Global product stewardship
LANXESS is committed to the Responsible Care® Global Charter, an initiative for product stewardship by the world’s chemical industry launched in 2006 by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) that was the key factor in the development of the Global Product Strategy (GPS). This aims to provide basic information and risk assessment data about substances so that the impact of chemicals on human health and the environment can be minimized and products can manufactured and marketed in such a way as to prevent injury to people and damage to the environment.
In line with the aforementioned commitment, our product stewardship covers the safe handling of chemical substances and products throughout their life cycle – from procurement and research and development, through production, storage, transportation and downstream processing to marketing and disposal.
The Product Safety Management at LANXESS Directive steers the Group-wide observance of product stewardship and secures the necessary participation of everyone involved. This applies in particular to those substances in our product portfolio that are classified as hazardous.
Management of chemical control regulations The safe handling, marketability and safe transportation of our chemicals and products are conditional on compliance with global chemical control regulations.
LANXESS has a global organization supported by an electronic safety data system to ensure compliance with both mandatory and voluntary control requirements. Safety data sheets in more than 30 languages inform our customers worldwide about substance data and the safety measures that are necessary when using LANXESS products. We aim to raise marketability and the provision of hazardous goods data to a globally uniform safety and technical standard by successively integrating this safety data system into our SAP system worldwide. Most of our organization in China was connected to this system in 2013 and we plan to complete the roll-out at the start of 2014.
We regularly adapt our electronic safety data system to reflect changes to the GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals) in various countries. The GHS is a system under the umbrella of the United Nations that aims to harmonize existing classification and labeling systems used in various sectors such as transportation and consumer, employee and environmental protection. Of course, we observe regional variations in the implementation of the GHS such as the European Union’s CLP (Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures) regulation.
Before manufacturing, importing or selling our products in a given country, we examine their marketability in accordance with the chemical legislation in force there. We register our substances and products in line with local requirements and we participate in the substance analysis programs of the relevant authorities by supplying all available information and producing new data if necessary.
We expressly support the protection goals of the E.U. REACH regulation, which aims to achieve a high level of safety for human health and the environment in the manufacture and use of chemicals. We met the December 1, 2008, deadline for preregistering all substances of relevance to LANXESS with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki, Finland. We then registered 360 substances that we produce in or import to the European Union in volumes exceeding 100 and 1,000 tons annually by the respective deadlines in 2010 and 2013. Lastly, all substances with volumes exceeding one ton must be registered in Europe by the third deadline on May 31, 2018. Registration involves the systematic evaluation of information concerning our substances and their uses. In doing this, we consider the entire product life cycle.
REACH Implementation Schedule
Within the context of a voluntary commitment made by the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) in 1997 to record and assess substances, we go beyond the legal requirements to determine a basic data set for our intermediates as well, in line with Appendix VII of the REACH regulation.
In the case of consumer applications in particular, such as those in the areas of food and drinking water contact, toys, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and medical products, we ensure the availability of information regarding the conformity of our products with national and international laws and standards, religious dietary laws and quality hallmarks.
The exchange of information with our customers is an important aspect of our product stewardship activities. We therefore provide them with extensive information via the IMDS (International Material Data System), an automotive industry database for archiving, exchanging and managing information, or via LANXESS’s product-specific database, which has a public area and a restricted area for registered business partners.
Product monitoring LANXESS’s Central Product Surveillance Directive governs worldwide tracking of the health-related and ecological implications of raw materials and products. The information acquired is used by our product developers and product safety experts in their evaluations.
The No Pellet Emission project We take responsibility for protecting the world’s oceans and coastlines and are implementing corresponding measures. Our focus is on plastic pellets which may be released into the marine environment due to inattentiveness at various stages of the value chain – in production, distribution, storage and transportation. Plastic pellets themselves do not react chemically but may have an undesired impact on account of their small size and volume. Therefore, under the umbrella of the Responsible Care® Initiative, we and PlasticsEurope Deutschland together launched the No Pellet Loss initiative aimed at motivating all stakeholders to handle plastic pellets in a responsible way.
In LANXESS’s No Pellet Emission project, the units that handle pellets have set themselves the goal for 2014 of preventing the emission of even the smallest amounts of pellets in the long term. To this end, we are devising a concept that includes both training and technical measures.
Procurement in the supply chain Responsible action begins in procurement. At LANXESS, all the raw and other materials, plant and services needed for our operations must satisfy uniform global safety and environmental protection requirements. Raw materials in particular are subject to stringent monitoring to ensure safe processing in our production facilities. For example, the procurement of any raw material is dependent on the submission by the supplier of a current safety data sheet. Our procurement department clarifies which of the REACH requirements must be satisfied in the case of raw materials from non-European suppliers. In order to minimize our procurement risks and enhance supply chain transparency, we and five other international chemicals companies founded the Together for Sustainability initiative in 2012. Further detailed information is contained in the “Procurement and production” section.
Global dangerous goods and transport safety management Through our global dangerous goods and transport safety management system, we ensure the avoidance of hazardous situations in the relevant processes. We centrally coordinate, supervise and review the implementation of international, regional and local dangerous goods and transport safety regulations and internal company guidelines. We apply a uniform classification to dangerous goods worldwide and consider regional requirements when interpreting dangerous goods regulations. The classification determines the wrapping (packaging and tanks), marking and labeling, the permitted modes of transport and transport routes. The necessary classification database is filed in LANXESS’s chemicals safety data system. In 2013, we restructured the dangerous goods and transport safety officer organization at our logistics sites to ensure its ability to function effectively.
Storage management We operate our own warehouses, but also commission external warehousing service providers on the basis of a specified process that considers relevant aspects of logistics, safety and security, environmental protection and cost-effectiveness. In line with a corresponding chemical industry concept, we apply a globally standardized warehouse concept that takes into account the substances stored and meets fire protection and occupational health and safety requirements.