Chromium trioxide is a ‘Substance of Very High Concern’ that can cause cancer. However, the EU wanted to authorise its use for another 12 years. Innovative entrepreneurs developed a sustainable alternative but could not wait for 12 more years to get it to market. We helped these alternative providers to accelerate market access using the highly-complex REACH authorisation process as a lever.
As a solution, we built an alliance of alternative providers, uniting competitors and assisting them in engaging with the key policy-makers in the REACH process. Strategic communications: Our credibility as an interlocutor, as well as our alliances with NGOs, allowed us to ensure the message was heard throughout the regulatory process. The alliance was raised to the level of the relevant Commissioner, putting the issue of sustainable chemical substitution at the top of the EU legislative agenda.
As a result of a society-wide campaign, the use of this chemical was only granted authorisation for another 7 years instead of 12 years that the Commission initially proposed – because we made clear that alternatives existed. This spurred the demand for alternative solutions, showing that sustainable business cases do work: the alternative providers can enter the EU market 5 years earlier!