What is product stewardship?

Product stewardship is an emerging and evolving profession that currently lacks a globally-accepted formal definition. Practitioners in one industry can have very different views about the scope of product stewardship than those from another industry, as can practitioners from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia, or government agencies. Because the Product Stewardship Society supports professionals from all of these employment sectors, we have adopted this broad definition:

Responsibly managing the health, safety, and environmental aspects of raw materials, intermediate, and consumer products throughout their life cycle and across the value chain in order to prevent or minimize negative impacts and maximize value.

Why did we form the Product Stewardship Society?

Product stewardship as a profession was not clearly defined and there was no single “home” for product stewardship professionals. There are other industry associations, but they are not quite comprehensive in scope or they focus more on government relations or corporate needs.

Here are some of the questions we heard from product stewards:

  • How do you define product stewardship?
  • What skills do I need to be a highly effective product stewardship professional?
  • How do I communicate the full business value of product stewardship to management?

We launched the Product Stewardship Society in 2012 to drive the profession forward by providing resources, professional development, and networking opportunities that serve the needs of product stewardship professionals globally.

The Product Stewardship Society is an affiliate of AIHA​®


Empower professionals to achieve the responsible design, development, and management of products throughout their life cycle.


A world of safe, trusted, and sustainable products.