A Future-Fit Business ensures all of the products it offers are completely benign to people and nature, both during use and (in the case of physical goods) as a result of their post-use processing.
What this goal means
Almost all products have the potential to cause harm, depending upon their inherent characteristics and the way in which they are used: even water is dangerous in the wrong quantity and at the wrong time. The emphasis here is on products whose intent – or likely consequence of use – is to cause physical degradation or physical harm to people, as well as on products that contain substances that may physically or chemically disrupt the health of people, organisms and ecosystems when used as intended or when processed at their end of life.
This requirement encompasses both final products designed for end users, and interim products which are incorporated into final products by other companies, further down the sales chain.
To be Future-Fit a company must:
- Ensure that its products are not likely to cause harm to people or the environment, when used as intended;
- Know every intentionally added substance in its products;
- Ensure that its products do not contain any substances of concern. This goal extends to include any packaging or other non-product materials distributed to customers, along with any materials consumed in the process of delivering the product (e.g. interim packaging, or goods consumed in the delivery of a service, such as meals on a commercial flight).
Why this goal is needed...
We are continuously introducing novel substances into circulation.
An estimated 2,000 chemicals are introduced every year for use in everyday items including food, personal care products and prescription drugs. The effects of many of these chemicals remain unknown.
The large number of potentially harmful substances has created a market for their production and sale even where regulation exists to restrict their use.
There are more than 1,100 companies in the EU and USA that produce or import hazardous chemicals that are likely to be banned or restricted in the near future.