Why is it so hard to make less-toxic, safe products? The answer may surprise you. We all know supply chains are complicated, unique to each manufacturer and brand, and sprawled across the globe. Standards vary, and regulations can be a mosaic of rules and exceptions. But we often discredit the very real challenge of supplier engagement.
This tricky dance around disclosure, reporting fatigue and proprietary ingredients can silence the most responsive of suppliers, and derail the most aggressive product transparency effort.
Supplier engagement is surprisingly fixable with software solutions that benefit both the supplier and the manufacturer.
The expansion of 3rd party verification, like Declare Labels, help pave the way for innovative chemical hazard management in our products – making it easier to get pull through and buy in for software investments.
Technology has the ability to solve for issues like redundancy of requests, proprietary substance protections, and submission to standards with tools like workflow automation, secure cloud services, comprehensive regulatory and hazard screening, and API integration.
If it is packaged in an intuitive, affordable interface, that increases engagement. And when it is recognized by industry partners and influencers, we have the start of a revolution in our supply chains.
How Toxnot is Helping
Software platforms like Toxnot work from both the supplier and disclosure side of the equation.
Suppliers can upload their ingredients into the Toxnot platform for free with a simple login. This feeds into a searchable, secure cloud service for anyone looking to use these ingredients and materials in their own products - saving time, most importantly reducing the need to re-enter material data elsewhere.
Eliminating repeated emails to different suppliers – a significant benefit in and of itself – helps with data integrity and supplier relationships. From here, product developers can collect complex data on the ingredients in their products, even if they are proprietary. They can explore alternative, potentially safer chemicals securely and screen against particularly hazardous compounds, see if materials are Red List free and so on.
Most importantly, Toxnot lets manufacturers automatically submit their product data directly to multiple standards like Declare, Red2Green, HPDs, C2C and GIGA Origin/Mindful Materials in a single click.
From here, a searchable, dynamic database grows.
With proprietary protections available, this database becomes a powerful opportunity for marketing, visibility, and measurable growth in the green building space – from supplier, through designer, to reporting and transparency.
Nuances in IP protections let users customize the visibility of sensitive data like chemical name or registry number, while allowing those receiving proprietary information to still see GreenScreen List Translator scores and RSL data.