Even if you know your EUC from your EDC – and generally feel comfortable navigating the alphabet soup of REACH – now is the time to start planning your company’s public affairs approach to the revision to avoid putting your value at risk.
The ambition to reach zero pollution for a toxic-free environment is a key pillar of the European Green Deal. This ambition was translated into action through the 2020 chemicals strategy for sustainability, which included pathways for better protecting people and the environment against hazardous chemicals, while encouraging innovation to develop safe and sustainable alternatives.
One of those pathways is to revise the rules governing the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals in the EU – otherwise referred to as the REACH Regulation.
The revision is due to take place in the fourth quarter of 2023, in theory so that it can come into force between 2025 and 2027. But many questions remain. What will it contain? Will the European Parliament be able to complete the work before the elections in 2024? Will it be a priority for the next Commission?
The REACH Revision – whenever it is enacted – is likely to impact a lot of companies across sectors and industries in different ways. It may lead to questions around availability of components and raw materials, it could affect investment decisions and it will definitely continue to provide a blueprint for chemical management across the globe.
As we head into a period that will likely see a lively debate, it is important to keep in mind that REACH is primarily a framework with a number of tools: as highlighted in our quiz, there are a number of new concepts that will likely appear in the European Commission’s proposal. However, as with existing tools such as authorisations and restrictions, they will not apply to all chemicals in the same way. The Commission has also already outlined that some sectors will be prioritised when rolling out the new tools.
It will be important to assess which of the new or updated tools can impact your company – and the likelihood that they will have some effect is high. Are you up to date on the revision? Have you considered the risks and opportunities any changes might present to your business? Do you have a position on those changes? And do you know which stakeholders hold the keys?
A thorough assessment of the Commission’s proposal will be the first step in everyone’s public affairs journey on REACH. We are here to help you understand what the text means and to develop a plan of action tailored to your needs: this can range from simply keeping abreast of the conversation to becoming actively engaged with stakeholders across the European institutions
Caroline Vogt, a Managing Director at FTI Consulting has been following chemical legislation since she first arrived in Brussels in 2012. She has run campaigns on everything from plant protection products to PFAS, but more often than not she finds herself simply acting as a translator between scientists and policymakers.
Get in touch at Caroline.Vogt@FTIConsulting.com or under +32 473 33 59 to understand how FTI Consulting can support your company with positioning and engagement during this crucial time.
Simon Dibb is a Senior Advisor in the Brussels office at FTI Consulting. He’s been advising companies on communications for quite a while – he has more than 20 years of consultancy experience. He certainly does not shy away from the difficult, technical issues, be it in chemicals or packaging or electronics. If you’re looking for the right words, Simon will find them for you.
Get in touch at Simon.Dibb@FTIConsulting.com to discuss any communications needs – whether internal or external – to help guide your company through the REACH revision process.
See how well you understand the acronyms and definition of the regulation.