Product Stewardship Facilitating high-quality, safe, and sustainable products
Product stewardship is a crucial facet of Clariant’s business approach. Through carefully managed assessment, testing, and customer engagement processes, Clariant’s Product Stewardship offers customers and Business Units professional service that contributes to the high safety and legal compliance of its products.
Outstanding products are never as simple as they may first appear. To achieve a high level of quality, performance, and safety, a product requires detailed management during its entire life cycle, which includes the research and development phase, production, use by customers, and ultimately end-of-life disposal. However, high-quality products are also backed by carefully integrated innovation, manufacturing, and marketing development stages. At Clariant, Product Stewardship brings together all of these processes, delivering the high performance its customers expect and require.
Product Stewardship ensures integrity and quality
Protecting both consumers and the environment in the development and use of products is one of Clariant’s top priorities. Clariant’s Product Stewardship organization offers guidance for customers and all Business Units (BUs) in addressing, managing, and maintaining product safety while also preventing reputational or legal damages to Clariant or Clariant’s customers. This is particularly important in regard to intended use and impacts of products. In addition to ensuring safety, Product Stewardship also integrates sustainability and innovation into the design of a product, thus creating added value.
Clariant’s Product Stewardship offers support and guidance to all relevant business components:
Innovation, which includes evaluation of safe uses and performance
Marketability, which includes assessment of chemicals and registrations to chemical inventories
Manufacturing, which includes classification and labelling, safety data sheets and storage, and safe transportation
Marketing/Customers, which includes transparent supply chain communication on all relevant safety aspects of our products and offering respective certificates.
The various steps Product Stewardship is focusing on are complex, often requiring the input and engagement of various external and internal stakeholders such as regulatory authorities, research and development (R&D), production, marketing and sales, and procurement. Through careful registration and evaluation of chemicals, strict chemical regulatory compliance, and customer support on chemicals and uses, Clariant holistically produces products that are safe, sustainable, compliant, innovative, and high-performing.
Compliance and registration
Registrations support business growth
Increased quantity of registrations at Clariant demonstrates a commitment to innovation. As Clariant innovates existing products, expands its product portfolio, and enters new markets, more and more chemicals are registered across the globe. Between 2012 and 2016, Clariant nearly doubled its registration projects for new products in China, Europe, and the United States. In China, this growth has exceeded the number of registered projects in Europe and the United States, illustrating Clariant’s prosperous product portfolio and global performance.
During the course of its design and development, a product undergoes a series of screenings that evaluate its safe use and environmental impacts. Clariant strives to integrate the highest degree of safety into its products. Before a product is produced and marketed, it is screened in accordance with – and often exceeds – the requirements of all relevant global regulations.
All products are validated to ensure their safety for humans and the environment when properly used. Chemicals registration requires data on the substance, proof of safe use of the substance, and submission of substance data and assessments to appropriate authorities. These authorities include, for example, the European Union’s (EU) European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which coordinates the registration, evaluation, and authorization of all chemical substances based on available scientific data according to the EU REACH regulation. Through Product Stewardship, Clariant fulfills all necessary regulatory obligations.
Assuring the compliance of Clariant’s products on a global scale
Clariant’s approach to product stewardship is globally oriented. Ensuring that products comply with all relevant national and international chemical legislations is fundamental to Clariant. In fact, Clariant has product stewardship capacity in 30 countries, which helps cover production at over 200 sites worldwide. With Clariant’s Product Stewardship represented in every key region of its production, marketing, and distribution, Clariant stays up to date with any and all necessary documentation for and evaluation of its products.
With a strong commitment to animal welfare, where possible, Clariant generates one set of data per substance with which compliance with all relevant chemical regulations worldwide may be verified.
Toxicological data: Avoiding animal testing
A major component of Clariant’s product stewardship effort involves assessing the chemical properties and safety of products for innovation as well as for registration and use purposes. These assessments, coupled with registrations, confirm that a product can be used without causing harm to people or the environment. These evaluations involve developing toxicological data profiles for substances and products that meet chemical registration requirements. These profiles are typically achieved through extensive animal testing. Besides impacts on animal welfare, such tests are often time- and cost-intensive. To achieve appropriate toxicological assessment without animal testing, Clariant developed a new approach that evaluates the chemical properties of products by using alternative methods to close existing data gaps. This alternative approach, Clariant’s CompTox Suite, is spearheaded by Product Stewardship. Short for Computational Toxicology, it reduces the need for animal testing to the greatest degree possible while still complying with necessary regulations. Using the computational methods of the AMBIT chemical structures database together with high-quality (eco) toxicity data from the REACH database IUCLID (International Uniform Chemical Information Database), the CompTox Suite identifies and groups substances into chemical categories based on common and comparable structures, properties, and expected effects.
The CompTox Suite aids in the evaluation of chemicals
Thanks to the CompTox Suite, data gaps can now be filled with robust information from structurally related substances by using all relevant already existing data together with computer-based predictions instead of animal experiments. It provides information about the effects of chemical substances, allows for verifiable documentation, is widely accepted by registration authorities, and may even deliver suggestions and tips for product improvements or desirable product composition. CompTox Suite considerably reduces animal testing or the need to spend huge amounts of time and resources gathering toxicity information from diverse sources.
Creating value for customers through open dialog
requests per year are sent to Clariant from customers seeking documents, certifications or regulatory advice regarding applications of its products.
Reducing animal testing across the industry with the CompTox Suite
The Clariant CompTox Suite saves time and innovation costs and avoids unnecessary animal testing, making it easier to comply with regulations governing chemicals, by removing animal testing from the process, but still receiving all necessary toxicology information thanks to a computer program.
To maintain high quality and ensure the highest level of safety, Clariant’s Product Stewardship supports customers by providing them with information on the safe and appropriate use of its products. For specific questions, Clariant experts are available to answer inquiries throughout all development and production phases, providing safety data sheets, comprehensive information on optimum handling and application, hazard and risk profile, transport and packaging, and finally waste disposal. Supporting open dialog around the safety and integrity of its products along the value chain is one of Product Stewardship’s top initiatives.
Clariant also responds to about 50 000 requests per year from customers seeking documents, certifications, and regulatory advice regarding applications of its products. For example, if a Chinese company wants to use a Clariant additive in a plastic food container that is destined for American consumers, the customer would need certification that the Clariant product may be used in this application and in this market. Customers receive this information from the certificates, which in turn enhances Clariant’s perception of market trends and customer requirements.
Products built with safety, innovation, sustainability, and performance
With a pulse on regulations and an innovative approach to bringing new life to established safety and toxicology testing procedures, Clariant is moving the frontier of product stewardship in the chemical industry forward. Customer support and collaboration are crucial to understanding how products fulfill their intended purposes, and what can be improved or innovated during production. Thus, listening to customers’ concerns is extremely important to a product’s quality and ultimate success. As products continue to develop, receive feedback from customers, and endure a variety of applications, they are often improved and their production evolves. However, Product Stewardship will always guarantee a rigorous process of assessing, testing, and registering products so that they have superior performance, reproducible properties, maximum safety, optimized costs, and innovative design.