Material Disclosure is a software tool developed by Actio Corporation. The software tool aims to collect, parse and store information about product ingredients, primarily for Corporate Sustainability Reporting (CSR) and Compliance reporting to agencies such as the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Manufacturing companies who make or sell food and beverage products, consumer finished goods, even auto or aerospace parts and components need to track not just the parts and ingredients, but also any known-toxic chemicals in those parts and ingredients that may affect product safety. Managing chemicals is part of quality assurance for all products:
-- within the manufacturing process
-- while in use
-- when in disposal or end-of-life
Actio is known for developing software technology in hopes of a greener manufacturing supply chain. They approach this by creating a database type of software. The database tries to track chemicals that industry uses to make products, and screens that list of chemicals, bill of materials, or raw material formulations against regulated chemicals and threshold amounts.
Named chemicals to be regulated can be updated from state to state, country to country, and year over year as regulations change. Management of the regulatory compliance aspect of ingredients in manufacturing is a significant challenge as more countries and states try to cope with pollution control, climate change, and consumer demand for more responsible industry and greener products. Both legislative and consumer demand exist for greener, safer products, which means safer ingredients for workers who build or provide commodities, entities who use them, and the environment, including humans, that handles them after use.
For instance, in Europe, an electronic product cannot have more than 1000 parts per million (ppm) of a chemical called hexavalent chromium, a toxic substance made famous in the film Erin Brockovich. Other known-toxic substances, such as mercury and lead, are also restricted in the EU in the same manner in electronics, under a directive called RoHS. Worldwide, there are hundreds of such chemical restrictions that manufacturers must adhere to, each with different threshold amounts and conditions and action items attached. Regulations guide industry towards a cleaner, less polluted society across all nations. But if adhering to environmental and product design regulations is impossible for businesses then the positive, eco-stewardship manifestations of those regulations is mitigated.
Material Disclosure is, in a sense, a content management system. It is a central hub of information on toxic chemicals, stored as both data bits and actual documents. Material Disclosure as a tool differs from an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) database in that it is for private use, meaning companies use the software for the more proprietary management of corporate data for optimization purposes, internal audits, streamlining initiatives, compliance, risk management, report generation, and other uses specific to a company. It also is independent from a company's ERP system, so while it can connect and use ERP system data, Material Disclosure is not reliant on a particular software giant. Further, it is independent in the sense that it is ASP / SaaS, which is also called "Cloud" software.
Material Disclosure functions in a three-fold approach to data collection and control. First, it extracts ingredient data from material safety data sheets, technical data sheets and certificates of analysis. Second, it collects information from suppliers, which is done by automated outreach by email, itself set up and administered by a designated person in the manufacturing company spearheading the ingredient management initiative. Third, the database is updated regularly by Actio to ensure that regulation lists are current.
This product is not affiliated with the EPA or with ECHA.
Inc. Magazine named Actio on its 2010 list of America's fastest growing companies.
- Material Disclosure Best Practices ChemInfo 2010-4-1
- Actio Releases Update of Material Disclosure Software 2009-10-17