On February 23, 2016 the non-profit organization (NPO) International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) published a report entitled “The bigger picture” outlining how chemical regulation and substitution can stimulate innovative businesses to create safe products fit for a new, circular economy. According to the report, assessment of the socioeconomic aspects of using versus substituting hazardous chemicals needs to include and analyze the costs and benefits for all involved parties, and society as a whole. The report presents business cases of companies who have successfully incorporated the use of non-hazardous chemicals to make their products safer and better. These companies have a clear competitive advantage on the market as regulation on hazardous chemicals becomes more stringent. “The main concern of policy makers should therefore not be to reduce the ‘burden’ of environmental regulation on laggard companies, because this also disfavours the frontrunners,” ChemSec states. The NPO highlights four main aspects to consider regarding the economic benefits of substitution: 1) Prices of chemicals are not static, 2) using hazardous chemicals is costly, 3) regulation stimulates innovation, and 4) the market for safer alternatives is growing.
ChemSec (February 23, 2016). “Chemical regulation is economically beneficial for many companies.”
ChemSec (February 23, 2016). “The bigger picture – Assessing economic aspects of chemicals substitution.” (pdf)