Product sustainability – What is it all about?
Cefic has released a new publication looking at the sustainability of chemicals and how chemicals can contribute to more sustainable products. Aimed particularly at smaller companies, the guide is written in a way that will help demystify many of the concepts and technical terms used by sustainability experts.
The publication, entitled “Sustainability of products – What it’s all about”, is part of Cefic’s programme to deliver the sustainability vision spelled out in the European chemical industry’s first sustainability report published in May.
Peter Smith, Cefic’s executive director Product Stewardship, said: “If the chemical industry is to help nine billion people live well, within the resources of the planet, we need to find ways to provide the likes of housing, health and hygiene in the most resource-efficient way. This applies not just to products themselves, but to the whole product life cycle – from raw material sourcing to use and final disposal.”
The publication presents approaches that companies can use to make science-based choices when evaluating and developing their product portfolios. Topics covered range from general product stewardship considerations to specific tools and methods, such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and environmental footprint methodologies. A “to do” list gives suggestions for first actions to be taken.
Smith added: “Sustainable products provide environmental, social and economic benefits and respect public health, welfare and the environment over their full life cycle. Integrating the different dimensions of sustainability in companies’ decision-making and management processes is crucial to make this happen.”