April 29, 2016 / Andrew Brown

Sharing with Suppliers: The Pros and Cons of Open Exchange

There is an increased need for manufacturers to exchange more information with their chemical suppliers and customers. Regulators expect suppliers to know exactly how their products will be used. In many cases, a more open exchange of information is necessary, says Peter Goossen, senior product stewardship manager for the hydrocarbons business at The Dow Chemical Company.

Goossen will lead a discussion on Product Stewardship Communications Down the Supply Chain​​ during Stewardship 2016. Attendees will talk about the obstacles to information-sharing in the world of bulk commodity chemicals and how they might be overcome.

One possibility is more public disclosure. For instance, Dow’s hydrocarbon business makes its SDS’ publicly available through its website. Anyone can view them, along with other product related information such as product safety assessments that are even easier to read. “We do this not only for the harmless products. We do this for the very dangerous products as well,” says Goossen. “There’s no need to keep safety information a secret.”

At the same time, Goossen acknowledges concerns about intellectual property or potential misuse of the information. Yet the demand for transparency isn’t going away. “I want to trigger some thinking about whether or not to be open about your products,” he says. “I think the chemical industry needs to be more open in principle, but there's a big question about the best way forward.”

Andrew Brown

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