Special Report: Engage with your suppliers to protect your business

Why it’s critical to engage with your suppliers to achieve supply chain transparency for chemical management.


by Jillian Stacy, Business Manager, Enhesa Sustainable Chemistry

By now, everyone has heard the term supply chain. Empty shelves in stores during the pandemic highlighted the complexity of global supply chains and how one kink in the chain can have a massive domino effect. Getting goods through the supply chain is one thing, getting information through may be even harder. Responses to requests to suppliers are often like those of the childhood game ‘telephone’ where the initial request gets changed with each pass to another person in the chain, so the end response has nothing to do with what was originally asked.

Why the push for supply chain transparency?

Regulatory Compliance

In the past few years, we have seen several regulatory drivers pushing companies to increase their supply chain transparency generally, but also specifically when it comes to the chemicals used in their products and processes.

  • Digital Product Passports: While specific requirements under the European Green Deal are still unknown, it is likely they will include a listing of master data, such as product, manufacturer, composition, chemicals of concern, toxicity, and sourcing information.
  • PFAS Reporting Requirements: Globally, we are seeing an increase in rules and regulations requiring companies to report on the presence of PFAS in their products, detailing the amount, as well as the purpose of the PFAS. Companies can often do finished product testing which will show them there is PFAS in the finished product, but they won’t know where it is coming from and how to go about replacing it.
  • Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive: Although not yet approved, the Directive would require companies to identify, prevent, stop, or mitigate impacts on human rights and the environment throughout their value chains.

Sustainability Initiatives

While the majority of companies are still focused on climate change, we are seeing an increasing number of companies branching out into other sustainability initiatives around product circularity, increasing reusability and recyclability, preventing biodiversity loss, etc. that will involve gathering chemical data from suppliers and getting them onboard with new initiatives.

Consumer Demand

We are seeing an increase in consumer demand to understand what’s going into the products they use. From food to cosmetics, children’s toys to clothes, people want to understand potential risks and choose safer products. A quick search in your phone’s app store will yield several results for apps where consumers can scan products in stores, review ingredients and associated safety information, as well as compare products. In the digital age, consumer product information is widely available, so it’s important to identify any issues and make the necessary changes in your products before consumers raise a flag.

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