Between March 26 and 27, UL hosted a summit for suppliers and retailers who use the WERCSmart system. Jim Jones, Executive Vice President, Strategic Alliances & Industry Relations attended on behalf of the Household & Commercial Products Association (HCPA), along with several HCPA member companies, including: The 3M Company, Church & Dwight Co., Inc., The Clorox Company, Energizer Holdings, Inc., L’Oréal Consumer Products Division, and The Proctor & Gamble Company.
Approximately 40 suppliers attended the supplier-only session and were then joined by approximately 30 retailers for the joint session. Since retailers use WERCSmart to help them with their chemical safety and sustainability programs, discussions related to WERCSmart often involve broader policy issues, such as storage and transportation, hazardous waste classifications and ingredient communication.
During the supplier-only session, suppliers were asked about their top WERCSmart priority. Suppliers agreed that they need more transparency regarding what supplier information retailers can see. Suppliers also expressed the need for customer support when using the system, as UL has received feedback from suppliers that the Net Performance Score (NPS) is not a 21st century system. UL has begun a pilot concierge style program to improve the supplier customer service experience. This program will ensure that WERCSmart reviewers are specialized within certain supplier products and categories, reducing redundancies identified in the overall ticketing process.
UL also asked whether suppliers would want to use WERCSmart for meeting their California and New York ingredient communication obligations. This issue had been previously raised at the UL Advisory Council, with suppliers not in favor of it. UL received similar feedback from suppliers at this meeting, and as a result, announced that WERCSmart would only be available as an “opt in” tool for suppliers to demonstrate compliance with California and New York ingredient disclosure.
The presentation portion of the joint meeting addressed topics including customer demands, NGO priorities, investor interest in sustainability, supplier challenges related to overall goals, and communicating information to customers.
Please contact Jim Jones, Executive Vice President, Strategic Alliances & Industry Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional comments or questions.