is available on the Advancing Green Chemistry Education page. We encourage you to watch to this excellent presentation if you were not able to see it live.
Our last project group call was held on November 8th, if you are interested in joining these discussions, please contact Saskia van Bergen.
The GC3 is convening the Retailer Leadership Council (RLC) with five retail leaders. The mission of this group is to promote safer chemicals, materials and products across retail supply chains The RLC will work together to identify at least one project annually to support the Council mission and will reach out to engage and inform other retailers. The first meeting of the group will be held via conference call in December.
The Retail Tool project has kicked off. GC3 staff facilitated an initial meeting with a major retailer (who wishes to remain confidential for now) and The WERCS to discuss a potential partnership using GreenWERCS. In the short term, The WERCS will evaluate a small sample of this retailer’s products for chemical hazards using GreenWERCS. These results will be used to help make the case to upper management for using GreenWercs more widely. The GC3 is talking with another major retailer about trying GreenWERCS or another software tool to assist with its company’s decision making about safer chemicals and products.
We are working with Babson University's career office to identify an intern from its Retail Supply Chain Institute to write up a case study about the GC3 Retail Tool project. We hope that the experience of these companies will be useful to other retailers that are interested in learning about available tools to help them source safer products.
In addition, we are developing plans for one or more webinars in 2014 featuring leading EU retailers that will describe their efforts in sourcing and selling safer products.
The Lowell Center is looking to hire a part time consultant with retail experience to help with the GC3 retail outreach and engagement. The description for this position is now on the GC3 website.
The Chemical Data-CBI project group call on October 7th reviewed the approach of the discussions and webinars of the past year addressing different facets of how to appropriately balance increasing transparency of chemical information with protecting sensitive business information. The review included two important outcomes of the project group’s meeting during the GC3 conference in May: (a) potential principles for balancing transparency and CBI and (b) possible additional issues for the group to address during development of its report (see the last page of the call summary). As we begin to draft the project group’s report, we invite all GC3 members to offer any comments or suggestions on either the proposed principles or recommended additional steps. Please send your feedback to Bob Kerr and Monica Becker.
The Mainstreaming Green Chemistry project aims to develop an Agenda for Mainstreaming Green Chemistry that will provide a 10,000 foot view of the kinds of partnerships, policy needs, research, education, and investments that can make green chemistry the norm for all chemistry.
The Advisory Committee held its kick off meeting via web on October 14 to begin discussion of the approach and content of the project. Advisory Committee members are being surveyed to follow up on some of these ideas. The Mainstreaming Green Chemistry group has identified several webinars that will be scheduled over the coming months.
We held our third webinar of the GC3 Green Chemistry Innovation webinar series on Oct. 23. Dr. Alph Bingham, Founder & Board Member of InnoCentive delved into crowdsourced, challenge-driven innovation – what it is and how it can be used to complement and enhance an internal R&D program–and InnoCentive’s well-developed program for hosting challenges for companies, government agencies and not-for-profits. The audio archive from this webinar is available on the Innovation Project Page. We encourage you to listen in to this excellent presentation, as well as previous webinars in this series.
Our next webinar is scheduled for Dec. 12 at 2 EST/11 PST. Julie Manley will present “Advancing Green Chemistry Innovation in the Pharmaceutical Industry: The GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable’s Research Grant Program.” Register today.
For more information on the work of the GC3, email us or call 978-934-2997.
© 2014 Lowell Center for Sustainable Production • University of Massachusetts Lowell
The Green Chemistry and Commerce Council is a project of The Lowell Center for Sustainable Production,
a research center at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.