Frameworks and Guides

As defined in the OECD Meta-Review, a chemical substitution or alternatives assessment framework is an arrangement of analyses and decisions that can be used to assess alternatives. A number of organizations have developed frameworks and guides in response to regulations of chemical substances and stakeholder interest in having consistent approaches to evaluate alternatives. Frameworks differ in terms of the attributes addressed and the methodologies used.

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Organization Type Organization Name Title Description
Non-profitBizNGOThe BizNGO Chemical Alternatives Assessment ProtocolThe Chemical Alternatives Assessment Protocol by BizNGO provides a framework to guide users when making decisions to replace chemicals that cause harm to human or environmental health. The processes described provide direction in the assessment of chemicals of concern and help to avoid the substitution of equally harmful alternatives. An analysis of technical and economic feasibility assists in the decision-making process.
Non-profitBizNGOThe Guide to Safer ChemicalsThe Guide to Safer Chemicals is intended to ease the transition to less harmful chemical alternatives. The BizNGO Principles for Safer Chemicals consists of four components that provide benchmarks for performance that can be measured individually and against those of other organizations. This guide can be used to identify areas of improvement, track progress in substitution scenarios, and provide a metric for the measurement of corporate sustainability.
GovernmentEuropean Chemicals Agency (ECHA)Guidance on the preparation of an application for authorisationThe Guidance on the Preparation of an Application for Authorization document is intended to assist Stakeholders in the preparation of documents when sponsoring novel chemicals for authorization in the EU. While this guide cannot be considered a complete interpretation of legal obligations under REACH legislation, it is part of a series of guides intended to simplify compliance and should be considered a component of a complete alternatives assessment.
GovernmentEuropean CommissionMinimising chemical risk to workers' health and safety through substitutionMinimizing Chemical Risk to Workers' Health and Safety Through Substitution presents a study on alternatives to hazardous substances that focuses on the implications of health and safety risks to workers in the EU. Recognizing the need for unification in the goal of hazardous substance substitution, this study identifies challenges and commonalities amongst organizations seeking to reduce risks to social and environmental health.
GovernmentGerman Federal Environment Agency Guide on Sustainable ChemicalsThe Guide on Sustainable Chemicals promotes the consistent application of green chemistry principles by producers, engineers, and end-users by creating a systematic framework. This document provides special focus on relatively new concepts such as life-cycle analysis, social responsibility, and problematics in the inherent physiochemical properties of hazardous substances.
IndustryGerman Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and HealthTechnical Rule for Hazardous Substances (TRGS) 600 "Substitution"The Technical Rules for Hazardous Substances (TRGS) 600 “Substitution” created by the German Committee on Hazardous Substances assists employers in the prevention of employee exposure to hazardous substances and encourages processes that result in less hazardous working conditions.
Non-profitInterstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2)IC2 Alternatives Assessment GuideThe IC2 Alternatives Assessment Guide, prepared by the Technical Alternative Assessment Guide Team at the Washington State Department of Ecology, is a very comprehensive document that provides a framework for chemical alternative assessment. It contributes a suite of external screening tools and incorporates principles such as hazard reduction, transparency, flexibility, and green chemistry into the assessment process.
IndustryLowell Center for Sustainable ProductionLowell Center Alternatives Assessment FrameworkOpen source framework for the assessment of safer alternatives to chemicals, materials, and products of concern
IndustryLowell Center for Sustainable ProductionDesigning Safer Alternatives: Chemicals, Materials and ProductsDesigning Safer Alternatives: Chemicals, Materials and Products is a summary report of a 2004 meeting between 40 North American and European experts in alternatives assessment, life-cycle assessment, policy, and substitution. The report contains summations of alternatives assessments prepared for the meeting and notes from three break-out sessions that ultimately led to the development of the Alternatives Assessment Framework.
IndustryLowell Center for Sustainable ProductionFraming a Safe Chemicals Future - 2005Framing a Safe Chemicals Future is a brief report on "Framing a Future Chemicals Policy," a forum discussion held in Boston in 2005. Focusing on Green Chemistry and stakeholder involvement, this report describes the outcomes of the forum and avenues that major manufacturers have taken to become more sustainable.
IndustryLowell Center for Sustainable ProductionAlternatives Assessment Framework of the Lowell Center for Sustainable ProductionAlternatives Assessment Framework of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, prepared by the Lowell Center’s Chemicals Policy Initiative, provides guidance to encourage global innovation in green chemistry and to provide a dynamic support tool for decision-makers involved in the regulation of hazardous chemicals and their alternatives. Comprised of three core elements that encourage the transparency of qualitative input and the consideration of social preferences, the framework utilizes a modular approach to evaluate the hazardous properties of chemicals with publically-available tools.
Non-profitNational Academy of Sciences (NAS)A Framework to Guide Selection of Chemical AlternativesThis guide to alternatives assessment was developed after reviewing existing guides. It is a 13 step approach that incorporates existing protocols with new components that were missing in previous guides or that NAS felt have not been addressed sufficiently.
Non-profitNational Academy of Sciences (NAS)Sustainability Concepts in Decision-MakingThis report examines scientific tools and approaches for incorporating sustainability concepts into assessments used to support EPA decision making. Using specific case studies, this report considers the application of analytic and scientific tools, methods, and approaches presented in the 2011 NRC report, Sustainability and the U.S. EPA.
GovernmentOntario Ministry of the Environment and Climate ChangeOntario Reference Tool for Assessing Safer Chemical AlternativesOntario Toxics Reduction Program: Reference Tool for Assessing Safer Chemical Alternatives is a comprehensive document that provides an analysis of many hazardous chemical alternative assessment strategies. Incorporating principles from other programs such as hazard reduction, flexibility, and green chemistry, it provides a suite of resources for chemical alternatives assessments.
IndustryOutdoor Industry Association Chemicals Management Working Group and the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals ProgrammeUsing Chemical Hazard Assessment for Alternative Chemical AssessmentUsing Chemical Hazard Assessment for Alternative Chemical Assessment and Prioritization, prepared by the Outdoor Industry Association Chemicals Management Working Group and the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Programme, identifies essential attributes of hazardous chemical assessment and methods of prioritization. The guide suggests solutions to data gaps, reputable references for hazard endpoint data, and provides references to several popular screening tools.
IndustrySubstitution Support Portal (SUBSPORT)Substitution StepsSubstitution Steps by Substitution Support Portal (SUBSPORT) is a six-step web-based guide that can be used as a quick screening tool to assess the suitability of hazardous chemical alternatives. The guide provides a collection of internal and external tools to assist in each step of the evaluation of alternatives with a focus on safety, practicality, and continued improvement.
GovernmentTexas Commission on Environmental QualitySelecting Target Chemicals of ConcernWritten for determining chemicals of concern for Texas' Risk Reduction Program, this guidance document can help users to determine the potential impacts of a chemcial by examining its inherent characteristics.
AcademiaToxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI)Alternatives Assessment GuidanceAppendix A. Alternatives Assessment Process Guidance is the result of a 2006 study by TURI to assess the suitability of alternatives to five common hazardous chemicals using a novel framework. The guide focuses on economic feasibility and does not provide measure for the relative safety of alternatives.
GovernmentU.S. EPA Design for the Environment (DfE)Chemical Alternatives Assessment: Enabling Substitution to Safer ChemicalsChemical Alternatives Assessment: Enabling Substitution to Safer Chemicals by toxicologist Dr. Emma Lavoie is an analysis of EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) program and the evolving roles of chemical alternative analysis (CAA) in managing risk assessment. The implementation of chemical alternatives in the past has occasionally led to regrettable results that could have been foreseen with more thorough analysis. This report incorporates case studies of some common industrial chemicals to measure the technical, functional, and economic feasability of safer alternatives.
GovernmentU.S. EPA Design for the Environment (DfE)Alternatives Assessment Criteria for Hazard Evaluation Design for the Environment (DfE) Program Alternatives Assessment Criteria for Hazard Evaluation is a chemical hazard assessment guide produced by the US EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention & Toxics. The guide focuses on environmental toxicity, fate, and the physiochemical properties that present inherent safety risks. Multi-stakeholder partnerships are convened to determine the functionality of substitutes and to appoint high-risk chemicals; therefore, the document is subject to revision. Last updated August 2011.
GovernmentU.S. EPA Design for the Environment (DfE)Cleaner Technologies Substitutes Assessment - A Methodology and Resource GuideCleaner Technologies Substitutes Assessment (CTSA): A Methodology and Resource Guide was developed by The University of Tennessee Center for Clean Products and Clean Technologies in 1996 and is an early contribution to the modern Design for the Environment Program Alternatives Assessment Criteria for Hazard Evaluation. This web-based series of documents utilizes an information module approach to provide a systematic basis for the assessment of hazardous chemical alternatives.
GovernmentUnited Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)General Guidance on Considerations Related to Alternatives and Substitutes for Listed Persistent Organic Pollutants and Candidate ChemicalsGeneral Guidance on Considerations Related to Alternatives and Substitutes for Listed Persistent Organic Pollutants and Candidate Chemicals is a brief guidance document prepared by the ad-hoc working group on substitution and alternatives of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee of the Stockholm Convention. The document assists in the identification of alternatives to chemicals listed in the annexes of the Stockholm Convention that are technically, socially, and economically feasible.
AcademiaUniversity of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Sustainability Technology & Policy ProgramDeveloping Regulatory Alternatives Analysis Methodologies for the California Green Chemistry InitiativeDeveloping Regulatory Alternatives Analysis Methodologies for the California Green Chemistry Initiative is a report developed under UCLA's Sustainable Technology & Policy Program to assist in alternatives analysis as required by the California Green Chemistry Initiative (AB 1879). Utilizing multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) as an assessment aid, the report explains the application of this methodology to the assessment of chemical alternative case studies for two popular industrial uses: garment cleaning and lead solder in electronics.
GovernmentUniversity of California, Santa Barbara Safer Product Alternatives Analysis (SPAA): Methods, Models, and ToolsSafer Product Alternatives Analysis (SPAA): Methods, Models and Tools is a document prepared by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, for California's Department of Toxic Substances Control. In an effort to reduce the impact of qualitative data on alternative chemical assessments and to provide broader applicability, SPAA incorporates alternatives assessment, life-cyle analysis, green chemistry, and feasibility into the decision-making process.