Annual Report 2021

Chemical product safety

Product safety is one of our top priorities. Starting at the product launch stage, we investigate the potential adverse impacts that chemical substances may have. Along the entire value chain of our products – from raw materials to manufacture and commercialization – we provide relevant information on their hazardous properties and how to deal with them. These instructions facilitate the safe handling and use of our products in line with all regulatory requirements. We publish this information primarily on the relevant digital channels. Paper safety data sheets are still common in some countries and we can also provide these upon request through our customer service.

Roles and responsibilities

Our Life Science, Healthcare, and Electronics business sectors have organizational structures in place to implement our product safety strategy taking into account respective businesses requirements and customer needs. This approach includes registering chemicals, classifying hazardous substances and highlighting risks via the use of safety data sheets, labels, and digital communications.

Our Group standards provide a framework for governing the setup of effective operational processes for product safety, hazard communication and chemicals regulatory compliance throughout our business sectors. Our Group Chemicals Regulations Council monitors relevant regulatory developments.

This approach also applies to innovative fields of development such as nanomaterials, which we use with the greatest care in line with the precautionary principle. Furthermore, our Group-wide Policy for Use and Handling of Nanomaterials provides the necessary guidance on the use of these materials.

Legal requirements and internal guidelines

Our internal guidelines define the roles, responsibilities, and basic processes required to comply with national and international regulations. In addition, we have also endorsed general voluntary commitments of the chemical industry such as the Responsible Care® Global Charter. Using the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) for hazard communication allows us to streamline our internal processes and provide consistent, harmonized, and high-quality information to our customers

In 2021, there were no incidents of non-compliance with regulations, specifically concerning potential health and safety impacts and the labeling of our chemical products.

Safety analysis during product launch

Safe and sustainable by design implies that product safety starts with development. Therefore, at an early stage in our product launch process, we analyze innovations in terms of their impacts on human health and the environment. We also evaluate the intrinsic hazards of both our existing and new products to create relevant product safety information in line with all applicable rules.

Product safety information

Chemical product safety is all about protecting human health and the environment from adverse impacts resulting from the use of chemical products throughout their life cycle. To achieve this, we provide all relevant information to our customers and the public, which helps raise awareness of the hazards and build a greater understanding of how to mitigate risks and use the products safely.

To obtain all the relevant information on hazard profiles, we use industry-standard digital tools that gather all information available on the substances we use.

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