How does Marketplace work?
Marketplace resembles other user-created content websites. Just like eBay, craigslist or Airbnb, you create your own ads – showing everybody that you either have an alternative to sell or that you are looking to buy one.
Are you a chemical manufacturer that produces a safer alternative to a hazardous chemical? Just create an account and you are then free to post ads.
Do you represent a company that uses chemicals, a so-called downstream user? Scroll through all the ads or filter for chemical functions, relevant industry or a specific hazardous chemical that you are looking for alternatives to. If you can’t find what you are looking for you may also post request ads.
Using Marketplace is free of charge and no financial transactions between buyers and sellers will be facilitated by the website. Each ad includes contact details that allow users to carry on further discussions outside Marketplace. Marketplace merely provides a meeting point.
Who is behind Marketplace?
Marketplace was initiated by the International Chemical Secretariat, ChemSec, a non-profit organisation dedicated to working towards a toxic-free environment.
At ChemSec, we strive to bridge the gap between decision-makers, industry, NGOs and scientists; and offer expertise and guidance on chemical management policies in order to get progressive chemical legislation. We also work together with companies to reduce their use of hazardous chemicals and to get their support for progressive chemicals legislation.
ChemSec operates through support from a broad spectrum of society. A main contributor is the Swedish Government, but ChemSec also receives financial support from a variety of international charitable foundations as well as from other NGOs.
ChemSec is made up of a unique, highly dedicated team of chemists, political scientists, business experts and communicators.
Marketplace timeline and future
Marketplace was launched in the spring of 2017 and will see continuous updates, new features and new ads as time passes. ChemSec invites the global chemical industry to participate and will also run several campaigns targeted towards downstream users in the years to come.
So even if you can’t find what you are looking for today, it’s a good idea to bookmark the page and check back in the future.
The Marketplace project also includes real-life events where producers of safer alternatives and downstream users can meet and discuss certain problematic chemicals. These events will be highlighted on Marketplace and in its newsletter.
What sparked the idea behind Marketplace?
Among many other things, ChemSec engages in advancing corporate chemicals management through the ChemSec Business Group. The Business Group has several members: adidas Group, Apple, B&Q, Boots, Coop Denmark, Dell, EurEau, H&M, Ikea, Shaw, Skanska, Sony Mobile and the Swedish Construction Federation.
The need was first explained by one of ChemSec’s Business Group companies at the 2014 annual meeting, and has been reiterated many times since then. “Why can’t there be a place where producers of alternatives just present everything they have, like a Smorgasbord or a buffet, where we can pick and choose, and perhaps make substitutions we had not initially considered? A place where we do not have to formulate a question to find an answer?”
In parallel with this need, and as a result of our in-depth discussions with chemical producers, we see there is also the opposite problem: “We have developed alternatives, but what will we do with them, how do we find out which companies we should reach out to and, how do we reach them?”
Both these problems boil down to the fact that authorities, users and producers of alternatives do not have a common place to interact on the topic of alternatives. This results in lost innovation potential, lost business opportunities for progressive companies and a chemical regulation that accepts unnecessary use of well-known hazardous compounds, such as PBTs and endocrine disruptors. In a wider sense this means continued and unnecessary exposure of the environment and humans, including babies and the unborn, to toxic substances.
You can read more about ChemSec and our work at our website.