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Helsinki Chemicals Forum 2022 Programme


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The recorded keynotes and panel debates will be available until 11 September 2022. Information has been sent via email for all registered participants.

Wednesday 8 June

Master of Ceremony – Giulia Sebastio

Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager, DUCC

Green Economy Business Summit

9:00 – 11:00

Green Economy Business Summit 2022 opens up the green economy from a business perspective. At the event there will be discussions on how to ensure adequate economic well-being while reducing the burden on the environment. The Green Economy Business Summit, aimed at corporate management and stakeholders and organized for the first time, will be held on Wednesday, 8 June 2022 at Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre.

The Green Economy Business Summit programme has been compiled together with actors in the forest industry and chemical industry and it will be arranged in connection with the leading trade fairs in the field at Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre.

Note! Green Economy Business Summit participation is included in the HCF live conference ticket! 

Explore the programme

Coffee & networking break

11:00 – 11:30

Presentation at DUCC stand

11:30 – 12:00

The Downstream Users of Chemicals Co-ordination Group (DUCC) is a platform of 11 European associations which represent “downstream” industries ranging from cosmetics and detergents to aerosols, paints, inks, toners, pressroom chemicals, adhesives and sealants, construction chemicals, fragrances, disinfectants, lubricants and chemical distributors industries.

Lunch sponsored by DUCC

12:00 – 13:00

Opening keynote 1 – The Chemical Strategy: The EU as a frontrunner on protection of human health and the environment and innovation

13:00 – 13:20 EEST
Also online

Kristin Schreiber, Director at the European Commission who leads the Directorate Ecosystems: Chemicals, Food, Retail, Health in DG GROW, the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.


Opening keynote 2 – Chemicals as the mainstay of sustainability

13:20 – 13:40 EEST
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Peter van der Zandt, Director, ECHA

Coffee & networking break

13:40 – 14:00

Panel 1 – Accelerating chemicals regulation: grouping of chemicals, generic approach to risk management and essential use concept

14:00 – 15:30 EEST
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Moderated by ECHA

According to the UN’s second edition of the Global Chemicals Outlook the global chemical industry’s production capacity almost doubled between 2000 and 2017. This is expected to roughly double again by 2030. The report also acknowledges that current approaches to advance sound chemicals management, including those to identify hazards and assess exposure, are “at times complex and slow and do not result in the progress needed”. In the meantime, people and the environment are unnecessarily exposed to harmful chemicals. With surging production and increasing human exposure to harmful chemicals, authorities around the globe are under pressure to ensure adequate regulatory tools and measures are in place to efficiently control them.

As part of its chemicals strategy for sustainability, the EU is in the process of revising areas of its chemicals legislation, including REACH and CLP. The goal is to expand the categories of most harmful substances and proposes a set of tools to apply a faster hazard-based approach to such substances, in particular substance grouping, generic approach to risk management and the essential use concept. The EU is also working on streamlining and simplifying the regulatory framework, including expediting risk assessment/management processes. A first example of this new method is the proposed restriction of the large group of PFAS substances. Under the proposal, only essential uses of such chemicals would be allowed.

This panel will discuss why we need to speed up regulatory decisions and actions on the most harmful chemicals; what tools will become available in the EU to do so, while minimizing animal testing; how will the EU ensure faster regulatory action is efficient and targetable while promoting green innovation in essential sectors and products; and do other countries wish to follow such hazard-based approaches for the most harmful chemicals? What scientific principles should be applied when applying grouping? How to manage unavoidable exemptions/derogations for essential uses and avoid the counter-effect of the work and workload being transferred to constantly managing derogations?


Mercedes Viñas, Director Submissions and Interaction, ECHA


  • Mark Blainey, Head of Unit, ECHA – for regulators
  • Timo Unger, Manager Environmental Affairs, Hyundai Motor Europe & ACEA – for industry
  • Tatiana Santos, Policy Manager: Chemicals & Nanotechnology, EEB – for NGOs
  • Otto Linher, Senior Expert, REACH Unit, DG Grow, European Commission – for authorities
  • Tala R. Henry, Deputy Director for Programs, Office of Pollution Prevention & Toxics, USEPA – for third countries

Coffee & networking break

15:30 – 15:50

Panel 2 – How to best define and stimulate Safe and Sustainable by Design substances that can replace substances of concern?

15:50 – 17:20 EEST
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Moderated by the European Commission

The European Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability combines the vision of a toxic-free environment with increasing the competitiveness of European industry through leadership in the production and use of safe and sustainable chemicals and materials. The Chemical Strategy for Sustainability announces the development of safe and sustainable by design criteria and a network to promote cooperation and information sharing across sectors and value chains and to provide technical expertise.

The panel will discuss the following questions: What is the current understanding of different stakeholders of the concept ‘safe and sustainable-by-design criteria’? What is the place of such criteria in the innovation process? How do these criteria complement regulatory action? Is safe and sustainable by design only for development of new chemicals and materials or can the criteria be applied to existing ones also? What skills and practical projects should be developed? How do we measure the success of the work on safe and sustainable-by-design chemicals and materials? What would be good Key Performance Indicators? What is the link between the work at EU level and international work?


Jürgen Tiedje, Head of Industrial Transformation Unit, DG RTD, European Commission


  • Ann Dierckx, Sustainable Development Director, CEFIC – for industry
  • Christopher Blum, Sustainable Chemistry Scientific Officer, UBA – for authorities
  • Frida Hök, Deputy Director, ChemSec – for NGOs
  • Joel Tickner, Professor & Executive Director, Lowell University & Green Chemistry & Commerce Council – for academia and third countries

Networking at ChemBio Finland exhibition’s Get together event at the Plaza stage

17:20 – 18:30
17:30 ECHA Voices

Transit to the dinner hosted by the City of Helsinki at the Empire Room (Old Court House)

Guided transit to the Empire Room for the City of Helsinki dinner leaves at 18.30 from the Exhibition Centre’s Southern lobby.
Purchase a public transport ticket on the HSL app – we recommend purchasing the day ticket for AB zone (if your hotel is within this zone) for easy and unlimited travel!
You can also buy your ticket in advance from HSL service points. Check the service point locations here >>

Dinner Reception

19:00 – 20:30

Dinner Reception hosted by the City of Helsinki at the Empire Room (address: Old Court House, Aleksanterinkatu 20)


Welcome words

Esa Nikunen, Director General of the Environment Centre of Helsinki City
Geert Dancet, Secretary General of Helsinki Chemicals Forum



Formulation and cooperation: DUCC at 20
Jan Robinson, Chair, DUCC

Thursday 9 June

Master of Ceremony – Giulia Sebastio

Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager, DUCC

Guided tour to the ChemBio Finland and PulPaper exhibitions

9:00 – 12:00 

ChemBio FinlandPulPaper


12:00 – 13:00

Panel 3 – 3Cs concept: Can chemicals risk management be integrated with circularity and climate policy objectives?

13:00 – 14:30 EEST
Also online

Moderated by CEFIC

For more than 15 years now, chemicals’ management in the EU under REACH focuses on risk management of hazardous substances and substitution of the most hazardous ones in order to reduce to the maximum extent exposures to workers, citizens and ecosystems. Having in mind its contribution to SAICM and the UN SDGs, the EU would by 2030 have identified all chemicals requiring risk management and having risk management measures identified and, to the extent possible, implemented.

According to the chemical strategy a hazard-based approach would become the rule for managing chemicals of concern while risk-based management remains the main principle for regulating other hazardous chemicals. Two other policy goals also driving the Green Deal may affect how risk-based chemicals management is designed and implemented, i.e. climate neutrality by 2050 and the Circular Economy goal. These 3 objectives are often called the “3Cs”, standing for Chemicals safety, Circularity and Climate. The 3 policy objectives share one common characteristic: they assess impacts of a substance or a product, from a life-cycle perspective. They differ in their approaches to the extent that these policies may compete, block risk management improvements, or even may negatively impact one or more. When assessing a chemical risk it is important to also assess the impact on climate and circularity objectives to prevent a “regrettable risk management action” including “regrettable substitution”. Such a holistic evaluation of the 3Cs is best conducted early on in the selection process of the best risk management measure(s), e.g. by using a risk management option analysis assessment.

The panel will discuss the following questions: How can chemicals management including chemical design more effectively co-optimize the 3Cs? How to effectively consider the 2 other Cs when defining a risk management option? How the 3 Cs concept can work in practice and in a smooth way prevent regrettable substitution? What kind of data would be needed to make an informed 3C decision and when should those become available? What are the roles for industry, other stakeholders and authorities? Should the 3C concept not being part of the sustainable by design concept? Should certain substances of very high concern be subject to hazard-based banning when they are critical substances for circularity or for climate change? Should some substances be phased out if they cause a large impact on climate and block recycling?


Steven Van de Broeck, Director REACH & Chemicals policy, Cefic


  • Doreen Fedrigo, Industrial Transformation Policy Coordinator, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe – for NGOs
  • Gert Roebben, Policy Officer, DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, REACH Unit, European Commission – for regulators
  • Hugo Waeterschoot, Chemicals Management Advisor, Eurometaux – for industry
  • Karel Van Acker, Professor Circular Economy, KU Leuven – for academia

Panel 4 – How to accelerate the replacement of animal toxicity testing?

14:30 – 16:00 EEST
Also online

Moderated by the OECD

Global regulations increasingly aim to limit or eliminate the use of animal testing in evaluating the safety of chemicals used in industries such as agriculture, personal care products, cosmetics, food contact materials, et cetera. In addition to the interest in replacing animal toxicity testing for humane reasons, animal testing is time consuming, costly, and may not accurately predict chemical effects in humans. New approach methods that leverage advances in biotechnology have produced a variety of non-animal test protocols that can be used in lieu of animal test data and increase the rate at which chemical safety is evaluated. Yet, the application of these methods to regulatory decision making continues to be relatively slow.

The panel will discuss the following questions: What are the criteria needed to determine their state of readiness for regulatory use? How can we assure that these alternative test methods are as protective of human health as the animal models they replace? How can approaches for building confidence in animal tests be adapted to alternative methods? What processes can advance their use by decision makers? How can these approaches be applied across chemical sectors? In what timeframe does science expect to replace the most complex human health animal tests also be replaced by these methods? Are there obstacles to harmonising these approaches globally, similar to what has been done for animal toxicity tests?


Patience Browne, Principal Administrator, Hazard Assessment and Pesticides Programmes, Environmental Directorate, OECD


  • Dr. Gavin Maxwell, EPAA co-chair & Safety Science Leader, Unilever Safety & Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC) – for industry
  • Ofelia Bercaru, Director – Prioritisation and Integration, ECHA
  • Tara Barton-Maclaren, Research Manager, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch, Health Canada / Government of Canada
  • Marina Pereira, Regulatory Science Advisor, Research & Toxicology, Humane Society International
  • Maurice Whelan, Head of Chemical Safety and Alternative Methods Unit, European Commission

Coffee & networking break

16:00 – 16:20

Panel 5 – A science policy interface for the sound management of chemicals and waste: “something in it for all”

16:20 – 17:50 EEST
Also online

Moderated by UNEP

There is clear recognition of the importance and urgency to strengthen the science-policy interface to support and promote science-based local, national, regional and global action on the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020. The use of science in monitoring progress and priority setting and policymaking throughout the life cycle of chemicals and waste, taking into account the gaps and scientific information in developing countries, has been highlighted as urgently needed. Such a platform could elevate chemicals management and safe and sustainable chemistry as a critical sustainable development issue for governments, academia, firms, civil society, and investors.

Governments of the world asked UNEP to undertake “an assessment of options for strengthening the science-policy interface at the international level for the sound management of chemicals and waste…”. This report was presented at the UN Environment Assembly in February 2021 and is publicly available.

Governments further encouraged the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, including industry, in strengthening the science-policy evidence in this area. With the multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral nature of the process toward the development of a new framework for the sound management of chemicals and waste, the process is an interesting space to hear the widest range of voices and views. This panel will seek to engage in a dialogue among representatives from industry, government, academia, and civil society on the role a dedicated science-policy interface should play in accelerating the outcomes of a new framework for chemicals and waste management globally.

The panel will address the following questions: What would be the most beneficial outcome(s) of such an interface? What will be the role of different stakeholders such as academia, governments and stakeholders to engage and contribute constructively together to a science-policy interface. What are the necessary safeguards to ensure credible, authoritative and relevant policy direction? How can scientific assessments aimed at supporting policy-making also inform and influence the behaviour of other stakeholders such as the private sector, NGOs and the public? How can the key players in the science-policy space come together to make much greater progress in the next iteration of a global framework for sound chemicals and waste management? How can science of chemical risks be combined with science of solutions?


Kevin Helps, Coordinator, Interim Secretariat of the Science Policy Panel on Chemicals, Waste and Pollution Prevention, UNEP


  • Valentina Sierra, Secretary, Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the UN in Geneva
  • David Azoulay, Geneva Managing Attorney, Environmental Health Program Director, CIEL – for NGOs
  • Marlene Ågerstrand, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Stockholm University – for academics
  • Sir Robert Watson, Assessment Report Author, former – for IPPC and IPBES
  • Steve Binks, Regulatory Affairs Director, International Lead Association (ILA)

Concluding remarks by Geert Dancet, Secretary General of Helsinki Chemicals Forum

17:50 – 18:00 EEST
Also online

Changes are possible.