SABYDOMA’s A Stakeholder’s Perspective of Safe-and-Sustainable-by-Design workshop:
18 Feb. 2022
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1. When one says safety and sustainability, I see health, individual health, community health, societal health, environmental health, ecological health, health at large. This forces us to always consider the full life cycle of our products and protect NPs from uncontrolled dispersion. Not only our products, but also our investigations (safe and sustainable during product design, product manufacturing, and product use, of course).
2. My idea of SSbD is of a deliberative democratic mechanism that enables reflections about values and purposes of its promoters as well as anticipates positive/negative consequences of its implementation.
3. SSbD is the identification of the various types of risks at the design stage so actions can be taken in good time. Due to functionality being linked to potential nanomaterial hazardous properties, it requires finding an acceptable balance between various factors including safety, functionality, and profitability.
4. The concept of Safe and Sustainable by Design for materials and chemicals is crucial for avoiding regrettable substitution. The clear definition criteria for safety and sustainability and the approaches for their assessment is the first step. The combination of risk assessment for safety and life cycle assessment for sustainability needs to be completed by other relevant aspects.
5. Safe and sustainable by design in materials and chemicals is the process ensuring that development of their products has embedded from the start: (1) hazard minimisation; (2) ethical sourcing of resources, and (3) operations respectful of environmental and social principles.
6. SSbD of chemicals and products is a design approach to prevent various types of harm to people and the planet. It starts with choosing services without the use of chemicals of concern, and designs which ensures clean material cycles, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. This will require the development of standardized lifecycle assessments, to set minimum performance criteria for each protection goal, to develop compliance tests for final products that can be compared against overall acceptance criteria - and thereby create trust and a level playing field for products both made in, or imported into, Europe.
7. SSbD materials and products safeguard human health followed by environmental hazards, without compromising on major sustainability goals (minimizing GHG emissions, environmental pollution and maximizing efficiency in resource use by fostering circularity).
8. SSbD holds the promise to address the safety and sustainability of a material through it’s whole lifecycle from R&D, production, use and disposal and to do so from the very start of product development. My vision is that a definition and implementation methodology can be designed and agreed by all stakeholders before we ask companies (especially SMEs) to implement SSbD.
9. SSbD should concern products (chemicals and materials), all consumer products, processes and services. In the design phase, when developing those as new products, new processes… many dimensions should be taken into account at the same time. The known life cycle analysis approach (including the crucial parameter of GHG emissions), should be added to the two equally crucial dimensions of Circularity and Product safety, which means free of harmful substances from the beginning to end of life of any product, including its recycling processes. This is a process, a methodology, not a regulation. This is a complex Research & Innovation process where ideally no tradeoffs should have to be made between all these previously mentioned dimensions, and it should be considered as a journey, probably a long journey until this concept is embedded by all stakeholders along value chains, SMEs, universities, citizens…
10. Criteria for SSbD could be used to create a labeling system that would incentivize industry to move away from hazardous substances and strive towards greater sustainability. As hazardous chemicals are a direct threat to human health and the environment they cannot be considered as safe and sustainable.