07 March 2007 18:39 [Source: ICIS news]
BALTIMORE, Maryland (?xml:namespace>
Jim Cooper, senior manager for government relations at the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (Socma), said market pressures for up-front environmental considerations in product design have increased exponentially in the last five years. He said pressures for environmentally friendly products have intensified as major retailers have begun to select or deselect consumer products on the basis of their environmental impact.
He said the
“We should and we are moving to get this industry into green chemistry, to move green chemistry from academia to the commercial level,” Cooper said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Socma-sponsored GlobalChem chemical regulations conference, Cooper said he and other officials of the association have been meeting with major stakeholders in the chemicals industry and in downstream chemical consuming sectors in an effort to establish a systematic approach to green chemistry.
“There is now no systematic approach to green chemistry; it is mostly reactive,” he said. “We need an approach to green chemistry that is risk-based and that is based also on sound science.”
He said his association’s officials met with, among others, representatives of General Motors (GM) as part of the effort to craft a scientific approach to green chemistry and environmental concerns in product design.
“As a major consumer of chemicals and related products in the manufacture of automobiles, GM is interested in this approach because they want consistency of supply; they don’t want materials supply disruptions because of Reach or other concerns,” Cooper said.
Cooper was referring to the European Union’s (EU) new programme for the registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals (Reach), which many in industry fear will end with outright bans on a wide range of chemicals and related substances.
Socma has announced formation of its International Centre for Sustainable Chemistry to bring multi-industry influences to the task of creating a risk-based and science-based approach to green chemistry applications. The new centre is expected to be operational in the third quarter this year, he said.
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