NSF International and the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI) have developed an American National Standard that provides a standardized way to define and report the environmental and human health hazards associated with a chemical product and its manufacturing process impacts. Officially known as NSF/GCI/ANSI 355 Greener Chemicals and Processes Information Standard, it is the first standard to address sustainability-related attributes of chemical products and processes.
The Standard outlines a framework that chemical manufacturers will use to develop one comprehensive, standardized report that they can share with their customers throughout the supply chain. The report will be used to evaluate chemical products and their associated manufacturing processes in several key categories, including:
- Chemical characteristics: Physical chemical properties, human health effects, and ecological effects;
- Chemical processes (gate to gate): Chemical efficiency and waste prevention, water, energy, bio-based carbon content, innovative manufacturing processes and technology, and process safety; and
- Social responsibility: Child labor, forced and compulsory labor, and compliance with laws and regulations.
The Standard does not address product performance or cost. In the short term, NSF/GCI/ANSI 355 data reports will give formulators and other users of chemicals a certified report containing complete, up-to-date, verified information from their suppliers that may be used as a foundation for informed decision-making. The potential long-term benefits of the Standard, however, are even greater.
According to NSF, pilot projects have shown that the Standard has helped stimulate innovation in the development of greener chemicals and processes and, more importantly, has helped create a platform of greener chemistry. More information about the Standard and a sample report that identifies reporting criteria are available at www.nsf.org/info/nsfgci355.