Product safety is one of the most important focus areas within the daily operation of BRB International. Approximately 70% of our products is not classified as dangerous. The remaining 30% of the products carry a clear label with their safety classification (environmentally hazardous, flammable, toxic and/or corrosive). All precautionary measures have been taken to reduce risks for people and the environment through strict controls of incoming goods, labeling, registrations and instructions for use or transport. Nevertheless, we have to deal with various complicating factors. A practical example is that suppliers sometimes use incorrect labeling to reduce costs when exporting. We check them thoroughly and discuss how the labeling can be improved to meet our standards. A cost consideration may never lead to an unsafe situation for our employees or transporters. We are very dependent on the correct information provision when processing and transporting chemical substances.
At BRB International we are REACH compliant (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) and we continuously invest in keeping product information (composition of products) up to date. In addition, we invest in maintaining knowledge of relevant laws and regulations. In this way, we can protect people and the environment against the risks. An added benefit is that these investments allow us to make a contribution to fair competition in Europe. Transparency is the key word here.
Three questions to Marco Vandewall, Team Leader Regulatory Affairs
Internal product safety:
1. Can you explain how you ensure that employees of BRB International receive the correct information about a product?
Our Safety Data sheet (SDS) software creates a product safety card, which is a short version of the Safety Data sheet. The product safety card has all necessary safety data, such as: how to clean up a spill, personal protective equipment and first aid measures.
This product safety card is available for BRB International employees in our ERP system. Furthermore, the personal protective equipment is mentioned on all relevant production documents.
Customer product safety:
2. Can you explain how you ensure that customers receive the correct information about a product?
Every product leaves BRB International with a GHS safety label for the specific country/region. This label informs the customer about the hazards of the product and which precautions have to be taken to safely work with the product. More detailed safety information is available in the safety data sheet. The customers receive the safety data sheets by e-mail. Certain high-end applications, such as cosmetics, require more information for the end user. This information can be requested by the customer.
3. How does BRB International deal with REACH?
REACH is the European Chemicals Law and stands for Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals. REACH addresses the production and use of chemical substances, and their potential impacts on both human health and the environment. The legislator also wishes to promote alternative test methods and to support competitiveness and innovation within the EU. BRB International supports these goals of the regulation. BRB International assumes the roles of manufacturer, importer and downstream user under REACH. For our roles as manufacturer and importer, we register the substances of our product range as stipulated by REACH and submit the required dossier to the European Chemicals Authority Agency (ECHA). As a downstream user, we acquire the necessary REACH information for our suppliers. We cooperate closely with our suppliers, consultants and customers to reach our goals. BRB International supports its customers as much as possible.
CSR in the chain
At BRB International we see opportunities and threats when we look at CSR issues in our chain. We continue to look at market trends commercially, and also place great value on innovation and conscious choices for better, healthier raw materials and products. Our organization is also prepared to invest in this. Furthermore, we are becoming increasingly aware of the positive impact that we, as a company, can have.
We are intrinsically motivated to continue working on CSR and we are inspired by stakeholders within our field of work, such as suppliers and customers. Therefore, we have planned to extend the supplier assessment in 2018 with criteria relating to the environment and human rights.
BRB International has always deliberately refrained from supplying to countries with military purposes or to destinations for which a boycott applies. We also monitor our customers to have a clear picture of whom they sell to. In addition, our organization applies the ‘buy the change’ principle. Purchasing products from producers (suppliers) that are compliant with employee safety at their production sites is our focus.
“CSR has always been a core part of our business. Applying CSR integrally throughout the chain will take the initiatives to the next level!”
Quote by Tom Caris, COO
Public policy at BRB International
The public policy at BRB International is characterized by the stimulation of employee initiatives. In 2017, local associations such as the football club, handball club, fanfare and carnival newspaper were sponsored. A number of charities are supported every year, for which one or several employees are actively taking action; such as the Alpe d’Huzes.
In 2017 employees of BRB International in Ittervoort participated in NLdoet – a major annual Dutch volunteer activity by the Oranje Fonds. The employees of BRB International actively helped with preparing afternoon snacks, making wooden planter boxes, and preparing the garden for spring at one of the assisted living locations of PSW (Pedagogic Social Work) in Nederweert.
PSW supports children and adults who need guidance and support in giving meaning to their own lives. This organization offers support in housing and structured living, daytime activities, work, education and leisure.