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Taking an active approach to global product stewardship

Product stewardship involves the safe handling of chemical substances and products throughout their life cycle. In 2006, the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) launched the Global Product Strategy (GPS) initiative with the primary aim of establishing global standards for product stewardship and thus minimizing the impact of chemicals on human health and the environment. In line with the Responsible Care Global Charter and the GPS initiative, we are committed to manufacturing and marketing our products in such a way as to prevent injury to people and damage to the environment. Product safety is a top priority at all stages of the supply chain – from research and development, through production and transportation, to downstream processing and disposal.

Our Product Safety Management at LANXESS Directive steers the Group-wide observance of product stewardship throughout the product life cycle and secures the necessary participation of everyone involved in the supply chain. Our internal Central Product Surveillance Directive governs worldwide tracking of the health-related and ecological implications of raw materials and products. Our product portfolio also includes substances that are classified as hazardous. In order to prevent possible harm to health, we systematically test the properties of our products and draw our customers’ attention to the risks associated with their use.

Management of chemical control regulations

REACH Implementation Schedule
Chart: REACH Implementation Schedule

Worldwide, a range of chemical control regulations govern the registration, labeling and marketing of substances and mixtures. The safe handling, marketability and safe transportation of our chemicals and products are conditional on compliance with these regulations.

LANXESS has a global organization for managing the various demands with respect to these control regulations and compliance with them. It is supported by a globally applicable electronic safety data system that generates safety data sheets for our customers in more than 30 languages and provides national safety information systems with globally standardized substance data and updated documents. Safety data sheets give commercial users information about the properties of a chemical product with a view to ensuring safe handling across the supply chain.

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 obtain certification for products beyond what is legally required if this is requested by customers. For example, we have certificates in the areas of food and drinking water contact, food and feed additives, eco-labels and E.U. environmental labels as well as certificates confirming conformity with religious dietary laws.

We aim to raise marketability and the provision of hazardous goods data to a globally uniform safety and technical standard by successively integrating the safety data system into our SAP system worldwide. In 2013, China will be the focus of our activities in this respect.

The safety data system is also regularly adapted to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) in the various countries in the event of changes to hazardous goods legislation. 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. Implementation of the GHS global initiative in the E.U. is supported by REACH and the CLP (Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures) Regulation, which we implemented by the relevant deadline.

We expressly support the protection goals of the E.U. REACH regulation, which aims to achieve a high level of chemicals safety for human health and the environment. During the first REACH registration phase that ended on November 30, 2010, we prepared dossiers for 193 substances that we produce in or import to the European Union in volumes exceeding 1,000 tons annually and submitted these to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). In the second phase through to the end of May 2013, we will be registering around 200 substances with volumes exceeding 100 tons. Lastly, all substances with volumes exceeding one ton must be registered by the third deadline at the end of May 2018. We expect to submit a total of some 750 substance dossiers over all three phases.

In the registration process, we review the available substance information and fill any data gaps by exchanging information with competitors, obtaining expert opinions or developing appropriate tests ourselves. 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. Registration also involves systematically analyzing the effects of our substances on human health and the environment and describing safe conditions of use. In doing this, we consider the entire product life cycle.

Global dangerous goods and transport safety management

Through our global dangerous goods and transport safety management system, we ensure compliance with the relevant legal regulations and thus avoid hazardous situations in dangerous goods and transport processes. We coordinate, supervise and review the implementation of international, regional and local dangerous goods and transport safety regulations and internal company guidelines. Our expertise regarding the globally standardized classification and interpretation of dangerous goods regulations, together with regional regulations, helps us to ensure compliance in global transport operations. The classification determines the wrapping, marking and labeling, permitted modes of transport and transport routes. The classification database is filed in LANXESS’s chemicals safety data system. In 2012, we revised our existing guidelines on dangerous goods and transport safety management and defined international responsibilities.

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. We revised this concept in 2012 and now give greater consideration to regional requirements. We ensure compliance with our guidelines and regularly conduct on-site inspections.


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