Ideas to create a healthier marketplace

Experts provide their thoughts to transform the industry to a healthier marketplace through safer chemical innovation

A pipeline of sustainable chemistry, a robust business model to share health data across the supply chain, and the rapid screening of toxicity data will help create a healthier marketplace.

These additional insights were presented by experts on EDF’s webinarCreating a healthier marketplace through safer chemical innovation.” The webinar consisted of a panel of four people, all with expertise in safer chemical innovation. Each presented their approach to safer chemical innovation, and each shared ideas to overcome obstacles to transform the marketplace.

My last blog discussed the first three ideas:

  1. Disclose chemicals in products to consumers
  2. Show the demand for knowledge in the supply chain
  3. Change the infrastructure

This is part two of a two-part blog that discusses the three additional ideas.

4) Continue the pipeline for sustainable chemistry

A healthier marketplace needs a pipeline of sustainable chemistry. Developing benign chemicals is expensive and time consuming and hence there is little appetite for the high cost of R&D.  Therefore developing a robust business case would drive further demand.

We have a curious consumer, privy to information, who is asking for safer products. It is time for the science to catch up!

However, it is not all bad news. There is a surge in demand for bio based feedstocks made from renewable resources. The market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 16.16% between 2017 and 2025. The drivers for this predicted growth include:

  • Numerous government policies towards business sustainability programs
  • Preference for eco-friendly products among the end users
  • Fluctuations in crude oil prices
  • High market probable of bio-based chemical products

The Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3) is hosting a preservative challenge that brings together companies looking for new safer preservatives.

Patagonia’s Tin Shed Ventures has invested money into Beyond Surface Technologies, a chemical company focussed on safer specialty chemicals for textiles.

5) Develop the business model to share health data across the supply chain

Chemical hazard data, if it exists, is often proprietary, expensive and difficult to obtain. But, accurate toxicity data is needed across the supply chain to help make informed decisions.

However, a few tools exist today that meet this need including Portico, a joint development between Google and the Healthy Building Network. Portico is a web-based application that simplifies the analysis, selection and specification of building products that meet health and transparency objectives. Portico allows key participants in a building project to collaborate, conduct research and make actionable decisions on building materials.

This is a great start, but the solution must consider additional industries and not only the built environment. Creating the business model seems like a great first step!

6) Fail faster by using a rapid screening chemical process

Using rapid screening methodologies allows scientists to quickly screen toxicity data to help them make informed decisions. However, they are not commonly used in the development of new chemicals and materials.

Screening chemicals quickly against a set of criteria would allow scientists to discard chemicals early in the process and hence fail faster. They would then be able to start again without wasting precious time and financial resources. SciVera and Toxnot are software solutions that are gaining traction, but more work is still needed.

This concludes my blog series on what it will take to create a healthier marketplace and I look forward to listening to the next one.

Impacts to your business

Questions to consider:

  • Does your company need access to toxicity data?
  • Are you interested in products made from renewable resources?

For help with any issue associated with sustainability and chemicals, contact Amanda Cattermole at (415) 412 8406 or We can help you develop powerful solutions to protect your company and brand reputation, which will result in safer products manufactured in cleaner supply chains.

Tips and Insights contains information to help you make informed chemical management decisions. Each post highlights a particular topic and includes questions you may want to consider for your business.


Posted on: Aug 14, 2017 in Current News

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