USCIB’s Medina Leads Discussion at ChemCon 2016

USCIB Vice President Helen Media
USCIB Vice President Helen Medina

Facing increasing demands around the world to divulge details of their supply chains and production processes, how much information can (and should) companies share regarding the chemicals used in their products?

USCIB Vice President Helen Medina led a discussion of this topic at this week’s ChemCon Americas 2016 conference in Toronto. Chairing a panel on “Global Supply Chain Transparency & Stakeholders,” Medina noted the numerous efforts by governments and international bodies to promote greater disclosure by companies.

“There is increased societal pressure for the ‘right to know’ concept,” Medina stated. “What’s more, companies are facing market and stakeholder pressure to ‘green’ their supply chains as a way to improve their corporate citizenship profile.”

Others speaking on Medina’s panel included Mark Herwig (GE), Sophia Danenberg (Boeing), Wendy Brant (Walmart) and Scott Echols (ZDHC Foundation).

Medina said that policy makers in many countries and regions are expanding their concept of risk in chemicals, to encompass not just the materials in a given product but also how they are used. In addition, they are increasingly requiring information to understand chemical risks throughout a products entire life cycle.

Highlighting numerous inter-governmental efforts to promote transparency on chemicals use, Medina cited the UN Sustainable Development Goals, where Goal 12 sets out to “achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment.”

This focus has migrated into various other discussions in the UN system and elsewhere, Media said. She urged companies of all sizes to pay greater attention to these discussions, which she said would influence national laws and rule-making on chemicals for years to come.

Staff Contact:   Brian Lowry

Senior VP, Innovation, Regulation, and Trade
Tel: 202.617.3159

Brian Lowry leads USCIB’s policy work on trade, health, food, agriculture, chemicals, and intellectual property. He also coordinates USCIB’s engagement in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Lowry joined USCIB in February 2021 having previously worked as an executive in the agriculture and crop science industry. Through his role as an executive, Lowry was also a longtime USCIB corporate member leader, as well as co-chair of USCIB’s working group on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Post-2015 Development Agenda. Lowry was also the first board chair of the UN Global Compact Network USA.
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