Facilitating Chemical Data Flow Along Supply Chains
Many product formulators and fabricators in the GC3 are spending significant resources gathering chemical data from their supply chain for regulatory compliance, green product design and certification programs, and chemical disclosure initiatives. The aim of this project group is to advance the efforts of these companies.
To date, this project group has completed a number of projects on the topic, including the development of best practice case studies of Nike, HP and SC Johnson and the development of a “Supplier’s Guide to Chemical Data” AKA, “Meeting Customers' Needs for Chemical Data: A Guidance Document for Suppliers,”
Following the 2011 GC3 Roundtable, the Chemical Data Project Group conducted a project in to evaluate the feasibility and benefits of standardizing chemical data types and formats in supply chains, to increase data availability, reduce the cost of data gathering/communication, and to improve the quality of data collected. Standardizing chemical data systems was identified as an important strategy to overcome the obstacles to data communication related to the wide range of datasets, data formats, and data collection tools being used within supply chains, which hampers data sharing and automation of data sharing, storage, and analysis.
The project group engaged companies in an actual supply chain in the electronics sector to explore this topic: Texas Instruments, Seagate, Hewlett Packard and Staples. The electronics sector was chosen because this sector has had significant need for, and experience with, collecting and reporting chemical data to respond to RoHS, WEEE, REACH, and other regulatory program requirements; an existing standard for data collection and exchange (IPC 1752); and a new, international standard/data exchange protocol – IEC 62474 Material Declaration for Products of and for the Electrotechnical Industry – which has recently been finalized.
We discussed, identified and documented the types of data that the four companies’ collect; the way in which data is collected from suppliers and passed along to customers; the opportunities and barriers to standardization; and their involvement with existing data standard programs. The results of these calls were presented to and discussed with our larger GC3 Chemical Data Project Group and presented at the GC3 Innovator’s Roundtable in May of 2012.
The Project Group is currently developing a workplan for the 2012/2013 GC3 project year. The group is considering two projects:
(1) Conducting a project in the apparel and footwear sector, which is in need of tools for chemical data exchange systems to support its Zero Discharge/Joint Roadmap Initiative; and
(2) A project focused on models to address the issue of confidential business information (CBI) in B-2-B supply chain chemical data collection and communication systems. In April, members of the project group organized a GC3 webinar on the topic of CBI and chemical data sharing, which over 60 individuals attended. The participant questions and discussion demonstrated a keen interest in this topic.
For more information or to join the project group, contact Monica Becker.
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