A new publication by NGO ChemSec shows how chemical regulation creates opportunities for many progressive companies
Therefore, policy makers main concern should not be to reduce the “burden” of environmental regulation on laggard companies
PRESS RELEASE, February 23rd. By studying several aspects of chemical regulation and substitution it is clear that the economic benefits outweigh the drawbacks. This is the main conclusion in ChemSec’s latest publication, The Bigger Picture, released today.
Looking at a number of business cases, the publication shows that the business world is bursting with innovative solutions to chemical issues. It features companies that made it a part of their DNA to offer not only safer, but also better products using non-hazardous chemicals.
Depending on implementation, the REACH framework offers an opportunity for Europe’s economy to keep evolving; the question is in which direction.
– Do we really want to accommodate laggard companies that aims to keep using hazardous chemicals, which in turn will work against the purpose of circular economy, or do we want to look to the future and stimulate innovative businesses creating safe products fit for a new economy? says Anne-Sofie Andersson, ChemSec Director.
While regulation might cause a negative economic impact for a company that has to substitute a substance it is dependent on, there are also opportunities and benefits for other companies that have already phased out the substance in question. The main concern of policy makers should therefore not be to reduce the “burden” of environmental regulation on laggard companies, because this also disfavours the frontrunners.
– We urge policy makers to include several aspects in their assessments whether to regulate a chemical or not, similar to the way progressive companies do when they assess the benefits of substitution. They do not just consider chemical prices in a straightforward per kilo comparison, rather they look at the bigger picture and include more parameters, like costs of waste handling, worker safety, consumer satisfaction, to name a few. Combining all these factors makes it clear that substitution can give a competitive advantage on the market, making it economically beneficial, says Frida Hök, ChemSec Policy Advisor.