Programme 2018

Thursday 14 June

8.00−9.00 Registration​

9.00−10.00 Opening Ceremony​

9.00 Opening of the Forum: Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of the City of Helsinki, Chair of the HCF Advisory Board​
9.20 Keynote: Live Long! Bjorn Hansen, Executive Director, ECHA​
9.40 Keynote: And Prosper! Marco Mensink, Director General, CEFIC​


10.30−12.30 PANEL 1: Capacity building beyond 2020

There is a risk that the gap between OECD countries and developing countries keeps on increasing. What strategic and systematic approaches could be put in place to support the developing countries in particular in the context of SAICM and its” beyond 2020 process”.

Moderator: Jacob Duer, Head of Chemicals and Waste Branch, UNEP


  • Li Cangmin, Solid Waste and Chemicals Management Center, Ministry of the Environmental Protection China
  • Thierry Decoud, Secretary, Secretariat of Environmental Control and Monitoring, Ministry of Environmental and Sustainable Development, Argentina​
  • Dana Kupova,Principal, Energy and Climate Change bankinf team, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
  • Johanna Lissinger Peitz, Senior Advisor and Chief Negotiator on Climate Change, Sweden​

12.30−13.15 LUNCH

13.15−15.15 PANEL 2: Endocrine disruptors as a challenge for risk communication

Concerns over adverse effects of ED´s have been on agenda for 20 years. Lot of scientific development have taken place and also further regulations have been put in place. Still the controversy around the topic remains. In the era of social media and deteriorating confidence in science how should authorities and stakeholders communicate about such a complex topic?

Moderator: Peter Korytar, Policy Coordinator − Chemicals, EU-Commission

  • Barbara Demeneix, Professor, National Museum of Natural History, France
  • Stéphane Horel, Investigative journalist, Le Monde, France​
  • Martin Kayser, Senior Vice President of Product Safety, BASF, Germany​
  • Axel Singhofen, Adviser on Health and Environment Policy, Greens/EFA in the European Parliament​
  • Michael Warhurst, Executive Director, CHEM Trust, UK​


15.45−17.45 PANEL 3: Priority setting of chemicals – potential for harmonisation and synergies

All countries that regulate industrial chemicals are applying screening and priority setting mechanisms to select chemicals for further testing, assessment or risk management. The approaches and methods already have several commonalities but there could be great opportunities for further synergies and savings via stronger sharing and harmonisation of the data and tools used. How can we further the use of exposure data to support priority setting? How can we maximally benefit from high throughput screening and other new approach methods to generate hazard data? How can we improve transparency and predictability for stakeholders? Can common data formats and IT tools create significant potential for tangible efficiency improvements for all involved authorities?

Moderator: Eeva Leinala, Principal Administrator, OECD

  • Leticia Carvalho, General Coordinator, Department of Environmental Quality and Waste, Ministry of Environment, Brazil
  • Tala R. Henry, Director, Risk Assessment Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency​
  • Jerker Lighthart, Senior Chemical Advisor, ChemSec, Sweden​
  • Mike Rasenberg, Head of Computational Assessment and Dissemination Unit, ECHA​
  • Michael Walls, Vice President – Regulatory and Technical Affairs, American Chemistry Council, US​

17.45−18.00 Concluding remarks of the first day​:

  • Jukka Malm, Deputy Executive Director, ECHA

​Social Programme

20.00 Dinner, City Hall – Empire Room​ (Address: Aleksanterinkatu 20, 00170 Helsinki)
Speaker: Hariolf Kottmann, CEO of Clariant and President of Cefic






Friday 15 June 2018

9.00−11.00 PANEL 4: Plastics − role of chemicals management to solve the problem with micro plastics in the environment

Pollution of oceans and surface waters with microplastics is a widespread issue. Microplastics in environment originate on one hand from fragmentation of plastic products and waste, and on the other hand from intentionally produced microplastics. Many countries and international organisations are looking into this. The problem is in the interface of many policy areas and regulations − what solutions can chemicals management provide? What learnings there are for sustainable product design?

Moderator: Mamta Patel, CEO & Co-Founder, Chemical Watch, UK

  • Valentina Bertato, Policy Officer Sustainable Chemicals, REACH Sustainable Chemicals unit, EU-Commission
  • Jane Bremmer, Zero Waste Coordinator, National Toxics Network, Australia​
  • Petter Malvik, Communications and Outreach Officer, UNEP Global Programme of Action
  • Steven Russell, Vice President, Plastics Division, American Chemistry Council, US​
  • Graham Houlder, Managing Director, SLOOP Consulting b.v. and Project Coordinator for the CEFLEX Initiative


11.30–13.30 DEBATE: Can product stewardship replace regulation? Case nanomaterials

How to regulate nanomaterials has stayed on the policy agenda already for years. The legislation to control nanomaterials vary across countries and policy sectors: They may be covered by the existing legislation,alternative lyspecific rules had been developed for them or they stay unregulated. However the general perception is, that the chemicals legislation is not yet robust enough to manage nanomaterials. What is the role of industry product stewardship in this situation? How can companies demonstrate what due diligence concretely means in this situation? Can workers and consumers have the confidence that the use of nanomaterials is safe without explicit requirements for testing and assessment?

Moderator: Roger Drew, Toxicologist, ToxConsult Ltd, Australia


  • David Azoulay, Managing Attorney, CIEL, Switzerland​
  • David Warheit, Technical Fellow − Toxicology and Risk Assessment, The Chemours Company, US

13.30–13.45 Concluding remarks of the second day and closing​:

  • Jukka Malm, Deputy Executive Director, ECHA

13.45–14.45 LUNCH​


14.55 Transportation to offsite visit

15.15 Offsite visit at ECHA

16.30 Transportation from offsite visit to city centre and Helsinki-Vantaa airport


There might be changes to the programme.




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

Helsinki Chemicals Forum 2017

HCF 2017 Final report Forum presentations

Thursday 8 June 2017

8:00 Registration

8:45 Opening Ceremony

  • Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of Environment

9:00 Keynote: 10 Years of REACH: Accomplisments so far and challenges ahead

  • Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner, European Commission

9.20 Keynote: How ECHA’s integrated regulatory strategy will secure success in reaching the 2020 UN goal on chemicals management

  • Geert Dancet, Executive Director, ECHA

9.40 Keynote: The long anticipated reform of TSCA in the US

  • Jim Jones, Former EPA Assistant Administrator for Chemicals Safety, USA


10:30 PANEL 1: What has chemicals legislation done for us over the last decade?

Moderator: Erwin Annys, Director Chemicals Policy, CEFIC, Belgium


  • Vito Buonsante, Law&Policy Advisor, ClientEarth, Belgium
  • Björn Hansen, Head of Unit, EU-Commission
  • Andrea Paetz, Director, Regulatory Policy, BAYER AG, Germany
  • Jake Sanderson, Manager, Environment Canada
  • Jan Wijmenga, Ministry of Infrastucture and Environment, The Netherlands

12:30 LUNCH

13:15 PANEL 2: The Sustainable Development Goals – Is there a business case?

Moderator: Achim Halpaap, Head, Chemicals and Waste Branch, UNEP, Belgium


  • Ricardo Barra, Dean, University on Conception, Chile
  • Leticia Carvalho, Director, Ministry of Environment, Brazil
  • Qian Cheng, Deputy Head, Greenpeace East Asia, China
  • Timo Unger, Manager Environmental Affairs, Hyundai Europe, Germany
  • Hartwig Wendt, Executive Director, CEFIC, Belgium


15:45 PANEL 3: Post-2020 Global Chemicals Supply Chains – What will be the drivers for market supply and demand and will chemicals product safety emerge a winner or loser?

Moderator: BjØrn Hansen, Head of Unit, European Commission


  • Rafael Cayuela, Chief Economist, Dow, USA
  • Joseph DiGangi, Senior Science and Technical Advisor, IPEN, Australia
  • Anouschka Jansen, Senior Manager, Foreign Trade Association, Belgium
  • Mihai Scumpieru, Manager, Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. Vice Chair, Japan Business Council in Europe
  • Peter Smith, Executive Director, CEFIC, Belgium

17:45 Concluding remarks by Jukka Malm, Deputy Executive Director, ECHA

18:00 END OF DAY 1

20:00 Dinner at the Helsinki City Hall

22:00 Transportation to the Messukeskus hotel, Messuaukio 1

Elżbieta Bieńkowska

Let’s celebrate 10 years of REACH

Welcome to start our first day around REACH: hear the accomplisments and challenges of REACH by our keynote speaker Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska


Thursday 8 June 9:00 “10 Years of REACH: Accomplisments so far and challenges ahead”

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner, European Comission

PANEL 1 – Concept:Erwin_Annys

A chance to ask those big picture questions:

  • What has legislation done to protect human health and the environment?
  • Has it at the same time protected competitiveness and supported innovation?
  • What would it have looked like if we had not legislated?

Moderator: Erwin Annys, Director Chemicals Policy, CEFIC

achim_halpaapPANEL 2 – Concept:

2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the Brundtland report on sustainable development. A new set of goals came into effect in 2016 to guide societal and planetary needs up to 2030. Chemicals safety plays an important role for the achievement of several of the goals. How should businesses engage with them and what are the bottom-line risks of not doing so? The panel will debate this issue using examples of product successes and failures.

Moderator: Achim Halpaap, Head, Chemicals and Waste Branch, UNEP


PANEL 3 – Concept:

Examining macro-economic forecasts, global market trends, supply chain needs, the panel will debate what the products of tomorrow will look like and the implications for the drive to achieve safer chemicals in products

Moderator: BjØrn Hansen, Head of Unit, European Commission

Friday 9 June 2017

9:00 PANEL 4: Speeding up chemical assessments: from novel information to new management approaches, what works?

Moderator: Mamta Patel, Director & Co-Founder, Chemical Watch, UK


  • Dorte Bjerregaard Lerche, PhD, Ministry of Environment and Food, Denmark
  • Anne Gourmelon, Principal Administrator, OECD
  • Erika Kunz, Head of Global Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals, Clariant, Germany
  • Brian Richards, Executive Director, Office of Chemical Safety, Australia
  • Russell Thomas, EPA, USA


11:30 PANEL 5: Substances of concern (SVHCs) in products – whose job is it to control these in a free trade world?

Moderator: Jack de Bruijn, Directorof Risk Management, ECHA


  • Ravi Agarval, Director, Toxics Link, India
  • Karin Kilian, Policy Officer, EU-Commission
  • Remi Lefevre, Scientific Officer, ECHA
  • Kevin Mulvaney, Senior Director, ACC, USA
  • Matthias Schmid, Manager Advanced Chemicals, ADIDAS AG, Germany

13:30 Concluding remarks and closing by Jukka Malm, Deputy Executive Director, ECHA

14:00 LUNCH

15:00–16:30 Offsite visit to Sitra: Reflections from the World Circular Economy Forum 2017 – Sitra’s pioneering work on the Circular Economy

Transportation to hotel and airport



Panel 4 – Concept

New approaches are being tried in different countries to use new kinds of information or use existing information in new ways in order to avoid animal testing and to speed up chemicals assessment and management including grouping, fast-tracking restrictions and computational screening.

  • What is the experience of implementing such approaches to remove dangerous chemicals from the market or to make approval of chemicals more efficient?
  • What are the trade-offs for society in using these approaches and are they acceptable?

Moderator: Mamta Patel, Director & Co-Founder, Chemical Watch

jack_de_bruijnPanel 5 – Concept

Despite their efforts to obtain more information and manage the risks of chemicals, regulators and industry are frustrated by unregulated imports of articles that continue to expose people and the environment to dangerous chemicals. Unsafe products are still on every market that should not be. An international panel will discuss the size of the challenge and what more regulators and businesses can do to level the playing field.

Moderator: Jack de Bruijn, Directorof Risk Management, ECHA

Celebration of Finland 100

Helsinki Chemicals Forum is organised in the capital city of Finland yearly. This year 2017 will mark the hundredth year of Finland’s independence. Helsinki will be full of events and attractions to explore related to #Finland100. The centenary will be the most significant commemorative year for this generation of Finns. The centenary emphasises Finland’s strengths, such as equality and democracy by offering Finns and friends of Finland diverse and international centenary programme in Finland and abroad. The centenary celebration is open to both Finns and friends of Finland. Welcome to celebrate with us!

Read more about Finland 100 and see national programme


Previous Helsinki Chemicals Forum Programmes

Read the final report of HCF 2016

See all the presentations on SlideShare

Thursday 26 May 2016

8:00 Registration

8:45 Opening of the Forum

  • Jussi Pajunen, Mayor of Helsinki

9:00 Keynote: The Circular Economy: a strategic opportunity for Europe

  • Joanna Drake, Deputy Director General, DG Environment

9:20 Keynote: Lessons learned from a decade of REACH

  • Geert Dancet, Executive Director, ECHA

9:40 Keynote: Reflecting on the Future of Chemicals Management and Sustainable Chemistry: A Video Message from the UN Environment Assembly

  • Achim Halpaap, Head, Chemicals and Waste Branch, UNEP


10:30 PANEL 1: Circular Economy – Opportunities and challenges for chemicals regulation

  • Moderator: BjØrn Hansen, Head of Unit, European Commission


  • Hans Meijer, Coordinator, Ministry of Infrastucture and Environment, The Netherlands
  • Mari Puoskari, Strategy Director, Ekokem Group, Finland
  • Axel Singhofen, Adviser on Health and Environment Policy, Greens/EFA in the European Parliament
  • Peter Smith, Executive Director, CEFIC, Belgium
  • Michael Warhurst, Executive Director, CHEM Trust, UK

12:30 LUNCH

13:15 PANEL 2: Perfluorinated chemicals – A global chemicals management issue in the need
of global agreement?

  • Moderator: Eeva Leinala, Principal Administrator, OECD


  • Ronald Bock, FlouroCouncil, Risk Management, Chemours International, Switzerland
  • Ian Cousins, Professor, Stockholm University, Sweden
  • Johanna Peltola-Thies, Senior Scientific Officer, ECHA
  • Lena Vierke, Scientific Officer, German Environment Agency, Germany
  • Mengjiao (Melissa) Wang, Research Scientist, Greenpeace International


15:45 PANEL 3: Global Data Sharing – How can businesses and regulators make smarter use of data already available?

  • Moderator: Andreas Herdina, Director of Cooperation, ECHA


  • Bob Diderich, Head of Division, OECD
  • Erika Kunz, Head of Global Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals, Clariant Produkte, Germany
  • Christel Musset, Director of Registration, ECHA
  • Brian Richards, Executive Director, Office of Chemical Safety, Australia
  • Jake Sandersson, Manager, Environment Canada

17:45 Concluding Remarks of the First Day

  • Jukka Malm, Deputy Executive Director, ECHA

18:00 END OF DAY 1

20:00 Dinner hosted by the City of Helsinki at the Helsinki City Hall, Pohjoisesplanadi 11-13



PANEL 1: Circular Economy – Opportunities and challenges for chemicals regulation

A circular economy is a real challenge for legislators. It is highly relevant today – and will be even more so in the future – when the aim is to save resources and dramatically reduce the environmental load and waste volumes. A circular economy creates new flows of resources that should be able to replace virgin materials.

Moderator: BjØrn Hansen, Head of Unit, European Commission

Read the blog post by BjØrn about the panel discussion subject

Read also a blog post On the road to Circular Economy by Anu Oksanen, the Environment and PR Director at SUEZ Finland Ltd.


PANEL 2: Perfluorinated chemicals – A global chemicals management issue in the need of global agreement?

Perfluorinated chemicals is a widely used product group that has raised both questions and concerns. One peculiarity is that almost all production has shifted outside the so-called industrialised countries. At a global level, concerns are expressed over the safety of production and of the products themselves. The question is, should the drafting of a global agreement for this product group be rapidly initiated?

Moderator: Eeva Leinala, Principal Administrator, OECD

Read the blog post by Leena about the panel discussion subject



PANEL 3: Global Data Sharing – How can businesses and regulators make smarter use of data already available?

The European REACH and many other similar regulations on chemicals control have generated huge amounts of data for international authorities on the properties and effects of chemicals and chemical products. How to better understand and use that data will be the subject of our third panel. The global exploitation of data on chemicals would probably greatly improve general chemicals safety by reducing, for example, the number of and need for new heavy regulations in the so-called developing economies. Naturally, the rights of data providers must also be recognised in data sharing.

Moderator: Andreas Herdina, Director of Cooperation, ECHA

Read the blog post by Andreas about the panel discussion subject


Stay active, follow and join to discussion

Join the panel discussions and comment the keynotes. Using the Message Wall of Helsinki Chemicals Forum, you can send comments and questions to the panellists by SMS, Twitter or through website. Messages are handled confidentially. A message costs the normal SMS rate. Send your comments and questions during the conference to:

You can see the message wall comments and discussion at


Friday 27 May 2016

8:30 Keynote: ARECs – The Korean REACH – A National Solution for The Control of Chemicals

  • Jee Yoon LEE, Vice Chairman, Korea Chemicals Management Association

9:00 PANEL 4: Plant Safety – Is it taking a back seat to economic pressures?

  • Moderator: Rob Visser, Member of the HCF Programme Committee


  • Peter Kearns, Principal Administrator, OECD
  • Alexandros Kiriazis, Policy Officer, European Commission
  • Sandra Averous Monnery, Programme Officer (Safer Production), UNEP
  • Christian Schaible, Policy Manager, European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Belgium
  • Kenan Stevick, President, KPS Consulting, USA


11:30 PANEL 5: How to tackle chemicals of high concern in products – The construction Sector as a case study

  • Moderator: Erwin Annys, Director Chemicals Policy, CEFIC


  • Theresa Kjell, Senior Business and Policy Advisor, ChemSec, Sweden
  • Eva-Lena Carlen-Johansson, Manager, Sustainability Programs, Skanska AB, Sweden
  • Paolo Carrer, Professor, Milan University, Italy
  • Christine Däumling, Senior Scientist, German Environment Agency, Germany
  • Stylianos Kephalopoulos, Leader of Competence Group Exposure, European Commission – Joint Research Centre

13:30 Concluding Remarks of the Second Day and Closing

  • Jukka Malm, Deputy Executive Director, ECHA

14:00 LUNCH

15:00 Offsite visit at Tukes (the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency)

17:00 Transportation from Tukes to the Helsinki-Vantaa airport



PANEL 4: Plant Safety – Is it taking a back seat to economic pressures?

Plant safety has been included in the programme after a long break due to major chemical accidents that have occurred in recent years. Our panellists will debate whether the reason is the general weakness of the economy or the slackening of safety practices in companies. This issue has re-emerged on the global agenda, and improvement measures are being discussed. A key factor is updating safety thinking and practices in companies. Additionally, guidelines and regulations on storage and transportation, for example, may need to be reviewed.

Moderator: Rob Visser, Member of the HCF Programme Committee

Read the blog post by Bob about the panel discussion subject



PANEL 5: How to tackle chemicals of high concern in products – The construction Sector as a case study

This panel will focus on the problems and challenges of exposure to chemicals in building materials and in the construction sector. Health problems related to the quality of indoor air have increased in recent years, partly due to more tightly sealed buildings. This is not only about problems directly related to materials; construction techniques and practices are also of critical importance. As a result of these problems, new national guidelines and regulations have been created. Meanwhile, pioneering work has been performed by certain companies in an effort to significantly raise the quality of construction.

Moderator: Erwin Annys, Director Chemicals Policy, CEFIC

Read the blog post by Erwin about the panel discussion subject