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Stay up-to-date with news about substitution!

In the news section, we will highlight initiatives and strategies for substitution, events as well as relevant news on chemical regulation. News will be provided in English and in German.
20th January 2020

UBA: Guide on sustainable chemicals (Version 2017) and IT-Tool „SubSelect“

The German Federal Environment Agency UBA has developed criteria for the selection of sustainable chemicals to make it easier for chemical producers, developers and end users to select sustainable chemicals. The guide provides a tool for assessing the risks posed by substances step-by-step and for distinguishing non-sustainable chemicals from sustainable ones. The guide has been updated in 2017.

In addition, the assessment and selection of chemicals can be easily performed by the complementary IT-Tool „SubSelect“, based on the Windows Access program. Based on the criteria of the guide, SubSelect allows assessment of single substances or mixtures.

The guide and SubSelect are available for free:

Guide on sustainable chemicals

SubSelect – Guide for the Selection of Sustainable Chemicals

15th January 2020

Online training on analysis of alternatives

The online course has been developed by the University of Massachusetts Lowell in cooperation with ECHA, and will provide information on emerging standards of practice and give examples of useful methods and tools for assessing alternatives. The training is not exclusive to the REACH authorisation context, but rather targets those working on sustainable chemicals management in a broader sense – whether in national authority, industry, or a non-governmental organisation.

During the online course, participants will learn how to make informed chemicals management decisions when substituting hazardous substances. The training is structured as follows:


Session 1: Scoping the assessment

Session 2: Identifying and screening alternatives

Session 3: Hazard and exposure

Session 4: Cost and technical performance

Session 5: Making and implementing decisions

The course will be subscription based but free-of-charge, meaning that there is a limited number of participants who can take the course simultaneously. You can indicate your interest in taking the course by filling the expression of interest form. Participants will receive a time-limited subscription to the online learning platform once the training is published in January 2020.

More information here:

and here:

25th November 2019

“Stop cancer at the workplace”- Call for proposals for the 13th German Hazardous Substances Protection Award

In November 2020, the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs will award the 13th German Hazardous Substances Protection Award. The topic this time is: “Stop cancer at the workplace”.

The award recognizes new ideas and concepts for safe work with carcinogenic hazardous substances. From the introduction of alternative substances, products and processes, to employee training initiatives or the development of innovative solutions for the safe handling of carcinogenic hazardous substances – the approaches can be diverse.

The best submissions will be awarded a total of 10 000 euros by the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. Applications can be submitted until March 31, 2020 under A letter and a short presentation of your activities are sufficient, for interesting projects you will be asked for additional information.

Flyer “13. Deutscher Gefahrstoffschutzpreis: STOP dem Krebs am Arbeitsplatz”

Further information can be found at

22nd November 2019

Preservation of Paints & Detergents – Workshop on innovation and industry challenges

The International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (A.I.S.E) and the European Council of the Paint, Printing Ink and Artists‘ Colours Industry (CEPE) hosted a workshop about Preservation of Paints & Detergents on the 15th May 2019 in Brussels.

Last year the European Commission invited Member States, industry and NGOs to initiate actions towards finding alternatives to active substances in areas where innovation is needed. Preservation for products during storage was identified as one of the priority areas.

Current innovations in the fields, challenges faced by industry, and possible solutions under the Biocidal Products Regulation were discussed with all interested parties.

The proceedings and presentations of the workshop can be found here.

11th October 2019

EU-OSHA: Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards highlight examples of managing dangerous substances in the workplace

In the framework of the 14th Good Practice Award competition, 6 organisations were awarded and 4 organisations were commended that take an innovative approach to successfully tackling the risks posed by hazardous substances.

The award recognises organisations with an outstanding commitment to occupational safety and health (OSH) and promote practices that protect workers and boost productivity. The 2018-2019 competition is a key part of EU-OSHA’s Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances campaign

The awarded examples include the use or substitution of hazardous substances from the hairdressing sector to the construction sector.

Learn more about the examples in the Good Practice Awards booklet:

The award ceremony will take place at the Healthy Workplaces Summit in Bilbao in November 2019.


16th September 2019

INERIS informs about applications and alternatives for alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs)

The French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks (INERIS) offers information provided by companies on the alternatives available for three families of substances: bisphenols, phthalates and alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs) on the information platform „Chemicals substitution“.

In the latest newsletter (September 2019), applications and alternatives for alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs) were summarized. APEOs are nonionic surfactants. The two most prominent subgroups are ethoxylated octylyphenols and ethoxylated nonylphenols. For the latter group of substances, alcohol ethoxylates can be used as substitute.

Read more about APEOs:

10th September 2019

New label for textiles: Minister Gerd Müller presents a new national textile label “Grüner Knopf“

On 09.09.19, Federal Development Minister Dr. Gerd Müller presented a new national textile label “Grüner Knopf” ( 27 companies are taking part in the initial phase. They have all successfully passed the demanding requirements of social and ecological sustainability (e.g. free from SVHC) for the textile label. Details can be found in the press release of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Further, useful links:

5th September 2019

BAuA-Event “Perspectives of Substitution of Isothiazolinones as Preservatives (In-can Preservatives) in Paints, Varnishes and Adhesives” – Save the date

On 25th February 2021, an information and dialogue event will take place at the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) in Dortmund on the topic “Perspectives of the substitution of isothiazolinones as preservatives (In-can preservatives) in paints, varnishes and adhesives”.

The event will focus on:

  • Legal framework for the use of preservatives (in particular the Biocide Ordinance)
  • Possibilities for reducing the use of preservatives (e.g. allergy paints)
  • Substitution of preservatives by innovative combinations of active ingredients, mixtures and alternative manufacturing technologies
  • Results of the BAuA research project on the substitution of preservatives (In-can preservatives) in paints, varnishes and adhesives

Further information on the program and registration formalities can be found here.

14th June 2019

Second meeting of the substitution and innovation network – presentations online

ECHA has published the presentations of the „Second meeting of the substitution and innovation network“, which took place in Helsinki on 29th May 2019.

In order to promote innovative and sustainable solutions for substitution, ECHA organised a network meeting with the focus on the exchange of experience and information between different stakeholders.

Read more about the meeting (here) and what Dr. Michaela Clever said about SUBSPORTplus (Presentation).

For additional information: ECHA Website section on substitution, in particular documentations of further substitution events.

13th June 2019

Belgian roadmap for substitution of SVHC published

The FPS Economy, the Ministry of Economy of Belgium, led a study in 2019 to examine how to develop a global vision for the substitution of substances of very high concern (SVHC) in the Belgian context.

This study comes to the conclusion that an effective Belgian strategy should be organised around two pillars:

  • a combination of information and regulatory and economic instruments;
  • a combination of transversal and vertical actions focused on priority themes specific to Belgium.

The study also contains a wealth of information on European, federal and regional support programmes, including the conditions for obtaining financial support.

Study „Development of a strategic roadmap for the substitution of SVHC as part of a sustainable economy“ (April 2019)



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