The Joint Research Centre (JRC) has recently released a report detailing the initial application of the European Commission (EC) Safe and Sustainable by Design (SSbD) framework in case studies on selected materials. A first case study focused on plasticisers in food contact materials. The objective was to explore potential improvements to the SSbD framework and facilitate its broader application in supporting innovation for safety and sustainability.
Two case studies were also developed by industry: A case study carried out by Clariant and BASF, focused on flame retardants (halogen-free) in information and communication technology products. It compared halogenated flame retardants with non-halogenated alternatives; and a case study led by Novozymes, which examined surfactants in textiles. It assessed the enzyme pectate lyase, which reduces energy and chemical consumption in the scouring process of cotton yarns and fabrics in the textile industry.
The participation of companies provided valuable initial feedback on the framework implementation. Key challenges identified include resource requirements for assessments, data scarcity, and the need for training and skill development for SSbD assessment. Despite these challenges, companies commit to further support the SSbD concept 2 year trial phase and are willing to explore its integration in their research and development strategies.
Published on June 12th, the report incorporates feedback received during the draft report's feedback round in March. It highlights significant changes made, like implementation of an Executive Summary and Chapter 2.2 on Design. SusChem welcomes the fact that, amongst others, changes reflecting the various stages of the innovation process were taken into consideration.
This report establishes a solid foundation for future efforts in safe and sustainable-by-design initiatives.
Read the report here.