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Thursday 23 May

8:00−9:00 Registration​

9:00−10:00 Opening Ceremony​

9:00 Opening of the Forum
Sanna Vesikansa, Deputy Mayor for Social Services and Health Care, City of Helsinki

9:20 Keynote: EU Chemical Policy beyond 2020
Bjorn Hansen, Executive Director, ECHA​

9:40 Keynote: The role of chemicals in the circulary economy
Daniel Calleja, Director General of DG Environment, European Commission



10:30−12:30 PANEL 1
How to choose the best possible risk management option to regulate substances of very high concern

The EU is using a mix of different instruments – authorisation, restriction, occupational exposure limits – to reduce risks of chemicals of concern. What are the pros and cons for each of them and how do other regulatory authorities manage unacceptable risks of such chemicals

Moderator: Otto Linher, Deputy Head of REACH Unit, DG Grow, EU-Commission


  • France Capon, Precious metals association, expert in authorisation and restriction
  • Fleur van Broekhuizen, Bureau REACH, RIVM
  • Frida Hök, Deputy Director, Chemsec
  • Matti Vainio, Head of Risk Management Unit II, ECHA
  • Tala Henry, Acting Deputy Director of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, US EPA

12:30−13:15 LUNCH


13:15−15:15 PANEL 2
Grouping of chemical substances and how to avoid regrettable substitution

Regulators and stakeholders have expressed growing interest in grouping ‘similar chemicals’ in order to speed up risk assessment and management and prevent inadvertently substituting one problem chemical with another. But there is no consistency in the way grouping is carried out globally.

Moderator: Andrew Turley, science editor, Chemical Watch


  • ECHA: Jack de Bruijn, Director Prioritisation and Integration, ECHA
  • NGO: Ninja Reineke, Senior Policy Advisor, Chemtrust
  • CEFIC: Maggie Saykali, Director of Specialty Chemicals



15:45−17:45 PANEL 3
How to measure the performance of different chemical management systems

What are meaningful indicators to measure success? Do different stakeholders measure success diffferently? What needs to be measured over time? What is the cost of action or inaction?  How to assess value for money of the different regulatory systems?

Moderator: Eeva Leinala, Principal Administrator, OECD


  • EU Commission: Elena Montani, DG Environment, European Commission
  • NGO:  Mike Schade, Mind the Store Campaign from Safer Chemicals
  • Health Canada: Daren Kelland, Manager, Canadian ministry
  • RPA Europe: Marco Camboni, Managing Director, RPA Europe


17:45−18:00 Concluding remarks of the first day​:
Jukka Malm
, Deputy Executive Director, ECHA

City of Helsinki 
dinner in Oodi

20−21.30 (Library closes at 22.00)
Jan Vapaavuori, Helsinki Mayor
Guy Thiran, Director General, Eurometaux
• ECHA choir




Friday 24 May 2019

9:00−11:00 PANEL 4
Plastics and circularity – from pollution to a value based proposition for all

There are many facts of the plastics agenda and it goes well beyond the plastic pollution in oceans and rivers. Ultimately the marine plastics / litter issue is an impact from the failure to adopt a circular approach to plastics use. Plastics have a chemical production, usage pattern and waste management issue. When the cycle fails plastics reach the sea and have the impacts we now see. The focus of this panel should be on plastic use and phase out where possible (alternatives) at the national level coupled with education of the public and waste producers on sorting and segregation of plastics at the point of production. The panel will also cover the future opportunity of the collection, processing and use of plastic waste as a secondary resource. This involves taking into account existing standards and encouraging countries to adopt and implement policies on waste collection at urban and industrial sites, coupled with providing incentives for industries to generate revenue from the waste. The discussion will also touch on how new technologies can also produce hydrocarbon plastic feedstock which can re-enter the value chain.

Moderator: Mr. Jacob Duer, Chief, Chemicals and Health Branch, UN Environment Programme


  • Ms. Ingeborg Mork Knutsen, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Norway
  • Ms. Lorraine Francourt, Director, Chemicals Management Policy and Circular Economy
  • Ms. Justine Maillot, Zero Waste Europe
  • Mr. Mark Blainey, Head of Risk Management Unit I, European Chemicals Agency
  • Ms. Eva Karlsson, CEO, Houdini Sportswear




11:30–13:30 PANEL 5

The quality of and access to data on chemicals

The amount of data being available on chemical substance in commerce is continuously rising, even though the quality of the data is of varying (or unknown) quality. This rise creates challenges relating to competing demands for this data, from actors with competing interests (such as regulators, companies, downstream users, researchers, consumers). It is also important to acknowledge that while the amount of data is on a constant rise, data and information gaps still exists or is not acted upon. This situation also creates important challenges to handle that vast amount of data in terms of format/IT, reliability, analysis and subsequent actions,. How to ensure that relevant actors have access to the data they need of the right quality and that this data is adequately acted upon to limit the environmental and human health impacts of substances on the market.

Moderator: Hugo Waeterschoot, advisor, Eurometaux


  • ECHA: Mike Rasenberg, Head of Unit for Computational Assessment
  • OECD: Bob Diderich, Head of Division
  • Academics/NGOs: Karel De Schamphelaere, President of SETAC and Associate professor in ecotoxicology and risk assessment in Ghent University
  • Manufacturers: Nicholas Ball, Toxicology Consultant, TERC, Dow Chemical
  • Elisa Coghlin, Coordinator, Special Programme for Strengthening National Capacity for the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste


13:30–13:45 Concluding remarks of the second day and closing​.
Jukka Malm, Deputy Executive Director, ECHA

13:45–14:30 LUNCH

14.30-16.30 Offsite visit to Viikinmäki wastewater treatment plant


There might be changes to the programme.


On Saturday after HCF you can take part in offsite visit  to Fortum The Circular Economy Village in Riihimäki and City of Hämeenlinna.


If you would like to extend your stay note that SETAC Europe annual Meeting is organized back to back with the HCF. SETAC Europe has scheduled the topics of most interest for HCF attendants on Monday.


Helsinki Chemicals Forum 2018 Helsinki Chemicals Forum 2017




Helsinki Chemicals Forum is a key networking event held yearly in Helsinki, Finland.