Environmental Protection

NSF International Hosts GC3 Roundtable Focused on Developing Safer Consumer Products

Companies, ranging from Nike to Dow, Steelcase, Herman Miller, Staples and others are looking at new and innovative ways to design and make safer consumer products. More than 40 leading companies from the retail, footwear, auto, furniture, building, home, beauty and healthcare sectors convened at NSF International in Ann Arbor last week to discuss how to effectively produce safer products for consumers.

The Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3) Innovator’s Roundtable addressed opportunities and challenges, including:

• the available knowledge and information on product chemical contents and toxicity;
• resources to evaluate chemicals in products and apply safer alternatives, and;
• examples of supply chain collaborations to promote safer products.

GC3 is a business-to-business organization of more than 70 companies that helps support the design and application of safer chemicals and products. Some of the conference topics included: greening the textile industry, the auto sector's journey towards safer and greener chemical design, and bio-based solvents for cleaning products.

The conference featured keynotes by Lana Pollack, former Michigan State Senator and U.S. Chair of the U.S. Canada International Joint Commission; John Viera, Director of Sustainability at Ford; and Rui Resendes, Director of the Green Centre Canada research institute.

"The GC3 conference provides a forum for companies to share challenges and experiences in advancing safer chemistry through their supply chains," said Joel Tickner, Associate Professor of Environmental Health at UMass Lowell and director of the GC3. "Business-to-business collaboration in a safe space and around common goals will help move the marketplace for safer products through pre-competitive problem-solving."

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