March 23, 2016

Helsinki Chemicals Forum has published its programme

The Helsinki Chemicals Forum has published its programme for 2016. The themes for the next Forum will cover themes from circular economy to perfluorinated chemicals, global data sharing, plant safety and chemicals related problems in the construction sector. The next Helsinki Chemicals Forum will be organised in 26–27 May 2016 in Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention CeHCF logo_pienintre.

Helsinki Chemicals Forum is a key gathering for chemicals safety professionals, and an independent forum that aims to promote chemicals safety and chemicals management globally. The two-day event is built around high-profile panels and keynote presentations as well as related debates.

Mr Jussi Pajunen, the Mayor of Helsinki, will open the Forum. On Thursday, Mr Geert Dancet, Executive Director, ECHA and Mr Daniel Calleja-Crespo, Director General of the European Commission will hold the keynote speeches. After this, the Forum will receive a video message from the UN Environment Assembly, since Mr Achim Halpaap, the Head of the Chemicals and Waste Branch will be reflecting on the Future of Chemicals Management and Sustainable Chemistry. On Friday, the Vice Chairman of the Korea Chemicals Management Association, Ms Jee Yoon Lee will give her keynote speech about ARECs, The Korean REACH and the national solution for the control of chemicals. ø

The panel themes of the Helsinki Chemicals Forum were selected for their global relevance and topicality.

Panel 1: Circular Economy – Opportunities and challenges for chemicals regulation.

Circular economy is a challenge for legislators and more and more relevant 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. The moderator of this panel will be Head of Unit, Mr Bjørn Hansen from the European Commission.

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. Should the drafting of a global agreement for this product group be rapidly initiated? The moderator of panel 2 will be Ms Eeva Leinala, Principal Administrator, OECD.

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? 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. The rights of data providers must also be recognised in data sharing. Mr Andreas Herdina, Director of Cooperation from ECHA, will be the moderator in this session.

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. The moderator of this panel will be Mr Rob Visser, Member of the HCF Programme Committee.

Panel 5: Chemicals related problems (e.g. indoor air quality) in the construction sector.

The fifth 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. Director Chemicals Policy, Mr Erwin Annys from CEFIC will be the moderator of this session.

The whole programme is available at

The programme of Helsinki Chemicals Forum is prepared by an international high-profile Programme Committee, representing the European Commission, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Environment Canada, the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL, a major global NGO) and Chemical Watch (a leading news service in the field)

The Chemicals Forum Association, in co-operation with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the European Commission, the European Chemical Industry Council CEFIC and the Finnish Government, organises the Helsinki Chemicals Forum. Forum partners include the City of Helsinki, the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland and the University of Helsinki. Media Associate is Chemical Watch. Helsinki Chemicals Forum 2016 will be arranged for the eighth time in Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention Centre, Finland.

Further information:

Hannu Vornamo, Secretary General, Helsinki Chemicals Forum, +358 40 500 4785,

Tarja Gordienko, Communications Manager, Helsinki Chemicals Forum, +358 50 584 7262,

Free photos of the previous event in media bank: