GLRPPR Sector Resource: Gathering Chemical Information and Advancing Safer Chemistry in Complex Supply Chains: Case Studies of Nike, S.C. Johnson, and Hewlett-Packard M
Gathering Chemical Information and Advancing Safer Chemistry in Complex Supply Chains: Case Studies of Nike, S.C. Johnson, and Hewlett-Packard M
Consumer product companies need chemical information from their supply chains for many reasons, including the design of products that are safe for human health and the environment, regulatory compliance, participation in green certification programs, disclosure of chemical ingredients in products to retailers and customers, and preparation of Material
Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). Companies with large, complex,global supply chains face many challenges in getting this information. The Green Chemistry in Commerce Council (GC3), a project of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, commissioned three case studies of leading firms with complex supply chains to explore and share experiences on how companies gather chemical information from their supply chains and how they use this information to develop safer products. The three companies are Nike, S.C. Johnson (SCJ) and Hewlett-Packard (HP). The case studies conducted for this project examined a number of questions: 1. Why is the company seeking chemical information from their supply chain? 2. What types of chemical information is the company seeking? 3. How is the company gathering chemical information from its supply chain? What system is it using? 4. What systems are companies using to manage chemicals in products? 5. What systems are companies using to create safer products using chemical information? 6. What challenges have existed and what has worked well to gather chemical information, manage chemicals and design safer products? All three firms studied are sizable, consumer product companies with large and complex supply chains. They are diverse with regard to the types of products that they manufacture and the types of raw materials that they procure from their supply chain. The reader should keep this in mind when reading the cases and lessons reported in this document. Information gathered for the cases came from interviews with personnel at each firm, internal documents provided by the firms, and publicly available information. The companies were given the opportunity to review and comment on case study drafts. This summary report is designed to synthesize the lessons learned and best practices that were distilled from the case studies.
Lowell Center for Sustainable Production
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