Product Portfolio Assessment
Comprehensive analysis of our product portfolio based on sustainability criteria
Effective sustainability requires that we have as precise a picture as possible of the impact of our business activities – both positive and negative. The dedicated evaluation system we have developed provides us with a strategic management tool for systematically evaluating and improving the sustainability performance of our product portfolio from an economic, environmental and social perspective.
The continuously optimized system analyzes the impact and benefits of our products on the basis of criteria that we regard as relevant to our company and to society as a whole.
As part of our strategy process, we apply these criteria each year in evaluating our entire product portfolio, with subsequent review of the results by an internal committee of experts. This process has revealed which of our products satisfy the sustainability requirements we have defined and can help us to deliver solutions for key sustainability challenges.
Across the LANXESS Group, we are applying the findings of this analysis to further improve the sustainability performance of our product portfolio. Our now deeper understanding of our products’ properties may also provide important impetus for innovation. It also shows where action is still needed. This information may be used to develop specific improvement processes or to create acceptance for certain issues in our dialog with stakeholders.
The following examples show how we derive concrete actions from our analysis.
Phase-out of HBCD type flame retardants
LANXESS is committed to cease all sales of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and will globally eliminate HBCD as an ingredient in its products by the end of 2018. HBCD is included in Annex A (substances for elimination) of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, because of its properties as a persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substance (PBT). The company is facilitating the switch from using HBCD flame retardants to alternatives such as LANXESS‘ Emerald Innovation 3000, a highly effective, sustainable polymeric brominated flame retardant, in cooperation with its customers. The business with HBCD was taken over by LANXESS as part of the acquisition of US company Chemtura, which was successfully completed in April 2017. In 2018 the HBCD phase-out has been successfully completed.
Substitution of Alkylphenol Ethoxilates (APEO)
LANXESS is committed to substitute dispersing agents classified as APEO in its formulations until 2020 and to offer new formulated products based on APEO-free dispersing agent systems within this time frame. Substances belonging to the class of Alkylphenol Ethoxilates (APEO) are widely used as technical dispersing agents in water-based compositions, among which especially Nonylphenol Ethoxilates have been found to act as endocrine disruptor.
Reducing exposure to potentially carcinogenic substances with low-free products
With an improvement to the product line for high-purity polyurethane prepolymers, known as low-free products, the LANXESS Urethane Systems business unit has reaffirmed its global technology leadership. Use of the new products with very low residual monomer contents reduces exposure of workers to potentially carcinogenic substances. In addition, the product line boasts improved processing capabilities and product quality, making it suitable for the most demanding applications, e.g. in the tire and caster industry and the adhesives sector.
Reducing the use of hazardous substances in textiles and leather
In 2018, LANXESS joined the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme, an association of more than 80 companies within the world’s largest initiative for sustainability in the textile and clothing industry. The ZDHC Programme takes a holistic approach to reducing the use of hazardous substances in the global textile, leather and footwear value chain. The ZDHC Foundation, which was established in 2011, has set itself the goal of improving sustainability and chemicals management. The ZDHC Gateway – Chemical Module is the first compatible ZDHC data exchange platform that enables manufacturers of chemical substances and formulations to securely exchange information in accordance with ZDHC standards and tools. Brand manufacturers and textile, footwear and leather suppliers use the module to ensure conformance with ZDHC industry standards to reduce the use of hazardous chemicals.
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