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18 new substances of very high concern recommended to be added to the REACH Authorisation List

cheimcals of very high concern

ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) has recommended 18 new substances of very high concern (SVHCs) to be added to the REACH Authorisation list, from the Candidate list. The majority of the substances (13) are toxic to reproduction. The other substances includes two respiratory sensitisers, a carcinogen, an endocrine disruptor and a very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB) substance.

One of the recommended substances to be added on the list is Bisphenol A or BPA (4,4′-isopropylidenediphenol) which is a commonly used chemical in the synthesis of plastics. BPA-based plastics are clear and though and used in many consumer products such as water bottles, sports equipment and CD’s.

The substances have been prioritized from the Candidate List because of their intrinsic properties, high volume and widespread uses, which may pose threats to human health or the environment.

The final decision regarding the inclusion of the substances in the list and the dates by which companies will need to apply for authorisation to ECHA will be taken by the European Commission in collaboration with the Member States and the European Parliament.

(ECHA 1.10.2019)

Need help with chemicals management? Learn more about the Ecobio Manager compliance tool.


 

What you need to know about the UN Climate Action Summit 2019

un climat change summit 2019

To tackle the issue of climate change UN organizes the UN Climate Action Summit today (23.9.2019) in New York.

“The Summit will bring together governments, the private sector, civil society, local authorities and other international organizations to develop ambitious solutions in six areas: a global transition to renewable energy; sustainable and resilient infrastructures and cities; sustainable agriculture and management of forests and oceans; resilience and adaptation to climate impacts; and alignment of public and private finance with a net zero economy.” (UN 2019)

Why this is important

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time, having remarkable effects on the nature and all societies, businesses, animals and humans. There is still time to slow down the pace of climate change, making it possible for us and the nature to adapt. This will, however, require unprecedented effort from all sectors of society. One important step in this direction is the Paris Agreement on climate change. To boost ambition and strengthen actions related to the Paris Agreement UN Secretary-General´s special envoy António Guterres will host the 2019 Climate Action Summit in New York 23.9.2019. Climate solutions are important for both business and nature. Climate solutions strengthen our economies and create jobs, bring cleaner air, preserves natural habitats and biodiversity, and protects our environment. (UNFCCC 2019, UN 2019)

What is being discussed

The Summit addresses the issues of climate change and how to tackle it. The Secretary-General has prioritized six action portfolios, recognized to have a high potential to curb greenhouse gas emissions and increase global action on adaptation and resilience. These portfolios are: 1. mobilizing sources of finance to drive decarbonization, 2.energy transition away from fossil fuels and becoming energy efficient, 3.industry transition, 4.nature-based solutions such as reducing emissions, biodiversity conservation and leveraging supply chains and technology, 5.cities and local action advancing mitigation and resilience at urban and local levels and 6.resilience and adaption advancing efforts to manage and address the impact of climate change particularly in those communities and nations most vulnerable. (UN 2019)

More news


Caisa Lindblom

Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment has entered into force

plastic products

Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment has entered into force on 2nd of July 2019.

The objectives of the Directive are to prevent and reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, in particular the aquatic environment, and on human health, as well as to promote the transition to a circular economy with innovative and sustainable business models, products and materials, thus also contributing to the efficient functioning of the internal market.

The Directive applies to certain single-use plastic products, to products made from oxo-degradable plastic and to fishing gear containing plastic. The plastic products, which fall within the scope of the Directive, are listed in the Annex. The scope of the Directive also takes into a consideration the tendency of certain types of food containers to become litter. Requirements stated in the Directive apply to consumer products. Commission shall publish guidelines including examples of what is considered to be a single-use plastic product by 3rd of July 2020.

Implementation of the Directive demands a significant decrease in the consumption of the certain plastic products and a prohibition of placing on the market certain plastic products on the national level. In addition, product and marking requirements are to be tighten.

The implementation of the Directive requirements in the national legislation is to be brought into force by 3rd of July 2021.

 

Ecobio Manager – Effortlessly stay on track of the legislation amendments

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Risk Assessment with Ecobio Manager

risk assessment

Have you noticed the new Risk Assessment tool in Ecobio Manager?

Ecobio Manager helps your company with statutory risk assessing.

Risk assessments are very important as they are a central part of a professional environmental and occupational health and safety management plan. The aim of the assessment process is to evaluate hazards and remove them or minimize the level of their risk by adding control measures. By doing this you can create a safer and healthier workplace.

With the help of Ecobio Manager you can easily conduct environmental, health and safety as well as chemical exposure risk assessments. Your organization can follow the most important risk factors and implementation of the risk control measures. Easy-to-use service helps you to determine the risks on your workplace. Ecobio Manager also facilitates authority processes while automatic risk calculation and responsibility delegation features enable time and cost savings. For chemical management customers, risk assessment provides an intelligent integrated solution with the chemicals list for evaluation. The system also automatically uses hazard statements for the chemical when determining the risk.

Risk assessment Ecobio Manager

Other benefits of the tool:

  • Helps your company meet the legal requirements and makes regulatory inspections smoother.
  • The latest risk assessments are available to all workers.
  • Automated risk calculation saves time and resources.
  • You can easily allocate responsibilities for different tasks.

 

Interested in learning more about risk assessment and Ecobio Manager? Our experts are happy to help you any time.

Don´t hesitate to contact us!

sales@ecobiomanager.com

4 new substances added to the SVHCs Candidate List

high risk substances and chemicals

ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) has added four new substances to the Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) for authorisation. The substances are added due to their toxicity to reproduction, endocrine disruption and a combination of other properties of concern. The list now contains 201 substances.

The Candidate List contains substances that may have serious effects on human health or the environment. Substances added to the list are candidates for eventual inclusion in the Authorisation List. Once they are on the Authorisation List, companies will need to apply for permission to continue using the substance.

The substances added are listed in the table below:

# Substance name EC number CAS number Reason for inclusion Examples of use(s)
1 2-methoxyethyl acetate 203-772-9 110-49-6 Toxic for reproduction (Article 57 (c)) Not registered under REACH.
2 Tris(4-nonylphenyl, branched and linear) phosphite (TNPP) with ≥ 0.1% w/w of 4-nonylphenol, branched and linear (4-NP) Endocrine disrupting properties (Article 57(f) – environment) Primarily used as an antioxidant to stabilise polymers.
3 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoro-2-(heptafluoropropoxy)propionic acid, its salts and its acyl halides (covering any of their individual isomers and combinations thereof) Equivalent level of concern having probable serious effects to the environment (Article 57(f) – environment) and human health (Article 57(f) – human health) Processing aid in the production of fluorinated polymers.
4 4-tert-butylphenol 202-679-0 98-54-4 Endocrine disrupting properties (Article 57(f) – environment) Used in coating products, polymers, adhesives, sealants and for the synthesis of other substances.

Table source: https://echa.europa.eu/-/four-new-substances-added-to-the-candidate-list 

Companies may have legal obligations resulting already from the inclusion of the substance in the Candidate List. Importers and producers of articles containing the substance have six months starting from today (16 July 2019) to notify ECHA.

If you have any questions regarding the changes or need help related to the handling of chemical substances in the European Union do not hesitate to contact us!

Our Ecobio Manager service helps you keep up with regulations and requirements.

Contact details:

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info@ecobio.fi


News original source: ECHA

9th Conference on Biodiversity in Trondheim

biodiversity

The Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and the Norwegian Government arranges the 9th Conference on Biodiversity in Trondheim, today (Tuesday, July 2). About 450 delegates from 120 countries are expected to attend the conference. Representatives consists mainly of decision-makers and experts. Krista Mikkonen, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change in Finland, is participating in the conference.

Why is the conference held?

“In 2020 (in Kunming, China) the Convention on Biological Diversity will adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework as a stepping stone towards the 2050 Vision of “Living in harmony with nature”. This vision was agreed under the CBD in 2010 (in Nagoya, Japan), and reads that the vision is a world of “Living in harmony with nature” where “By 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.”

The Conference will address the challenges of achieving the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity and explore pathways for the transformational changes needed. The Trondheim Conferences on Biodiversity have since 1993 created opportunities for increasing understanding amongst stakeholders about issues on the biodiversity agenda.

The 9th Trondheim Conference will bring together decision-makers and experts from around the world to learn about and discuss knowledge and know-how for the global post-2020 biodiversity framework. The Conference will directly support the process established by the Convention on Biological Diversity for preparing this framework, with opportunities for major players to discuss key issues informally outside of the negotiation process.” https://trondheimconference.org/

Follow the live-stream from the conference here

Finland´s EU Presidency and its biodiversity agenda

On Monday (1.7.) Finland begun its six-month stint in the rotating presidency of the European Council.

The top priorities of the Finnish Presidency include strengthening the EU’s position as a global climate leader. According to the Finnish EU Presidency program, sustainability must be a common denominator for all EU action, and the implementation of Agenda 2030 for sustainable development must be ensured both within the Union and beyond. EU should raise its profile as a global climate leader by creating a long-term climate strategy which will help EU become carbon neutral in 2050. Finland will drive the EU Presidency with an ambitious and clear road map to improve biodiversity.

During its presidency, Finland will take steps to implement the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and to promote the sustainable use of natural resources and animal welfare.

Ecobio helps you reach the sustainability goals of your company – we help you balance business and nature.

For further information please get in touch:

Email: info@ecobio.fi

Phone: +358 (0)20 756 9450


The ministry of the Environment wrote about this 

Blog series on climate impacts – Textile industry

textile industry climate impact

The discussion on climate change is linked with the textile industry in multiple ways. On the one hand, the raw material supply and the production of textiles cause greenhouse gas emissions, on the other hand, the treatment of textile waste remains an unresolved question in circular economy. There is an increasing pressure for textile sector companies to improve the level of managing the environmental responsibilities, including climate impacts.

The climate impact from the textile industry can be reduced

The environmental impacts of the textile sector are related to energy and water consumption and to the use of hazardous substances over the life cycle of the product. The main environmental aspects of textiles are the raw material supply, dying, finishing, and the energy and water consumption during use, caused by the washing, drying and ironing of the textiles.

The climate impact from the textile industry can be reduced in many ways. Energy consumption shall be reduced in all stages of the life cycle, especially in manufacturing and use. The textile waste shall be first avoided, and if it is not possible, it shall be recycled as raw material, or its energy content recovered. The amendment of the EU waste directive (2018/851) requires the Member States to set up separate collection for textile waste by year 2025. It is likely that it improves the availability of textile waste, yet the utilization of the textile waste as raw material can be challenging due to the mixture of various fibers. The recyclability can be taken into account already in the design of the textile product.

The challenges in climate change and responsible operations may encourage the textile companies to develop their operations. There are several examples of innovative use of recycled or waste material as raw materials for textiles and sales and repair services of used clothes. The aim of these actions can be to reduce raw material costs, to profile as a responsible brand, and to stand out as an environmentally friendly company.

It is not only the climate change that matters in the textile industry. It is strongly linked to other environmental impacts as well as social responsibilities. To identify the environmental and social hot spots in the textile industry, it is necessary to evaluate the entire chain of operations in terms of a wide view of corporate responsibilities. Such an evaluation may include the consumption of resources (water, energy, natural resources), labor conditions and occupational health and safety.

Ecobio´s experts help you

Ecobio’s experts assist you in measuring, evaluating and developing the environmental performance, including climate change impacts. Our experts can help you improve the material and energy efficiency of your operations. We can also help you in wide sustainability-related questions and reporting. If these topics are currently relevant for you, contact Ecobio’s experts for further discussion.

 

Contact information:

Leena Tähkämö

Senior consultant

Tel. 020 756 2301

leena.tahkamo@ecobio.fi

Ecobion asiantuntija Leena Tähkämö

ilmastovaikutuksia

Ecobio’s blog series on climate impacts

Climate change is a hot topic at the moment. Ecobio contributes to climate change mitigation by providing services and taking actions. We help our customers in measuring their impacts on climate and the environment and in finding ways to reduce the impacts, e.g., by establishing a climate or sustainability roadmap in a longer time frame.

Companies contribute to greenhouse gas emissions at varying rates. It can be challenging to comprehend, control and manage the emissions in a large scale. According to the European Environmental Agency, the major sectors producing greenhouse gas emissions are energy supply (30 %), transport (22 %), and industry (20 %). In addition, significant emissions are caused by residential and commercial (13 %) and agriculture (12 %) sectors.

impacts
Greenhouse gas emissions by sector in 1990-2016. Source: European Environment Agency (EEA), 2018.

The outcome of the climate change discussion is likely to be more fruitful and effective when it focuses on the positive point of view. Instead of being stuck with negativity, anxiety, or denial of the climate change, it’s more useful to put our efforts into achievable actions that can be done by individuals or companies. One way to start is to evaluate your own carbon footprint by an online calculator or reflect your own actions in various campaigns. At company level, it’s essential to measure and evaluate the caused emissions in order to be able to set relevant goals and to monitor development. It’s typically easier to measure the emissions from company’s own actions but evaluation is also possible regarding the indirect emissions.

Blog series on climate impacts

During summer and autumn 2019, Ecobio’s experts will publish climate-focused blog postings to highlight significant sectors in relation to the climate change. The sectors we discuss in the blog series vary from energy and chemical industry to food production and textiles. We want to share ideas and solutions to reduce the climate and other environmental impacts. While focusing on climate issues, the blog series does not forget other environmental aspects related to the sectors presented.

Stay tuned for upcoming postings! If you have a sector whose emissions you are especially interested, please contact our experts at info@ecobio.fi or tel. +358 20 756 9450.

Ecobio

Team Ecobio acts on climate change

As a celebration of our 30 years of operation, Team Ecobio participated Drawdown EcoChallenge 3-24 April 2019. The impact of our climate actions reached 3 556 pounds of CO2 (1 612 kg of CO2) with 27 participants in our team. Our impact derived from a range of actions, such as 212 meatless or vegan meals consumed, an impressive 503 trees planted*, and 29 plastic containers not sent to the landfill during the challenge.

Globally, the EcoChallenge involved more than 14 000 participants who completed 125 000 actions in 78 countries. The global climate impact of the actions was approximately 345 000 pounds of CO2 (156 tons of CO2). Pretty impressive for only a 3-week project!

What would happen if such actions were done all the time? In one year, the total impact of the Drawdown EcoChallenge participants would be more than 2 700 tons of CO2. That corresponds to driving 23 million kilometres with an average European car (average CO2 emissions 118,5 g/km in new cars registered in 2017)

What are your climate impacts?

To calculate your company’s impacts on climate change and to define a climate roadmap, contact our experts: info@ecobio.fi or tel. +358 20 756 9450.

 

*Due to the frost in the ground, the trees were ordered during the challenge but will be planted once the ground is sufficiently warm for planting.

adaptation

The 12. adaptation to technical progress of the CLP

Change (EU) 2019/521

The 12. adaptation to technical progress (ATP) of the CLP Regulation adopts the sixth and seventh revised editions of the GHS. The sixth and seventh revised editions of the GHS result from changes adopted in 2014 and 2016 respectively by the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. These changes introduce a new hazard class for desensitised explosives and a new hazard category, pyrophoric gases, within the hazard class flammable gases.

Other changes include adaptations to: the criteria for substances and mixtures which in contact with water emit flammable gases, the generic cut-off values; the general provisions to classify aerosol forms of mixtures; and the detail of the definitions and classification criteria as appropriate for the hazard classes explosives, flammable gases, flammable liquids, flammable solids, acute toxicity, skin corrosion/irritation, serious eye damage/eye irritation, respiratory and skin sensitisation, germ cell mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity, specific target organ toxicity and aspiration hazard. In addition, amendments are introduced to some hazard and precautionary statements.

To ensure that suppliers of substances and mixtures have time to adapt to the new classification, labelling and packaging provisions, this Regulation will be applied starting from the 17th of October 2020. However, suppliers can apply the new provisions on a voluntary basis already before the date of application.

Ecobio will gladly answer any questions regarding chemical legislation or chemical management. Contact our experts at: info@ecobio.fi or tel. +358 20 756 9450.