Minimising risks throughout
the entire value chain

Before a computer or a car arrives to the hands of the consumer, a complex process is in place by which businesses supply with raw materials, other businesses add value to the raw materials to create a finished product, and then yet other businesses sell the finished product to customers. This is called the value chain. Our industry is striving to minimise emissions of chemicals during processing and handling in the value chain. To this end we have developed VECAP, a voluntary approach that promotes best practices to control emissions. In addition, our members are committed to improve environmental, health. safety and security performance for facilities and processes throughout the entire lifecycle.

Some of the flame retardants were deemed hazardous and have been already phased out from use. Our industry is continuously working to develop substances with similar performance and a better hazard profile. The use of flame retardants continues to be necessary to ensure fire safety of common products that are flammable and therefore may pose a fire risk to citizens. Potential risks associated to the management of flame retardants can be and are mitigated through well spread risk management practices. It is worth noting that out of the 200 different substances that provide flame retardant properties – only a limited number have been restricted in 35 years.

VECAP in detail

The VECAP programme has evolved from its original concept of a tool to control emissions during handling and use of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) into a system for more efficient management of chemicals, which can be applied to a much wider range of processes and raw materials.

Flame Retardants Europe has been actively involved in the devolvement of the programme, which has been adapted to meet the wider needs of the European textile and plastics industries, and has been introduced in North America and in Japan with notable successes. More importantly, VECAP principles have been adapted to users of other flame retardants, and have been recognised as providing a materials management system applicable to other chemicals in other industries.