Have you ever heard of product stewardship and why it matters? If you haven’t, this is an opportunity to learn more about it as it impacts us all.
Product stewardship is the process of identifying, managing and minimizing a product’s environmental, health and safety impact. The entire value chain is part of the effort as it brings together all actors involved in the production, use and End of Life stage.
It should come as no surprise that product stewardship is of crucial and incremental importance for the chemical industry at large, and for ISOPA in particular.
Product stewardship is vitally important for ISOPA
Product stewardship is part of ISOPA’s DNA. The association and its members develop promote programmes in order to guarantee the safe handling of diisocyanates and polyols, the chemistry behind polyurethanes. In addition to ensure businesses and products comply with the highest safety standards, ISOPA encourages all relevant private and public partners work with them in understanding and adopting these best practices.
Concretely, the first step to minimise environmental and health impact is to provide robust data and expert advice to all relevant parties throughout the polyurethanes’ value chain – from production to waste management.
The “Walk the Talk”, “Logistics” and “One Step Ahead” education and information programmes are platforms created by ISOPA to ensure safety information is disseminated. These programmes enable for both workers, transporters and customers of polyurethanes to understand the importance of sharing responsibilities to guarantee the safe handling of chemical compounds. All in all, they demonstrate ISOPA’s commitment to promote industrial responsibility going forward, both in Europe and beyond.
“Walk the Talk”: Improving safety across Europe
“Walk the Talk” is a programme developed by the ISOPA’s members with the aim to improve safety, health and environmental standards across the European polyurethanes industry. It focuses on the behavioural safety in the industry through an ongoing process of information exchange and dialogue. The programme consists of detailed sets of training covering all the phases of the industrial process: processing, maintenance, warehousing and waste of polyurethanes.
“Walk the Talk” programmes are available in 26 languages and a large number of employees have received special modular training tailored to the specific situation on their work sites.
Logistics: High standards for loading and unloading safety across Europe
ISOPA is committed to the continuous increase of standards in the loading, transport, unloading and storage of diisocyanates and polyols. Our aim is to assure maximum protection of health and safety and a consistent industry wide approach.
Putting this into practice and to ensure the highest levels of safety in the transportation of chemicals, ISOPA developed programs like: Guidelines for bulk and packed MDI/TDI and Driver Training for carriers.
“One Step Ahead”: ISOPA’s programme in the Middle East and Africa
“One Step Ahead” (OSA) is ISOPA’s seminar programme that aims to increase awareness and standards in the loading, unloading, storage and use of diisocyanates and polyols in Africa and the Middle East since 1998. For over 15 years it has received extremely positive feedback from participants across countries. That’s promising for the future!
In 2014, ISOPA held “One Step Ahead” in:
- April 2014 in Tanzania
- November 2014 in Dubai
In May 2015, “One Step Ahead” activities will be held in Morocco.
The programme’s guidelines, posters and self-assessment forms ensure the optimal protection of health and safety for the users of these chemical products. The seminars are held locally by representatives of ISOPA member companies using suitably adapted materials for the specific markets’ needs.