thinkstep Buys BOMcheck and EC4P Expanding Its Product Stewardship Solution
The once quiet product stewardship market, which includes solutions for product compliance as well as product sustainability, is turning into a hot sector. Today’s acquisition of the BOMcheck and Environmental Compliance For Products (EC4P) assets by thinkstep is a great example of the convergence of voluntary product stewardship activities with those driven by regulations such as RoHS, REACH and the Conflict Minerals disclosure rule. BOMcheck, was previously owned by Ramboll ENVIRON and was set up as an industry collaboration by Philips, Siemens, GE, Osram, Schneider Electric, Toshiba, Agfa, Texas Instruments and TE Connectivity to share one database for containing suppliers’ data on compliance with substance regulations.
Through its GaBI software, thinkstep has for many years been a market leader in providing product life cycle assessment (LCA) capabilities and associated materials databases. Historically, thinkstep customers like BASF and Johnson & Johnson have used the LCA software on a voluntary basis to improve the sustainability of their products. But the expansion of product compliance regulations from the use of toxic substances into issues like recycling and product safety has meant that the same tools are now used to achieve compliance. The purchase of BOMcheck and EC4P that specifically support product compliance in relation to RoHS, REACH, WEEE, the EU batteries directive and the EU packaging directive fit with overall market trends towards broader product stewardship solutions.
thinkstep’s product strategy is about delivering a single product stewardship platform that allows multiple members of product teams to assess product lifecycle impacts, select compliant materials, identify suppliers who meet EH&S regulatory norms and then manage end of life recycling. This vision is well aligned with customer requirements who prefer to work with one vendor with an integrated offering. The recent acquisitions are a significant step forward. Missing capabilities such as MSDS tools and on-site chemical inventory inspections could be provided by partners on the thinkstep.one platform. Increasingly, thinkstep will compete with vendors with a footprint in the safety data sheet world like 3E Company, MSDSOnline, Safetec and Sitehawk which blends into the supply chain stewardship market.