Supply chain transparency and consumer product labelling: Notice to interested parties

Deadline extended: Individuals and groups are invited to identify themselves as interested parties, by no later than April 1, 2022.

Background

Consumer, workplace, industrial, and other products contain a wide range of chemical ingredients, some of which can have impacts on the health of Canadians or on the environment, and there is growing demand for increased transparency about these ingredients and their potential risks.

Good information on the chemicals that are in the thousands of diverse products that are traded within corporate supply chains is essential. There is increasing demand from consumers for readily accessible chemical information on product labels to help them make informed choices. Companies need chemical ingredient information for complying with regulatory requirements, setting and meeting environmental, social, and governance targets, to enable the informed substitution of toxic chemicals with safer alternatives, and to ensure the safe re-introduction of materials (for example, metals and plastics) within a circular economy. Furthermore, governments need information about product content in order to be able to assess risks, determine the exposure of Canadians and of the environment to chemicals, and design and implement risk management measures, where appropriate.

As part of the announcement in February 2022 on strengthening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, the Government signaled its intent to enhance chemical ingredient transparency throughout the supply chain and to strengthen mandatory labelling for cosmetics, cleaning products, and flame retardants in upholstered furniture, giving Canadians greater access to information about the substances to which they are exposed.

Objective

This consultation will inform the development of a Notice of Intent for the labelling of toxic substances in consumer products, including flame retardants in upholstered furniture, followed by a broader strategy outlining a suite of policy actions to improve the availability of information on chemicals in consumer products throughout the supply chain, for the benefit of consumers, businesses, and governments. These actions may include legislative and regulatory actions, as well as voluntary and collaborative initiatives.

Approach

Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada plan to carry out a series of workshops and interactive events in a policy lab format, in which participants will be brought together to collaboratively develop and test innovative solutions. Activities will be designed to encourage active participation and innovation and could include phone interviews, web-based questionnaires, in-person or web-based focus groups, and the use of digital tools to explore and test potential options. All activities will respect public health guidelines to ensure safe and inclusive participation.

The consultations will be led by Wood Canada Limited, with partners from the University of Massachusetts’s Lowell Center for Sustainable Production.

Who can participate

The consultations are open to all Canadians, including those from across different industry and product sectors and segments within supply chains (for example, manufacturers, importers, formulators, distributors, retailers, purchasers, consumers, disposers, and recyclers), non-governmental organizations, civil society, Indigenous communities, consumer advocacy groups, and academia.

How to participate

Please visit Wood Canada Limited’s virtual platform for the consultations or email policylab@woodplc.com in order to:

Interactive consultation events will occur during winter through summer 2022. Details will be made available to interested parties who have identified themselves, and on the Wood Canada Limited virtual platform.

The results of this consultation will be made available at a later date on the consultation page.

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