Keywords: Audit, compliance, Fertilizers Europe, Protect and Sustain
Product Stewardship is the management of the safety, health and environmental aspects of a product in an ethically responsible way throughout its lifecycle. Product Stewardship means making sure that fertilisers are manufactured, handled, stored, distributed and used in a safe way.
Product Stewardship is a voluntary initiative of the fertiliser industry but it is compulsory and a key requirement for membership in Fertilizers Europe.
Product Stewardship implementation by Fertilizers Europe Members is regularly verified by an independent auditing company. The audit is performed by an auditing company following the Product Stewardship Standard developed by Fertilizers Europe and the Audit Manual. This manual is very thorough and includes 191 questions.
The result of the assessment of each member company is compared to the minimum requirements. If companies have major non-conformance with the standard, they have major breakdowns in Product Stewardship implementation, and they are then requested to re-pass the audit after one year.
Relatively recently the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) has started developing its own Product Stewardship programme branded ‘Protect and Sustain. The programmes scope and structure was developed over the course of 2010-2011.
It is important to realise that the Product Stewardship program is based on the lifecycle philosophy and is an evolving system.
Jacob B Hansen, Fertilizers Europe, Avenue E Van Nieuwenhuyse 6, B-1160 Brussels, and
Ben Muirhead, International Fertilizer Industry Association, 28 rue Marbeuf, F-75008, Paris.
12 page, 5 figures.