The Stockholm Convention (SC) on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife, and have harmful impacts on human health or on the environment.
In response to this global problem, the SC, which was adopted in 2001 and entered into force in 2004, requires its parties to take measures to eliminate or reduce the release of POPs into the environment.The main provisions of the SC require parties to:
- prohibit and/or eliminate the production and use, as well as the import and export, of the intentionally produced POPs listed under the SC;
- restrict the production and use, as well as the import and export, of the intentionally produced POPs that are specifically listed under the SC (DDT, PFOs);
- reduce or eliminate releases from unintentionally produced POPs that are listed under the SC;
- ensure that stockpiles and waste consisting of, containing or contaminated with POPs are managed safely and in an environmentally sound manner.
Although Chemical Leasing does not focus solely on POPs, many of its objectives are in line with the Stockholm Convention. Chemical Leasing aims to help companies reduce the use and/or release of harmful chemicals by linking the reduction in chemical footprint to financial incentives.
There is also a potential to apply Chemical Leasing as a vehicle for the substitution of POPs and for bringing alternatives to the market. Chemical Leasing requires chemical suppliers and users to cooperate closely, which stimulates innovation and encourages the development of a comprehensive service package and the shift from products to services, with economic benefits for both partners.
In sum, Chemical Leasing can contribute to the SC through:
Substitution: Chemical Leasing can stimulate the elimination, reduction and/or substitution of POPs within industrial life cycles.
Controlled/Restricted Use: Chemical Leasing can provide a business model to support the use of best available techniques and best environmental practices (BAT/BEP), so that the use of POPs is managed in an environmentally sound manner by a specialist service company. This gives greater control over how POPsare managed through their life cycle, and the service company can be monitored closely and required to ensure that closed systems are used. As Chemical Leasing is a service-oriented business model, it can also
- stimulate the innovation of alternative technical solutions
- ensure that any stockpiles or waste material containing or contaminated with POPs are managed safely