EDF and DuPont worked together to promote public safety in the development of nanotechnology products.
In June 2007, Environmental Defense Fund and DuPont launched the Nano Risk Framework, a comprehensive, practical and flexible system to address the potential risks of nanoscale materials. The Framework has been widely cited as best practice for industry and valuable input for government policy. The success of the Framework was driven by smart planning, strong teamwork, diligent outreach—and plain hard work.
Why it matters
Nanotechnology has great potential to deliver environmental, health and other benefits, but it may also pose new risks to workers, consumers, the public and the environment.
- Establish a process to ensure the responsible development of nanoscale materials
- Develop a tool to organize and share information with stakeholders
- Facilitate public understanding of nanotechnology
- Provide input for government policy on nanotechnology safety
More than a dozen professionals from EDF and DuPont worked for nearly two years to develop the Nano Risk Framework. We incorporated input from a wide range of stakeholders including companies, government agencies, universities and public interest groups on the development of nanotech materials. Based on our months of interviews and research, we developed the Nano Risk Framework and released demonstrations of the Framework as applied to real products.
The development and launch of the Nano Risk Framework received extensive coverage in the trade press, popular media and online.
Endorsements & Corporate Impact
The Framework has been applauded by representatives from companies, industry associations, government agencies and non-governmental organizations. More importantly, the Nano Risk Framework has actually changed practices in the workplace. We have many examples of companies influenced by the framework, ranging in size from huge conglomerates to tiny startups, covering a wide variety of industries, from consumer goods to aerospace, and spanning the value chain from R&D to suppliers to retailers.
In addition to working directly with companies to advance the use of the Framework, we worked through various government and intergovernmental organizations to promote the Framework's principles and practices.
The Framework has been widely distributed and broadly influential. Our hope is that the effort and results of this project will help us to reap the benefits of nanotechnology while avoiding its potential risks.