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Integrated hazardous materials management: Combining requirements from various environmental legislations to enable effective business compliance processes in industries

: Miehe, Robert; Müller, Sebastian; Schneider, Ralph; Wahren, Sylvia; Hornberger, Markus


International journal of precision engineering and manufacturing. Green technology 2 (2015), No.3, pp.289-298
ISSN: 2288-6206 (Print)
ISSN: 2198-0810 (Online)
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IPA ()
Prozessengineering; hazardous substance; Umweltschutz; gefährlicher Stoff

Enhanced global trade forces companies to comply with a variety of environmental legislations each being subject to continuous modifications. During the past years the number of environmental legislations increased dramatically while law enforcement agencies expanded their active analysis of companies and their products. The number of companies being accused to sell non-compliant products by both enforcement authorities and competitors increases ever since. The compliance of companies and products is greatly dependent on their internal processes and their ability to adjust to changes. In this paper we introduce a highly applicable process aiming to ensure compliance with various hazardous substances regulations that has been tested successfully in over 70 companies of different industries in Germany. Thereby, we define essential steps, present a standardized approach for material, substance and risk assessment for articles based on existing standards (ISO 31000, 14040, 14044 and EN50581) and discuss its applicability to different business types related to size, number of employees, suppliers and materials. While the process is found to be appropriate for all business types, the time span required for realization varies significantly. Especially large companies tend to suffer from bureaucratic structures, while small and micro sized companies rather lack of knowledge and availability of resources.