WACKER provides information on the safe use of its products and is continually working to prevent or reduce the use of substances which are harmful to human health or the environment in products. We pursue this aim in a number of ways:
We try to replace harmful ingredients with alternative substances.
In the absence of an alternative, we restrict the sale of products containing harmful substances to commercial and industrial customers wherever possible.
We develop innovative alternatives to conventional products containing harmful substances.
WACKER ensures that all its products, if used properly, pose no risk to humans or the environment. We continually update our product information and constantly revise our risk assessments – which relate, for example, to safety aspects and environmental impacts – to take account of new findings. In the event of new findings that REACH requires the substance safety report to cover, we adapt our risk assessments accordingly.
Only some 40 percent of WACKER products require safety data sheets by law. We go beyond these requirements and compile these sheets for all our sales products – not just for those classified as hazardous substances. WACKER issues over 75,000 safety data sheets in up to 35 languages. REACH
REACH legislation, which came into force in 2007, governs the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals within the European Union. Comprehensive data are gathered through REACH, which imposes high requirements on the manufacturers, importers and users of chemical products. All substances on the European market that are used or imported in annual quantities exceeding one metric ton must be registered and evaluated. The scope of evaluation work is largely determined by the quantity produced or imported and the expected risks. Particularly high-risk substances are subject to regulatory approval. REACH compliance costs WACKER a total of €30 million.
As of 2008, we are obligated to register all substances produced in Europe – and toxicologically classify their properties – if annual quantities exceed one metric ton. The exact conditions of use must be taken into account: By June 2013, WACKER had submitted 153 registration dossiers to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). This includes 67 registration dossiers for substances between 100 and 1,000 metric tons a year, the registration deadline of which expired on May 31, 2013. As part of the normal REACH procedure, the ECHA still requires additional information to be provided on dossiers submitted during the first phase (2010). GHS
GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals) is a United Nations initiative for harmonizing the classification and labeling of hazardous substances. It is up to individual countries to decide whether to adopt the system, and, if so, which modules to accept, and when. GHS was introduced to Europe in January 2009 with the European Regulation on the Classification, Labeling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (the CLP Regulation). We started adapting our safety data sheets to meet international GHS requirements back in 2007 and are continuing this process in line with the GHS implementation deadlines set for the countries to which we supply products. GPS
The ICCA (International Council of Chemical Associations) has developed the “Global Product Strategy” (GPS), which contains rules for the assessment of the properties of chemicals and on how to provide information on their safe use. In Europe, most GPS requirements are satisfied by the European chemicals regulations REACH and CLP (Classification, Labeling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures). GPS takes the idea of easily available and understandable information on the properties, risks, protective measures and safe use of chemicals especially seriously and commits manufacturers to publishing so-called GPS Safety Summaries – descriptions written in layman’s terms on the safe and environmentally sound use of chemicals, available to anyone via the internet. Product Stewardship
WACKER takes environmental, and health and safety criteria into account at every stage of the product life cycle – every research and development project examines the sustainability aspects of our new products and processes, starting with the raw materials used. We try to minimize raw-material consumption, while selecting materials which offer maximum ecological benefit.
Our products are generally supplied to business customers for further processing – not to end customers direct. Cradle-to-gate assessments, however, are partial LCAs which look at the environmental impact of products from the moment of manufacture to the time they reach the factory gate. They allow us to gage the sustainability of our products and production processes, and to improve them accordingly. Having launched life cycle assessments at WACKER POLYMERS in 2010, we extended these to further business divisions during 2011. Our goal is to establish this tool throughout the Group.
We have introduced a tool to evaluate systematically the risks and opportunities of our product line from an environmental perspective. This WACKER® Eco Assessment Tool factors in the material, water and energy consumption of a product, as well as its ecotoxicity, over the entire life cycle. We have already used it to assess some product families and we will be widening its scope to include others.
Nguyen Duc Hoang Long
Technical Service Manager
Wacker Chemicals (South Asia) Pte.Ltd
Vietnam Representative Office
Sailling Tower, 12 Floor – Unit 1201
111A Pasteur St., Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tel: + 84 8 35202581
Fax: + 84 8 3825 6721
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