Our industry is changing rapidly. Not surprisingly, we’re being shaped by significant social, environmental and economic forces. Our goal is to be at the forefront of these innovative and transformative changes that will result in more transparency and openness within our industry and with the public.
Working with the American Chemistry Council (ACC), Celanese and others have undertaken an ambitious project to partner with and educate stakeholders with a direct interest in the safe use of chemical ingredients. Together we have built ties with direct customers, competitors, manufacturers, retailers and consumers. We want to help them make informed decisions about the safe use of chemicals in the products they manufacture, sell or purchase.
Unfortunately, there is significant confusion and misunderstanding about chemicals. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which regulates all chemicals manufactured and sold in the U.S., is one of the most complicated environmental statutes in the U.S. In addition, TSCA hasn’t been updated since it became law in 1976, causing some consumers to question its effectiveness. As a result, downstream users such as major retailers have developed their own means to determine whether chemicals in a product are safe. We believe we can help them with this process. About two years ago, Celanese, and our industry partners, committed to provide information and expertise that will help our stakeholders make decisions based on science and facts.
We are pleased to be working with three industry sectors that have taken a leadership role in chemical management: Building and Construction, Retail, and Electronics. At Celanese, our experts are reaching out to manufacturers and retailers to assist them. For example, we work closely with other ACC member companies, to engage with leaders in the building and construction sector. This is important right now because the current trend in green building is to award credit for chemical transparency and avoidance of chemicals deemed hazardous. This would seem to be a good approach, but it doesn’t include exposure, therefore you cannot evaluate the risk to people. This approach has left many of our customers confused as to how to comply. The Building & Construction subcommittee is working directly with a variety of stakeholders to develop a rigorous scientific approach to these issues in the market.
Although we have been working less than two years, our efforts are starting to make a difference. We have opened the door for important conversations and are forming beneficial collaborations. Both of these allow for greater communication and progress.
We are proud of our efforts to create better understanding and transparency in the chemistry industry. In the coming months, we’ll provide you with updates on our ongoing work and the impact to our customers; after all, the point of addressing these challenges is to create new and greater opportunities.