Forum: Developing sustainable chemical products and communicating with consumers
Symposium Organizers: Clement Choy (ACS GCI Formulators’ Roundtable), Sr. Director R&D, 7th Generation; Daniel Pedersen, Ph.D., VP of Science and Standards, Green Seal; Christopher Helt, Ph.D., Research Manager: Formulated and Manufactured Goods, The Sustainability Consortium
Meeting the continuously rising bar of consumer and I&I performance requirements while consistently improving sustainability presents a challenge for product formulators. Driven by safety concerns from various stakeholders, formulators have focused on green chemistry solutions, which requires them to develop innovative, effective, and cost-comparable components with reduced toxicity, increased biodegradability, and overall increased sustainability. Retailers and brand manufacturers, on the other hand, have focused on identifying high priority chemicals, disclosing these chemicals to consumers, and encouraging safer ingredient choices through assessment of alternatives and informed substitution.
Current market tensions between manufacturers and consumers exist due to major gaps in transparency and communication regarding the approaches to greener ingredient/product development and formulation. An open conversation on the best practices in the field is one approach to bridging these gaps; improved communication through the supply chain would help create mutually beneficial solutions. These conversations are still in their initial stages, and an open exchange of information across the sectors involved has still not been realized. As part of this conversation, mutually beneficial solutions may take the form of hazard avoidance and robust risk assessment coupled with environmental certification and/or eco-labeling (e.g., USDA BioPreferred Program, US EPA Safer Choice, Green Seal, ULE, EU Ecolabel, EcoMark).
This session is intended to provide a forum to share the needs and developments for more sustainable formulated cleaning products and ingredients and will:
- explore the development of alternatives for various ingredient classes (e.g., antimicrobials, solvents, small amines, chelants & sequestrants, boron replacements, fragrance raw materials, corrosion inhibitors, alkanolamide replacements, surfactants)
- present current challenges and solutions in developing green cleaning-product ingredients
- review current approaches for ingredient selection for home and personal care products
- discuss tools for communicating hazard/risk assessment approaches throughout the entire value-chain
- provide an update on the progress of the Common Chemical Criteria Task Force to enhanced communication on chemical safety
- apply these methodologies and communication tools to a specific case-study
- discuss needs, methodologies and communication of sustainable ingredients in an interactive forum