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Julie Roehm Advocates for the “Human Side” of Business During Podcast Interview

Julie Roehm is an award-winning marketing executive who has spearheaded transformational successes at some of the world’s largest companies. She’s held roles such as CMO, CXO, Board Director, and Chief Storyteller, yet no role has been able to define her interdepartmental and interdisciplinary leadership style. 

Julie Roemh was recently a guest on Mark Boundy’s podcast, ValuClarity, where she spoke about her passion for executing transformational turnarounds, her belief in the “human side” of doing business, and her future prospects. 

Below, you’ll find the key takeaway from the podcast along with Julie Roehm’s advice for executives on how to build people-centric initiatives to foster growth. 

The Hidden “C” in B2B

Mark Boundy and Julie Roehm began their conversation by speaking about the difference between the B2B and B2C sides of business—and how they may not be as different as people believe. Roehm said that many B2B businesses forget that they’re always selling to a customer—even when they’re selling to a business. 

Boundy noted that over 20% of B2B customers personally call sales representatives when considering a purchase, adding weight to Roehm’s point. Roehm stressed that B2B companies need to do more to consider the customer experience instead of focusing all of their efforts on marketing a product. 

Part of this work involves helping the B2B customer better understand how they’ll be able to serve their end customers, or “the customer’s customer,” as Roehm puts it. 

Julie Roehm had extensive experience with B2B2C operations when working at Ford Motor Company, where she helped dealerships (Ford’s B2B customers) improve customer experiences to sell more vehicles. When the customer’s customers were happy, dealers experienced higher sales volumes and purchased more cars from Ford.  

Despite Change, Staying Customer-focused is the Key to Success

Julie Roehm’s work with Ford dealers aligned the manufacturer with the end customer to streamline sales throughout the B2B2C chain. This customer-centric approach to doing business has remained at the core of Roehm’s philosophy throughout her career. Even as she held executive positions like CMO and EVP, she maintained a focus on customer experiences to identify areas for growth and drive transformations. 

Staying grounded in a customer-centric mindset can be incredibly difficult in today’s fast-paced business environment. Customers themselves are anything but grounded in their needs and expectations. But this makes it even more important to establish an end-to-end customer ecosystem that aligns B2B customers and the end customer.  

Julie Roehm relates this to her experience working for the major software company SAP. At the time, the company was not focusing on the end customer, and the result was that it did not have a good understanding of its B2B customers’ needs. 

Roehm introduced an end-to-end customer-centric approach that encouraged SAP to identify the challenges their clients faced and to target these issues when building solutions. This customer-centric perspective improved SAP’s offerings and fostered stronger, more meaningful relationships with clients.

The Importance of Company Culture and Collaborative Environments

Julie Roehm’s customer-centric philosophy is only one aspect of her belief in the “human side” of business. Focusing on individual customer experiences is important, but so is company culture. Because, at the end of the day, the customer’s experience is a reflection of the company’s collective motivations and attitudes. 

Roehm stressed her belief in the importance of job satisfaction and working with the right people. “89.9% of job satisfaction is who you work with,” she said. The need for a positive company culture is absolutely critical to remaining productive and agile in today’s business world.

However, she also recognized the difficulties in maintaining a human-first attitude at companies where large numbers of staff, long distances, and statistics tend to dehumanize the culture. 

Roehm isn’t looking for a perfect environment. As she clarified, “I’m not saying everything has to be coffee clutch in the morning and Kumbaya at noon, but I’m saying it’s got to be about the people first and foremost.” But she provides a few pieces of advice on how to foster a company culture that promotes growth. 

Firstly, the ability to collaborate oils the sometimes-squeaky gears of large organizations. Cooperation between departments better aligns businesses and boosts agility. 

Secondly, Roehm mentioned that a highly-competitive and “cutthroat” culture within a company is counterproductive. This type of environment is common as employees vie for promotions and attention from upper management. Even executives can be reluctant to collaborate. But as Roehm puts it, “You need to understand that your competition is outside of the organization you work in, not inside.”

She goes as far as to say that you should love the people you work with. And this isn’t a far-fetched idea. Collaboration and shared success are incredibly effective at building bonds. When company culture promotes collaboration, employee satisfaction rises, productivity increases, and customer satisfaction follows suit.   

Julie Roehm: “I Like Broken Toys”

Julie Roehm has never been comfortable working for companies with the aim of maintaining a steady course. During the podcast, she that she most enjoys working for companies in need of transformation or turnaround.

“I like broken toys,” she says.”I am a transformation turnaround, sub-optimization girl. I mean, that’s just where I thrive. It’s where I add the greatest value to the companies I work for.” 

Throughout her career, Roehm has proven herself to be one of the most adept business minds at executing transformations, even during times of crisis. Her best-known transformation occurred when she was in charge of the Dodge brand at DaimlerChrysler. She resurrected the dying brand, turning it into one of the most popular vehicle lines in the nation. Roehm earned herself a Marketer of the Year award by Brandweek and induction into both the Advertising and Automotive Halls of Fame. Her work at DaimlerChrysler led to an increase in revenue of 142%. 

Since then, she’s become an expert at recognizing the need for change and embracing it. She went on to spearhead transformations at SAP, ABRA Auto Collision & Glass, Party City and other major companies. 

During the podcast, she made it clear that she still believes that transformational change is vital for the success of organizations, as today’s business environment is defined by rapid change and quickly evolving customer expectations. She even told Mark Boundy that she is not interested in working for companies that are reluctant to make big changes to their operations and culture.

Roehm said, “If the entire company, the management, especially the board, the executive suite, the CEO in particular, if there’s any sense that things are okay and maybe it’s just a blip, and if we just hang on, then that is not the company for me.”

Seeking New Challenges

So, where is Julie Roehm heading next? Roehm expressed interest in working with private equity (PE) firms because they often acquire companies that are in dire need of transformational turnarounds.  

“I’ve been talking to a lot of PE firms because if a PE firm owns a portfolio company, it’s sub-optimized, needs a turnaround, or needs a transformation, otherwise why would they buy it?” she said. 

These firms offer the kind of projects that align with Roehm’s skillset and experience, and they offer opportunities to make an impact within companies and for customers. 

Julie Roehm doesn’t have her heart set on a CMO or CXO role, which are the positions she’s recently held at other companies. Her work has always been difficult to define, despite her official title. She moves in between departments, visits factory floors, and interacts with point-of-sale staff—even runs call centers in order to improve customer experiences.   

Now, she’s seeking something broader in scope to match her diverse background and experience

More from Julie Roehm 

Julie Roehm’s conversation with Mark Boundy on the ValuClarity podcast offered plenty of insight for executive managers on maximizing job satisfaction, accepting the need for change, and maintaining focus on the customer (and the customer’s customer). All of these ideas have people at their core—not EBITDA or costs or shareholders. When brands focus on the human aspect of doing business, positive growth follows.

Julie Roehm is currently consulting while in between full time positions at the moment and actively seeking her next venture. But she’s kept busy in the meantime. Before appearing on the ValuClarity pod, Roehm spoke at the recent CMO Brand Summit, where she discussed implementing company-wide transformational strategies. She was also recently honored as a Top Marketer of 2023 by OnCon Icon. To hear the complete interview with Julie Roehm, listen to the full episode on the ValuClarity podcast. To learn more about transformational thinking, be sure to tune into Julie Roehm’s podcast, The Consversational, where she interviews top business and thought leaders and discusses the transformative moments in their lives. 

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Allianz Trade Secures Seventh Consecutive Win as Best Trade Credit Insurance Company Asia Pacific at the 2023 Global Banking & Finance Awards®

Allianz Trade cements its leadership in Trade Credit Insurance, clinching top honors at the Global Banking & Finance Awards® 2023 in Asia Pacific, continuing its winning streak.

Allianz Trade, the global leader in trade credit insurance, has once again been recognized as the Best Trade Credit Insurance Company Asia Pacific at the 2023 Global Banking & Finance Awards®. This marks the seventh consecutive year that the company has received this prestigious accolade, highlighting its commitment to delivering best-in-class service, innovative solutions, and extensive product offerings to its customers across the Asia-Pacific region.

The award showcases Allianz Trade’s dedication to providing businesses with the highest level of communication and support through its impressive global network, which monitors over 160 countries. By prioritizing predictive protection, Allianz Trade offers unrivalled global business intelligence, market knowledge, and industry risk analysis, enabling businesses to navigate the challenges of fluctuating market conditions and achieve success.

At time when insolvencies are expected to rise, trade credit insurance has become increasingly vital for businesses. Allianz Trade’s extensive range of integrated products and services is designed to support both short- and long-term business goals, contributing to improved financial health and safeguarding cash flow. The company’s ongoing investment in cutting-edge technology, such as AI-driven underwriting, has revolutionized the industry and demonstrated its commitment to remaining at the forefront of innovation.

In addition to these achievements, Allianz Trade has been proactive in supporting clients through turbulent times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the prolonged conflict in Ukraine. The company’s robust risk management and client-focused solutions have set it apart as an industry leader, earning recognition from Global Banking & Finance Review.

Wanda Rich, Editor, Global Banking & Finance Review, said, “Allianz Trade consistently demonstrates its commitment to excellence and innovation, which has led them to become the top choice for businesses in the Asia-Pacific region for seven consecutive years. Their client first approach, combined with their extensive network and adaptability in an ever-changing market, positions them as an industry leader in trade credit insurance.”

Speaking of this recognition, Paul Flanagan, Regional CEO at Allianz Trade in Asia Pacific, says, “I am honoured to receive this recognition on behalf of Allianz Trade and our team in Asia Pacific. The world has turned over a new leaf with Covid-19 in rear-view mirror, especially now that China and rest of Asia Pacific are vastly reopened. Apart from strengthening our teams and underwriting capabilities to handle the expected increase in trade volume, we are also adding new products to enrich our services and offering to our customers. For instance, we launched our China-Hong Kong Corporate Solutions platform that provides Chinese companies with bespoke policy terms that cover both domestic sales in China and international exports via ports in all Greater China markets; in view of the rapidly growing B2B e-commerce space, we also launched an innovative E-commerce Credit Insurance that allows e-merchants to offer deferred payment solutions to buyers in real-time with credit risks protected. We continue to stand with our customers to help them navigate through uncertainties and challenging times ahead.”

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Analysis-Powerful Swiss central bank faces reform calls in wake of Credit Suisse rescue

By John Revill

ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank is facing calls for an overhaul in its governance, with critics saying too much power lies in the hands of its chairman Thomas Jordan and that more transparency is needed. The SNB played a major role in the state-sponsored rescue of Credit Suisse making 250 billion Swiss francs ($280 billion) of liquidity available to ease its takeover by UBS.

In the wider economy, its monetary policy has led to it building up a balance sheet of nearly 900 billion Swiss francs – equivalent to 113% of Swiss economic output. All that has raised concerns about the concentration of power in the SNB’s three-person governing board overseen by Jordan, smaller than the policy-making teams of other major central banks and one which retains a high level of discretion over its decision-making process. Jordan, who has led the board since 2012, has stamped his authority on the central bank during a period where it has upended currency markets by scrapping the Swiss franc’s peg, and introduced the world’s lowest interest rates before joining others in tightening policy as inflationary pressures grew. The governance concerns have been brought centre-stage by the search for a new member to replace Andrea Maechler, the first woman to serve on the SNB’s governing board.

She leaves at the end of June and calls are emerging for her to be succeeded by an independent, female candidate.

“With the current composition of the governing board of the Swiss National Bank I am worried there is a strong concentration of power in very few hands and a too powerful role of the chairman,” Celine Widmer, an MP for the left-leaning Social Democrats who has raised questions about the selection process to replace Maechler, told Reuters.

Widmer also advocated the expansion of the governing council from three members to five or seven and noted more generally there had been a “lack of questioning” about the role of the SNB in the rescue of Credit Suisse and what role it will play in banking regulation in future.

Her views were echoed by members of other parties. “Probably extending the governing council from three to five members is a good idea,” said Christian Luscher, an MP the centre right Free Liberals, a former president of parliament’s economy committee, who said the matter should be considered.

Green Party MP Gerhard Andrey, a current member of parliament’s finance committee, said the SNB’s current structure was not “much different than it was 100 years ago.”

“Although the SNB has done a pretty good job to stabilize prices and inflation..it needs to evolve and have more diversity to tackle the upcoming challenges,” said Andrey.

The Swiss parliament would have to approve any expansion of the SNB’s board.


While past ECB chiefs like Mario Draghi have faced criticism for forcing through their views, current boss Christine Lagarde has said her role is to forge consensus among the euro zone’s 26 policy-makers.

ECB presidents regularly go before the European Parliament to explain the bank’s policies and published accounts of its internal discussions acknowledge when there have been disagreements, albeit without naming policymakers.

The Bank of England also publishes detailed minutes of its monetary policy discussions and reveals the spread of views on rate decisions. Its policy-makers face sometimes aggressive questioning by parliamentary committees.

Although the SNB meets regularly with government ministers and committees, this takes place behind closed doors and the bank does not publish minutes of its decisions.

The bank, which holds its shareholders meeting on Friday, said it saw “no advantage” in expanding its governing council.

“From the SNB’s point of view, this organizational form has proven its worth, promoting intensive and efficient discussions with rapid decision-making,” the SNB said.

Still, the SNB Observatory, a group of economists set up to stimulate a debate about the SNB, has suggested that the small committee meant the central bank was susceptible to group think.

Yvan Lengwiler, from the University of Basel, said too many SNB officials spent their entire careers at the central bank, a particular risk in the cases of Jordan and his deputy Martin Schlegel who have been there all their working lives. “They are both highly competent, but it is a bubble, they have no outside experience,” Lengwiler said. “There really needs to be term limits.” Such views are not shared universally. Thomas Stucki, a former head of asset management at the SNB, said it was typical for central bank chairmen to dominate decision-making. “There is no doubt that Thomas Jordan is a strong personality, but he is the chairman, the one who carries the can for the SNB’s decisions,” said Stucki, who is now chief investment officer at St Galler Kantonalbank.

His views were echoed by Hannes Germann, an MP with the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, who saw no reason for an overhaul. He argued some of the reforms being aired could backfire, making the bank more susceptible to outside influence and less efficient in maintaining price stability. “An expansion of the board contains the risk of … less independence of the board versus politics,” he said. “Less independent central banks usually lead to higher inflation rates in the long run.”

($1 = 0.8970 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by John Revill, additional reporting by Francesco Canepa in Frankfurt and William Schomberg in London; Editing by Mark John and Toby Chopra)

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Factbox-What’s next for France’s pension reform?

(Reuters) – France’s Constitutional Council is due to deliver its verdict on Friday on a deeply unpopular bill which will delay retirement by two years to 64, and on plans for a referendum to challenge it.

Here is why this matters and what could happen:


* The Council can strike down the bill altogether if it considers it breaches the Constitution. Opposition parties have asked it to do so, for choosing to tack the pension reform onto a social security budget bill, setting a tight deadline on debates and then bypassing a final vote in parliament.

This would be a stinging defeat for President Emmanuel Macron and a surprise win for unions and protesters. Macron would have the option of starting from scratch with a new bill or moving on.

However, constitutional experts – and government sources – say the Council is unlikely to block the overall reform, which it has rarely done in the past.

* If the Council sees nothing wrong, the government could enact the legislation in the coming days, which officials hope would progressively put an end to protests.

* Alternatively, and more likely constitutional experts and government sources say, is that the Council approves the raising of the legal retirement age, but strikes down some measures designed to boost employment for older workers on the grounds that they do not belong in a social security budget bill.


Even if the Constitutional Council gives its green light – with or without caveats – this may not be the end of the road.

Opposition Parliament members want to organise a so-called citizens’ referendum on capping the retirement age at 62.

To do so, they would need to jump through hoops that have so far prevented one from being organised in France since the concept was introduced in 2015.

The first step – having enough backing from members of Parliament – is already met. The second is getting the Council’s green light.

But then, the next condition is getting a tenth of registered voters to sign a petition calling for the plebiscite.

That is a tall order, and must be achieved within nine months. Some unions have asked the government not to publish the law before that deadline has lapsed.

If the threshold is met, the Senate and Assembly have six months to examine the proposal to cap the retirement age to 62. If Parliament does not respond, the president must submit it to referendum.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau in Paris and Ingrid Melander; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

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By Dhara Ranasinghe

LONDON (Reuters) -World stocks stumbled on Wednesday as signs that the economic outlook is weakening spurred some caution, while the dollar edged back from two-month lows.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand raised rates by 50 basis points to a 14-year high at 5.25%, a reminder that world central banks are not done with monetary tightening just yet.

European stocks fell with the broad STOXX 600 index pulling away from Tuesday’s one-month highs. U.S. equity futures dipped and Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.6% in its biggest one-day percentage fall since mid-March.

MSCI’s world equity index pulled further away from Tuesday’s almost seven-week highs, while Asia trade was thinned by holidays in Hong Kong and China.

Weak U.S. economic data this week has exacerbated recession worries, taking the edge off recent stock market gains.

Data on Tuesday showed U.S. job openings fell in February to the lowest level in almost two years and data on Monday pointed to weakening U.S. manufacturing activity.

The euro zone recovery picked up pace last month but the upturn was uneven across industries and countries, a survey on Wednesday showed. U.S. March service sector activity data is due out later.

Interest rate futures have rallied strongly in recent weeks as traders bet that turmoil in the banking sector will tighten up on lending anyway and save the need for the Federal Reserve to do the job.

Markets pricing implies a better-than-even chance that the Fed has finished raising rates and more than 60 bps in cuts this year.

“With the banking worries at least in the background for now focus is on the economic data and central bank policy,” said Nordea chief analyst Jan von Gerich.

“There is no fixed way of interpreting the data in markets but it does seem that latest data was not seen as positive for equities by raising growth worries.”

In a note, Pictet Asset Management chief strategist Luca Paolini said that with focus turning from inflation to growth risks, Pictet had upgraded U.S. equities to neutral from underweight.


The dollar index edged up from two-month lows and the currency pulled back from its lowest levels since August 2021 against the Swiss franc at around 0.9042.

The greenback, which has been hurt by the view that the Fed tightening cycle was drawing nearer, also clawed back some ground against the euro and sterling.

New Zealand’s currency, also known as the kiwi dollar, briefly jumped to its highest since mid-February after the country’s central bank hiked rates again.

But it was last down just a touch at $0.6309 as the dollar bounced back broadly.

Outside the United States, markets see other central banks staying the course on hikes to tame inflation. A Reuters poll of FX strategists found most expect that to keep pressure on the dollar this year.

Government bond yields have been moving lower in recent weeks, reflecting expectations for weaker growth and a pause in monetary tightening. Two-year U.S. Treasury yields were last down around 2 bps at 3.82%, well below highs above 5% seen just before the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank last month.

“We’re not quite done with the tightening cycle, but we’re getting closer,” said Jim Cielinski, global head of fixed income, Janus Henderson.

In Europe, government bond yields were broadly steady after being whipped around sharply in recent weeks.

Gold, which pays no yield, hit a fresh one-year high above $2,000 an ounce. It was last up just 0.13% at $2,023 an ounce.

Commodity markets were settling down after Monday’s surge in oil prices on news of surprise OPEC+ production cuts.

Brent crude futures were little changed at $84.95 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate U.S. crude was also flat, trading at around $80.73 a barrel.[O/R]

(Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe; Editing by Conor Humphries and Alison Williams)


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By Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) – Big Oil more than doubled its profits in 2022 to $219 billion, smashing previous records in a year of volatile energy prices where Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reshaped global energy markets and, in some cases, the industry’s climate ambitions.

The profit surge gave the oil companies scope to increase spending on oil and gas projects, and a chance for some to rethink energy transition strategies to meet new demands for security of supply.

The combined $219 billion in profits allowed BP, Chevron, Equinor, Exxon Mobil, Shell and TotalEnergies to shower shareholders with cash.

The top Western oil companies paid out a record $110 billion in dividends and share repurchases to investors in 2022, spurring outraged calls on governments to impose windfall taxes on the industry to help consumers with surging energy costs.

Norway’s Equinor on Wednesday reported a doubling of adjusted operating profit in 2022 to $74.9 billion on the back of a surge in European natural gas prices and as it became Europe’s largest gas supplier after Russia’s Gazprom cut deliveries amid the West’s support for Ukraine.

Oil companies last year also pulled out of Russia, a major energy producer, leading to huge writedowns, including BP’s $24 billion exit from its 19.75% stake in Kremlin-controlled oil giant Rosneft.


The sharp rise in oil and gas prices, falling debt levels and the abrupt drop in Russian supplies to Europe also drove boards to increase spending on fossil fuel production as governments prioritised security of supply.

TotalEnergies Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said after the French company reported record profits of $36.2 billion on Wednesday that the global backdrop remained very favourable for energy companies, with the relaxing of COVID-19 measures in China pushing up demand for 2023.

“We wouldn’t be surprised to see oil back to $100 a barrel,” Pouyanne said. Benchmark oil prices are currently near $85 a barrel. [O/R]

European companies that have outlined plans to reduce or slow oil and gas investments and build large renewables and low-carbon businesses to cut greenhouse gas emissions adjusted their strategies.

None were more stark than BP Chief Executive Bernard Looney’s move to row back on plans to reduce the British company’s oil and gas output and carbon emissions by 2030.

“We need lower carbon energy, but we also need secure energy, and we need affordable energy. And that’s what governments and society around the world are asking for,” Looney said on Tuesday.

BP’s shares hit their highest in three and a half years on Wednesday, building on a 7.6% gain a day earlier following the results and shift in strategy.

Bernstein analyst Oswald Clint called BP “a lesson in pragmatism, prioritisation and performance”, rating it “outperform”.

“Pragmatism takes priority this week as a world short energy together with governments begging for more from companies like BP causes a response. BP will lean more into oil & gas for the remainder of this decade,” Clint said in a note.


(Reporting by Ron Bousso. Editing by Jane Merriman)


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LONDON (Reuters) – “Call of Duty” maker Activision Blizzard said on Wednesday it hoped it could help Britain’s competition regulator better understand the gaming industry after it said the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft could harm gamers.

“These are provisional findings, which means the CMA sets forth its concerns in writing, and both parties have a chance to respond,” a spokesperson said.

“We hope between now and April we will be able to help the CMA better understand our industry to ensure they can achieve their stated mandate to promote an environment where people can be confident they are getting great choices and fair deals, where competitive, fair-dealing business can innovate and thrive, and where the whole UK economy can grow productively and sustainably.”


(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by William James)

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(Reuters) – The European Union on Tuesday started to consider a proposal to ban widely used substances known as PFAS or “forever chemicals” in what could become the bloc’s most extensive piece of regulation of the chemical industry.

The substances have been used in tens of thousands of products, including aircraft, cars, textiles, medical gear and wind mills due to their long-term resistance to extreme temperatures and corrosion, but PFAS have also been linked to health risks like cancer, hormonal dysfunction and a weakened immune system as well as environmental damage.

The five countries – Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and non-EU state Norway – which have been collaborating on the proposal said in a joint statement on Tuesday that, if passed, it would become “one of the largest bans on chemical substances ever in Europe”.

“A ban on PFAS would reduce quantities of PFAS in the environment over the long term. It would also make products and processes safer for humans,” they added.

Companies will be given between 18 months to 12 years to introduce alternatives substances, depending on the application and availability of alternatives, according to the draft proposal.

Makers and users of PFAS, which have formed a lobby subgroup under the European chemical makers’ association CEFIC, include BASF, 3M, Bayer, Solvay, Merck KGaA and Synthomer.

“In many cases, no such alternatives currently exist, and in some they possibly never will,” the five countries said in their statement, adding that companies now need to start to find substitutes.

The moniker “forever chemicals” stems from their ability to accumulate in water and soils because they do not decompose as a result of an extremely strong bond between carbon and fluorine atoms that characterise them.

It will likely take years before the ban takes effect.

According to the draft, a certain number of pharmaceuticals, animal health products, crop protection chemicals and disinfectants would be exempt, or benefit from so-called derogations, because they already fall under existing regulatory regimes.


The countries submitting the dossier said that it reviewed 14 industrial sectors that use PFAS and the “regulatory action” is warranted in all of them.

They added that once a ban is in place, emissions and accumulation in the environment will go on for many years because PFAS containing gear and vehicles will continue to operate for some time and waste products would continue to shed the molecules.

The FPP4EU group of 14 companies that make and use PFAS has said that finding alternative substances is a long and difficult process.

A type of PFAS goes into Bayer’s liver and kidney cancer drug Nexvar, for instance, and finding a replacement would take up to 15 years, according to the lobby group.

Other uses include cooling agents for large commercial refrigerators. In the aerospace and defence industry as well as in the car industry they are used to make parts resist fire, weather, and aggressive chemicals.

Within the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), two scientific committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) will now review whether the proposal to ban PFAS conforms with wider EU regulation of chemicals known as REACH, followed by a scientific evaluation and consultation with the industry.

ECHA has said that the two committees may need longer than the usual 12 months to conclude their evaluation. Afterwards, the European Commission and EU member states will decide on potential restrictions.

In other regions, initiatives to restrict PFAS are also underway. U.S. industrial conglomerate 3M Co in December set itself a 2025 deadline to stop producing them.

In November, 3M and DuPont de Nemours Inc were among several companies sued by California’s attorney general to recover clean-up costs.

Shareholders have also called for production of the chemicals to stop. Investors managing $8 trillion in assets earlier this year wrote to 54 companies urging them to phase out their use.

In August, the United States government said it will propose designating certain forever chemicals as hazardous substances under the U.S. Superfund programme.

DuPont has said it was limiting the use of PFAS to “essential industrial applications” and working with customers to pursue alternatives.

Between 140,000 and 310,000 tonnes of PFASs were sold in European markets in 2020, and the overall annual health costs from exposure to PFAS in Europe has been estimated to be 52 billion-84 billion euros ($55.72 billion-$90.01 billion), according to the draft.

($1 = 0.9332 euros)


(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Susan Fenton)


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