Recognizing that companies across industry sectors and throughout supply chains face common challenges in gathering information on chemicals, interpreting this information, identifying safer alternatives to chemicals of concern, and pushing the marketplace to produce safer chemicals and products, the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council, or GC3, was formed eight years ago as a business-to-business forum to share ideas for improved chemicals management and the production of safer chemicals, materials and products.
Facilitated by the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the GC3 has grown to a membership group of more than 100 companies representing many industry sectors. The group meets annually to share experiences and strategies to overcome challenges to implementation of comprehensive chemicals management and green chemistry. In addition, work groups meet throughout the year to advance specific projects, including a group focused on retailer needs.
The GC3 retailer work group has developed an online database called the Retailer Portal. This database, organized by industry sector, provides information on the many tools available for evaluating chemicals or chemical‐containing products for potential human health and environmental impacts as well as resources for identifying safer alternatives. In addition, the work group has compiled case studies of companies that have implemented chemicals management systems, including Apple, Boots, Green Depot, Patagonia, REI, Staples and Wal-Mart. These resources can be found on GC3's website.
The GC3 is organizing its second National Summit for Retailers, to be held in New York City on May 7. The 2013 GC3 Retailer Summit will build upon the GC3's first Summit for Retailers held in Watsonville, Calif., in May 2011. This event brought together more than 40 leading retailers and other stakeholders to engage in dialogue on the business case for improved chemicals management and safer products.
The Retailer Summit will be followed by the 8th Annual GC3 Innovators Roundtable on May 8 to 10 in New Brunswick, N.J., hosted by Johnson & Johnson. More than 100 sustainability leaders from a range of industry sectors, government, nongovernment organizations and universities will convene to share challenges and best practices and work on collaborative projects to advance the development of green chemistry and sustainable products. New companies are always welcome to participate in these meetings and are encouraged to become active members of the GC3 to enjoy the increased benefits of networking and collaboration.
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