April 8, 2016 / Andrew Brown

Product-Evaluation Tools – What’s Next?

To comply with regulations, there are certain things manufacturers must do. But as end users demand transparency, compliance is often not enough. As retailers and brand owners require specific environmental and health information — often a prerequisite to getting products on their shelves — service providers have created tools and frameworks for product evaluation and information sharing.

“The question we dread is ‘what is the perfect tool,’” says Kevin Mulvaney, senior director, value chain outreach and responsible care at the American Chemistry Council (ACC). “The goal is not to pick winners and losers but to really focus on the principles of what comprises a more comprehensive evaluation.”

ACC has looked at evaluation tools in the marketplace, with the goal of helping the industry understand what they offer and what they don’t. Mulvaney will be joined by and ACC members and value chain leader to discuss these topics as well as trends in value chain communications during Value Chain Outreach: Balancing the Push for Transparency, Understanding Evaluation Tools and The Push for More Sophisticated Product Evaluation​ at Stewardship 2016.

“Not all tools are created equal, so it's important to understand how they work and what their functional limitations are,” he says. “We’re really trying to drive a conversation about tools that are easier to use, more transparent in terms of how they treat information and consider multiple attributes.”

Mulvaney will talk about current landscape for some of these tools, as well as the trends driving interest in transparency and disclosure. He’ll also talk about the future and ACC’s work in the value chain arena.

“As decision-makers ask for more information, it's often the role of product stewards to make that happen,” he says. “Having a better understanding of what drives these information requests and the process by which folks make decisions helps us all.”

Andrew Brown

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