Product Stewardship is a key component of the paint and coatings industry. "Product stewardship" is a principle that directs all participants involved in the life cycle of a product to consider the impacts to human health and the natural environment that result from the production, use, and end-of-life management of the product. Stakeholders typically include manufacturers, retailers, consumers, and government officials.
For instance, labeling, which discloses ingredients and details precautionary measures and instruction on the safe use of our industry’s products, is a cornerstone of products stewardship. ACA has published and updates its Paint Industry Labeling Guide focusing on the labeling requirements and industry trade practices for paints, coatings, and the other related products manufactured and sold within the United States. The guide also provides general information on labeling requirements within Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.
Moreover, as defined above, product stewardship often extends to the life of a product beyond its use, as exemplified in the industry and ACA's efforts with leftover, or post-consumer paint management.
ACA’s Product Stewardship Committee directs the association activities in this area. The Product Stewardship Committee provides integrated guidance to association members on all matters that impact the safe use of our industry's products. While primarily focused on the regulatory structures associated with product safety — hazard communication, toxic substance, engineering for exposure control and personal protective equipment selection — the issues considered by the committee also interpret industry trade practice. Although precautionary labeling is a primary product safety concern, the committee deals with a broad range of risk reduction measures through product design and formulation considerations, as well as end-user interactions. The committee also provides technical support for the Product Stewardship Code under Coatings Care®.
For manufacturers in the paint and coatings industry, product stewardship includes a combination of management practices that protect both employees and consumers. At many companies, staff product stewards are responsible for the daily monitoring of proposed state, federal, and even international regulations that will impact operations and sales. Product stewards are also responsible for reviewing Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), which are documents that explain the potential hazards of a substance and how employees can protect themselves while working with the substance. In addition, product stewards are often responsible for the information contained on product labels and work to ensure that all information required by law is contained on the product labels. These are just a few examples of what makes up product stewardship.