Helsinki Chemicals Forum to be virtual event this year

After a year of postponed conferences around the world, the Helsinki Chemicals Forum (HCF) will return for its 12th Forum, to be held as a two-day virtual event, 27 and 28 April 2021. With five panels and high-level keynote speeches, HCF 2021 will host topical debates on key issues faced by the chemicals industry globally and share policy trends aimed towards a safer, more sustainable future.

Five main topics will be discussed, including the United Nations’ upcoming fifth session of the International Conference for Chemicals Management (ICCM5), the European Union’s green chemicals strategy, transparency and risk communication, safer substitution and the future of toxic-free textiles.

Moderators will include representatives from five global organizations — UNEP, EU, CEFIC, ECHA, OECD and Chemical Watch, with a special keynote led by Virginijus Sinkevičius, the EU Commissioner for environment.

The event will include two days of open panels, networking and insights into present policy and future trends for chemicals regulations.

Geert Dancet, secretary general of HCF, shared his enthusiasm for this year’s program: “We can now share this conference platform with many more participants from all over the world to raise their questions to truly global top experts.“

The forum will begin with Virginijus Sinkevičius’s special keynote address, in which he will explain how the chemicals strategy for sustainability fits in the EU Green Deal. He will then be joined by Martin Brudermüller, president of CEFIC and CEO of BASF, and Jeremy Wates, secretary general of the European Environment Bureau for a debate on the ambition of this strategy.

Jan Vapaavuori, lord mayor of Helsinki will offer opening remarks on Helsinki’s plan for climate neutrality, while ECHA’s executive director Bjorn Hansen will give a keynote speech on functioning of the chemical EU registration system set by REACH and CLP.

Day one of HCF 2021 will have two panel discussions. The first panel, moderated by UNEP, will cover the primary challenges ahead of the anticipated July 2021 United Nations conference ICCM5 on chemicals and waste management. Panel two, hosted by the European Commission, will focus is on how green chemical policy can be developed.

Day two will start with a full expert panel on the pressing requirement for more transparency and risk communication, hosted by ECHA. A second panel, hosted by OECD, will focus on the search and global need for safer and more sustainable substitution of dangerous chemicals, ending with a spotlight on the regulatory challenges faced by one global value chain, textiles, hosted by Chemical Watch.

Both days will run from 1 to 6 pm (EET).

The full program and details about registration (cost is 300 euros) is available on HCF’s website.

A parallel virtual event, ChemBio Finland 2021, is also open to HCF participants. Taking place online on Wednesday 28 April 2021, ChemBio Finland covers the chemistry and biotechnology industries in the Nordic Countries and Baltic regions. A detailed program will be published soon, and the participants should register at ChemBio Finland 2021 virtual pre-event.

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