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BIFMA to hold ‘chemicals of concern’ summit

Friday 22 March 2013

The Office Furniture industry are to explore chemical trends and examine the potential development of an industry chemicals and materials database

The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) will hold a "Chemicals of Concern Summit” featuring keynote speaker Dr. Joel Tickner, as well as other green chemistry experts and sustainability reporting specialists during a two-day event in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Summit Chair and Herman Miller, Inc.’s Design for the Environment/Sustainability Engineer Denise VanValkenburg, PE, LEED AP, said, "As an industry, we are working through a process to understand how we might collaborate to collect information from our suppliers (many of whom we share), manage collected information, and connect to an assessment system. We are looking for ideas that will work for the industry and with the ANSI/BIFMA e3 Sustainability Standard.”

The Summit will start with a big picture perspective of chemical trends offered by keynote speaker Dr. Joel Tickner, Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Lowell where he also directs the Chemicals Policy and Science Initiative at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production. Dr. Tickner directs the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council, a network of 75 firms across sectors dedicated to advancing safer chemistry. He is a leading expert on chemicals regulation, regulatory science, and application of the alternatives assessment in science and policy. He has served as an advisor and researcher for several government agencies, international agencies, non-profit environmental groups companies, and trade unions both in the U.S. and abroad during the past businesses years. Dr. Tickner served on the EPA’s National Pollution Prevention and Toxics Advisory Committee as well as the National Academy of Sciences Panel on the Future of Science at the Environmental Protection Agency.

The event ends with an in-depth look at specific tools that the industry as a whole might use to integrate collection, management, and assessment systems.

"The Summit provides the industry with the opportunity to collectively assess a multitude of vendors operating in this space. We’ll be asking each if their solution can help with our industry’s long- and short-term goals and if their system can be modified to meet our specific needs,” said VanValkenburg.

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