Report of the Directors
Business Review

Product Stewardship

Product stewardship involves an integrated approach to products, materials and services management designed to assess objectively and then minimise or eliminate the environmental and health related impacts of products.

As part of our commitment to sustainability, we fully acknowledge that all the chemicals we use and produce must be managed responsibly. Our product stewardship systems are aligned to a key target in the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). This is to ensure sound management of chemicals throughout their complete life cycle, so that ‘chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimise significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment’.

Johnson Matthey maintains a long standing commitment to product safety and conducts systematic and rigorous evaluations of both new and existing products. Our product stewardship management systems focus on the characterisation of any risks associated with product use, a thorough determination of related risk management measures and mechanisms to effectively communicate this information outside the company. We work in cooperation with industry partners and customers, regulators and non-governmental organisations to strengthen confidence in our products and this has continued during 2012/13.

Johnson Matthey’s businesses have management systems in place which assess the health and safety impacts of products during their various life cycle stages.

These include coverage of:

Product Stewardship Performance in 2012/13

A systematic product responsibility reporting scheme (conforming to the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Reporting Guidelines) is used to monitor the performance of our operations and maintain surveillance of the company’s products and services. In 2012/13, there were no notifications of significant end user health effects involving our products and no major incidents or environmental releases during our product distribution were recorded. No product recalls occurred for safety reasons. There was one incident involving the transportation of hazardous waste material for disposal which was successfully managed without appreciable release into the environment. A total of five incidents of non-compliance with standards of codified requirements were detected during the year (either by our businesses, our supply chains or regulatory authorities). None of these events resulted in significant regulatory penalties.

During the year we optimised our IT systems for chemical product hazard communication and work has continued to further enhance the way we manage restricted substances and products that are subject to trade controls. In response to interest from our stakeholders and as part of our voluntary product responsible care efforts, we have continued to work with our business partners and other relevant groups to encourage the responsible management of substances throughout our supply chains. For example, we have continued to fund and participate in the Pgm Health Science Research Group (HSRG), supporting its work on improving the quality of risk assessments for the pgms and their applications. Our rolling programme of voluntary reductions in the use of certain substances of concern has progressed and we have continued to employ substance selection mechanisms to identify preferred alternatives in terms of human health and environmental safety. This year we joined the PE International Product Sustainability Round Table, an internationally acknowledged think tank on product sustainability (click here for further details), and this, together with our work with HSRG, has enabled us to improve the publicly available information on the health and environmental effects of our products and the links with relevant risk measures.

We have continued to promote the use of objective hazard ranking techniques and related exposure control targets for our chemical products and process intermediates in our businesses. This has been supported by the chemical exposure management programme and related toolkit which we introduced in 2011/12. Best practice chemical exposure management will be an important factor in achieving our goal of zero occupational illness cases and we will work to further promote the programme and toolkit in the year ahead.

During 2012/13 we further developed our capability to track and manage new regulatory initiatives, for example those in Asia, and to better respond to our supply chains and other external stakeholders on product sustainability. We continued to support the work of our businesses to develop a minimum standard set of EHS data for all bulk products marketed at lower production volume (i.e. approaching 1 tonne per annum) and achieving this remains a long term goal.

Product Stewardship Priorities for 2013/14

Johnson Matthey remains committed to driving improvement in product sustainability and effective product stewardship in the external supply chain and within our operations.

The key activities for 2013/14 to address product stewardship improvement through the group’s ten year EHS strategy are to:

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