As part of its industrial activities, ERAMET manufactures and uses numerous chemicals. The Group has adopted a responsible policy with regard to its materials and products. Its strategy is validated and supported in Europe by the REACH regulations and the mobilization of teams on the industrial sites concerned, as well as by ERAMET’s involvement in various professional and scientific bodies.
A Group active within professional organizations
ERAMET makes an active contribution to professional organizations related to its activities and contributes actively to the work that they do.
The Nickel Institute promotes the long-term production, use and re-use of nickel in a responsible and sustainable context. It has set up a network of highly qualified specialists who share their technical knowledge on nickel, its properties and uses, making its use secure and ensuring its optimum performance according to requirements.
Among other things, its actions aim to:
- initiate, finance and conduct research, in order to clearly understand the contribution that nickel makes in both environmental and human health mechanisms;
- share experience, so that international regulations are based on rigorous scientific knowledge;
- define the precautions required in the production, handling, use and elimination of nickel.
The Nickel Institute has monitored and argued for proposals for new limit values for professional exposure with the SCOEL (Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits), a working group under the authority of the European Commission.
The IMnI (International Manganese Institute) promotes the responsible production and use of manganese. Its priorities are:
- the review and anticipation of international regulatory changes
- the defense of suitable professional exposure values;
- the development of knowledge on health relating to manganese, in particular through the Neurotoxicity Research program.
Eurométaux represents the main European producers of metals and the national federations. Through its dynamic participation in the activities of this association, ERAMET has, for example, contributed to new methodologies for assessing the impacts of metals on the environment and on health.
The Principles of the REACH Regulations and the Stages of their Application
REACH is the “flagship” European regulation for the management of chemicals. Its acronym stands for the “Registration, Evaluation, Authorization of CHemicals”. In force since June 2007, it aims to ensure better health protection for employees, the population and the environment. The management and, in some cases, the implementation of the technical, scientific and administrative aspects is ensured by ECHA, the European Chemicals Agency, based in Helsinki, Finland.
REACH requires that enventually (2018), all chemicals manufactured or imported into Europe in quantities in excess of 1 ton per year be registered through the submission of a registration file. ERAMET successfully ensures the deployment of these regulations on its industrial sites with a view to regulatory compliance, increased protection for its employees and the environment and sustainable supplies to its customers.
The cross-disciplinary mobilization of ERAMET teams has enabled all legal entities within the Group to comply within the time allowed with the requirements of the European REACH regulation and new provisions for the classification, labeling, marketing and production of revised safety data sheets. REACH is also the daily operational application of the content of chemical safety evaluation files on the sites concerned.
ERAMET has also appointed a REACH manager for each of its three Divisions, responsible for applying the REACH regulations on the Group’s sites, registering substances and representing the Group in the ten consortia and also in the professional organizations to which ERAMET belongs.
From the three REACH managers, mobilization extends to numerous Group teams, thus creating a multi-disciplinary network: buyers, sales staff, plant representatives, R&D, public affairs, environmental department, medical consultant, logistics staff, lawyers, IT staff, etc. For each division, a special piloting committee monitors work and makes the decisions necessary for application at an operational level.
A regulatory review with regard to REACH and related developments has been put in place, to ensure that consideration is given to substances manufactured or used in the Group, during the regulations' verious stages of application.
Finally, the Group participates regulary in French meetings and forums on REACH with:
- the mirror group that meets on the initiative of French authorities, industry representatives from industry and other stakeholders;
- and the restricted MEDEF group that holds meetings, also on the initiative of French authorities, the sector's professional bodies and certain companies that apply REACH.