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Tools for Safer Chemicals—from Chemicals to Products to Organizations

Event Type
Illinois Sustainable Technology Center
Feb 25, 2021   12:00 - 1:00 pm  
Mark S. Rossi, PhD - Executive Director, Clean Production Action (CPA)
Elizabeth Meschewski
Originating Calendar
Illinois Sustainable Technology Center Events

Abstract: Demand for inherently safer chemicals in products and manufacturing operations is on the rise. Consumers, institutional purchasers, and retailers want products made with safer chemicals. Brands are requiring suppliers to avoid hazardous chemicals and use safer alternatives. Investors prefer companies that commit to reducing their chemical footprint. And governments are restricting the use of hazardous chemicals in products.

This session will explore tools for:

  • Identifying chemicals of concern and safer chemicals.
  • Identifying products made with safer chemicals.
  • Creating organizational capacity to move ahead of regulatory compliance in chemicals management.

The tool we will use for identifying safer chemicals and products is GreenScreen and the tool we will use for creating greater organization capacity is the Chemical Footprint Project Survey.

Biogrophy: Mark S. Rossi, PhD, Executive Director, Clean Production Action (CPA). Mark has the unique ability to bring together diverse groups and achieve innovative outcomes. He is the co-creator of GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals, a globally-recognized chemical hazard assessment method used by governments and businesses in the electronics, apparel, and building sectors to identify safer alternatives to toxic chemicals. In 2017, Mark led CPA’s launch of GreenScreen Certified™, a certification program for products that meet rigorous GreenScreen criteria.

Mark is the co-founder of the Chemical Footprint Project (CFP), a first-of-its-kind initiative to quantitatively measure chemical footprints, and allow manufacturers and retailers to benchmark and communicate their progress in chemicals management performance and in reducing potentially hazardous chemicals relative to industry peers. Investors, retailers, health care organizations, and NGOs use CFP to engage manufacturers in assessing, reporting, and reducing their chemical footprints.

He is the founder of BizNGO, a collaborative of businesses, NGOs, and governments that work together to create solutions for safer chemicals and sustainable materials. BizNGO products include the Chemical Alternatives Assessment Protocol, Plastics Scorecard, and Alternatives to Methylene Chloride in Paint and Varnish Strippers.

In 2018, Mark led the integration of the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN) into CPA upon the retirement of IEHN’s co-founder Dr. Richard Liroff. IEHN is a collaborative of investors that promotes safer chemicals in corporations with the goals of enhancing the health of people and planet, as well as shareholder value.

Part of the CPA team since 2004, Mark played a variety of roles in the organization, including Research Director and Co-Director, before becoming Executive Director in 2016. He is a member of the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act Advisory Committee; and recipient of the Environmental Merit Award from the US EPA Region I and National Pollution Prevention Roundtable Ambassador Award. Mark’s doctorate is in Environmental Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

This seminar is a certified green event by the University of Illinois' University of Illinois' Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.

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