Increased supply chain transparency is a win-win for everyone
ChemSec’s director Anne-Sofie Andersson participated at a high-level meeting hosted by the Swedish environmental minister Karolina Skog on 12 March in Stockholm. In her speech, Mrs Andersson emphasised the importance of establishing global legal mechanisms regarding supply chain information for hazardous chemicals in products and production.
Referring to ChemSec’s experience from working with chemically progressive companies like Apple, IKEA and H&M, she explained how legally binding agreement would improve the situation immensely. Having such mechanisms in place, these companies at the end of the supply chain can do more than merely asking what chemicals are used in their products and supply chains; they can demand to know, which is a big difference.
“The possibility to make demands along the supply chain regarding unwanted substances would not only benefit the finished product and the people who buy it – it would also create a much safer working environment and reduce health issues connected to chemicals in the producing countries. It really is a win-win scenario for everyone”, Andersson said.
The high-level meeting included selected environmental ministers, CEOs of leading companies and scientists, and was held in conjunction with the SAICM working group meeting, where the global ‘Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management’ after 2020 was discussed.
Andersson also stressed the need to get the issue of hazardous chemicals higher on policy and corporate agendas. The issue should have the same attention as climate change, also at events such as the World Economic Forum. While acknowledging the need for globally binding regulation she also emphasised the continued need for improving national and regional regulations.
“We all agree that the world needs to act now, that the ambition level must be raised and that a global deal is needed. Strong and committed leadership from both the political area and the business sector is required to achieve this. The cost of inaction is enormous and many lives can be saved through global measures in the area”, the minister Karolina Skog said in a press release from the Swedish government following the event.