Consumer and advocacy groups have growing concerns over the potential human health and environmental impacts associated with chemical exposure. These concerns are reflected both in retailers’ sustainability policies and commitments around chemicals and in manufacturers’ attentiveness to the development of “greener” products.

Retailers and brand manufacturers are focusing on identifying high priority chemicals, disclosing these chemicals to consumers, and promoting safer ingredient choices through alternatives assessment and informed substitution. Though these efforts aim to provide solutions to specific concerns regarding chemical hazards, actions by individual retailers or manufacturers increases the risk of gridlock, system inefficiency, and lack of market acceptance of any given solution.


To ensure actionable and lasting progress , we are convening our members to develop a framework that uses best and transparent approaches for ingredient selection and product safety evaluation. The framework consists of four facets of ingredient and product assessment with a process flow chart that provides a means for enhanced transparency and support for evaluating and choosing ingredients to create safe products that function as intended.

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Which resources, quantity of data, chemical lists and formulation requirements are considered?

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What approaches are used to identify and classify hazards for ingredients and products?

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What approaches are used to determine the relative safety of products when used as directed, or under foreseeable conditions of misuse?

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What activities are used to disclose ingredient information, hazard approaches from previous screens in this framework?


When completed, the framework will be used by retailers, manufacturers, and NGOs in a multitude of ways:

  • to facilitate decision making for ingredient and product safety evaluation
  • as a decision support tool for product/ingredient development to create safe products
  • as a basis for defining leadership levels and activities
  • as a communication tool to disclose current approaches for ingredient selection and product safety evaluation

Ultimately, when implemented in combination with current TSC metrics, this framework will contribute to enhanced communication on chemical safety issues throughout the value chain while driving the development of safe and more sustainable products.

Those interested in learning more about the effort can contact:

Carolyn Baltz

Senior Manager of Membership and Development
The Sustainability Consortium

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