I’ve been tempted on several occasions to rely on my colleagues to answer my questions, rather than simply search for the answer myself by using an online resource such as Google. When I lean on a colleague to find the answers for me, many times they respond with "LMGTFY." What does that mean? “Let Me Google That For You.” Responding that way may seem snarky, but sometimes it is necessary to simply tell the person he would be best served by looking up the answer himself.
For example, when we Google “product safety,” we get over 18 million results. The search results Google returns include the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website, as one might expect. We will also find www.saferproducts.gov, the website used for reporting and researching unsafe products. One of the primary areas of focus for the Quality Certification Alliance is ethical conduct in manufacturing. If we Google “ethical conduct,” we get about 800 million results. The term “child labor” returns 16 million results while “environmental stewardship” returns 500,000. The deluge of information is nothing if not overwhelming.
While one of QCA goals is to provide the promotional product industries only non-profit independent accreditation protocol for suppliers, QCA is always looking for relevant comparable industry benchmarks. That's why I found the American Chemical Council's (ACC) Responsible Care Product Safety Code of particular interest.
The ACC makes it its business to recognize the importance of using modern chemicals responsibly. The main reason why the ACC and its members developed the Responsible Care Product Safety Code is to drive continuous improvement in chemical product safety as part of the industry’s signature environmental, health, safety and security management system. With the number of chemicals used over the years to soften plastics in our industry, parallel ideas to learn from jump out at you.
The Product Safety Code includes a set of eleven management practices through which chemical manufacturers can evaluate, demonstrate, and continuously improve their product safety performance, while also making information about chemical products available to the public.
Specifically, the Product Safety Code Management Practices verify that chemical companies:
- Undertake scientific analysis of their products and take steps to assure they can be safely used.
- Enhance cooperation and communications along the chemical value chain.
- Consider the impact on public health, the environment, and the overall sustainability as they improve their products or develop new ones.
- Determine whether the chemicals they make pose risks to public health, based on any new research, how the chemical is used, and whether children and other sensitive groups of people come into contact with them.
- Provide the public with access to product safety and stewardship information.
- Ensure that company senior executives, including the CEO, commit to a culture of product safety and accountability.
If you’d like to read more, please check out my column at Promo Marketing Blog. Does your organization take product safety and ethical responsibility seriously? Or, are you still “Googling it?”
Jeff Jacobs has been an expert in building brands and brand stewardship for more than 30 years. He’s a staunch advocate of consumer product safety and has a deep passion and belief regarding the issues surrounding compliance and corporate social responsibility. He is the executive director of Quality Certification Alliance, the industry’s only non-profit dedicated to helping suppliers provide safe and compliant products. Follow Jeff on Twitter, or reach out to him at [email protected].
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