GC3 Member Update - July 2021


GC3 Releases Recommended Framework for Ingredient Disclosure for Articles

The GC3 has just released a new Recommended Framework for Ingredient Disclosure for Articles to help promote better data reporting and sharing about the chemical composition of common articles like office chairs, coffee mugs, and pillows.

While formulated products such as personal care and cleaning products have made steady progress in increased transparency in recent years, there has been no practical framework for consistently sharing ingredient information in article categories such as furniture, home décor and office products. This is despite increasing consumer and market pressure to understand the chemical ingredients in these products. In addition to customer demand, other drivers for increased transparency about chemical ingredients in articles include new regulatory requirements in the EU and US and ongoing pressure from environmental NGOs.

Given the GC3’s focus on fostering value chain collaboration -- and the critical importance of understanding the chemical composition of products to develop safer, more sustainable chemistries -- the GC3 works to create frameworks to facilitate better communication across the supply chain about product ingredients. By bringing the value chain together, we were able to create a framework with input from both suppliers and retailers. With this Framework, the GC3 envisions better data reporting and sharing, allowing retailers to make more informed decisions about the products they source and sell, and ultimately leading to safer, more sustainable chemistries.

While this Framework promotes a unified structure, it is also designed to be flexible. The intention is for each retailer to implement this approach with its suppliers relative to its own chemicals policy and strategy. The GC3 encourages its members to use the Framework and provide feedback so that it can be further developed and improved over time.

The new GC3 framework coincides with the recent release of the Principles for Chemical Ingredient Disclosure developed in a multi-stakeholder process facilitated by Clean Production Action (CPA) and the Northeast Waste Management Officials Association (NEWMOA). These Principles have been endorsed by GC3 members Beautycounter, HNI, Reckitt, and Seventh Generation.

Click here to learn more about the GC3 Recommended Framework for Ingredient Disclosure for Articles or contact Sally Edwards for more information.

Member Spotlight: Nike Replacing Ten Priority Chemistries by 2025

GC3 member Nike recently introduced a new chemicals strategy in their FY2020 Impact Report, focused on replacing ten priority chemistries across its supply chain with more sustainable alternatives by 2025. They are seeking to reduce their chemical footprint, and given their enormous market presence, hope to inspire the rest of the apparel industry to follow suit.

While it’s an ambitious goal – especially with few drop-in replacements, suppliers’ own rigorous standards, and an aggressive timeline of just under five years – Nike is confident that such leadership will generate solutions. “You can only act on what you know right now, and when you believe in what you’re doing, you’ve got to put it out there. Vendors and suppliers want to know what we want, and in turn, they will come up with solutions” says Renee Hackenmiller-Paradis, PhD, Nike’s senior chemist and director of Nike’s Chemistry Center of Excellence.

Nike will undertake a multi-faceted approach, including assessing health and environmental risks, legislative risk, volume and type of use, availability of alternatives, and scheduling identification, adoption, and scaling. This presents a constant balancing act when weighed with the rest of Nike’s sustainability strategy including carbon, waste, and water priorities. For instance, replacing solvents with water-based adhesives comes at an energy cost, demonstrating that progress in one area may come at a trade-off in another.

Nike has continued to rely on collaboration within the industry, especially suppliers, to wrestle with these factors. “This is where the GC3 plays such an important role, not only in bringing actors together, but as an active partner in driving change. You need to reach across the entire value chain, from raw material suppliers through to the retail sector, to accelerate sustainable chemistry.”

“Substitution gets to be a complicated web down the supply chain. It’s never straightforward.” Maintaining that “complicated web” takes effort, Hackenmiller-Paradis says, but cooperation across industries and the value chain has proven effective in pursuing sustainable chemistry goals. “It’s hard work but this will make a difference. Our conversations with our suppliers have improved our ability to engage our partners, enabling our product engineers and materials designer to innovate faster, for projects now and in the future.”

Welcome New Members!

We are delighted to welcome the following new members who joined the GC3 in the first half of 2021!

HNI   ADEO Services