Achieving Supply Chain Sustainability in Chemical Manufacturing

Author: Rene Garcia


Every business exists on a supply chain. As such, safety and sustainability are key to ensuring that the supply chain remains unbroken, functions smoothly, and affects the minimum amount of people and environments adversely. In the case of industrial chemical suppliers and laboratory chemical manufacturers, supply chain safety and sustainability are paramount. In worst case scenarios, improperly handled chemicals can have long-lasting and far-reaching negative effects. For this reason, it is important to work with a chemical distributor that maintains high standards of health and safety.

Protecting the environment and the people within the supply chain is part of the bedrock of sustainable business practices, but so is protecting the economic performance of attached businesses. The right chemical distributor can offer customizations in packaging and delivery processes that can help maximize productivity along the supply chain. And chemical distributors that practice sustainability can also protect the reputation of chemical manufacturers.

Recently, in Clinton, Iowa, the city fire department along with a local hazmat team were deployed to investigate a chemical spill that closed an entire street. The source was a group of barrels containing Tetrahydrofuran, which is a highly flammable chemical. Reports indicated that the barrels were so old that rust had comprised them, causing the chemical leak. Fortunately, no one was injured, but for any company involved, this is a PR problem.

Third-party assessment and validation services, like Avetta, are indispensable in preventing reputation challenges like this. Avetta performs the complex work of reviewing and vetting organizations to give companies valuable insight into potential partners. When dealing with potentially dangerous chemicals, knowing which distributors to trust is vital

What to Look for in a Chemical Distributor  

At a base level, any supplier of chemicals, like a research chemical supplier, needs to partner with chemical distributors who have a good reputation for maintaining health and safety so as not to raise the risk profile of the supply chain. Similarly, companies receiving chemicals must partner with a distributor that is reliable and has an adequate selection of goods to maintain daily production.

The best chemical distributors will have sustainability practices in place to ensure proper chemical distribution for a safer and more efficient workplace. Sustainability will give manufacturers confidence that dangerous chemicals are handled properly according to their material guidelines, like those provided by the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). By enforcing best practices as outlined by GHS, a chemical distributor can make sure that chemicals are handled properly and that the supply chain is not exposed to risk even across international lines.

Chemicals can be very dangerous to people, the environment, and, ultimately, a company’s reputation if the chemicals are not stored or transported properly. This is why the choice of chemical distributor is such a vital decision and should be made only after careful vetting and review. The best distributors offer extensive knowledge of the industry, specific chemical recommendations for specific business cases, and suggestions for modern methods of use to save companies time and money. Above all, the right chemical distributor will help a company intelligently choose chemicals with safety and sustainability in mind.

How is your organization handling it?

We're taking steps internally to ensure we can support you during this crisis by:

business continuity plan illustration

Maintain a current Business Continuity Plan

sanitized work environment illustration

Promote a safe, clean and sanitized work environment

Work from home illustration

Enable employees to work remotely

Office Distancing illustration

Institute Office Distancing policies

travel restriction illustration

No visitors to the office

travel restriction illustration

Encourage employees to self-educate using online resources (WHO)

travel restriction illustration

Restrict travel—all non-essential travel is forbidden

To learn more, we encourage you to visit our COVID-19 Resource Library.

Visit Resource Center