**** LATEST NEWS! ****

EEB/ZMWG CALL FOR TENDER: WEBSITE RESTRUCTURING

Part 1: Introduction

The deadline for the tender is: 12/02/2018

Part 2: About the EEB and the Zero Mercury Working Group

  • Created in 1974, the EEB is now the largest federation of environmental citizens’ organisations in Europe. It currently consists of over 140 member organisations in more than 30 countries (virtually all EU Member States plus some accession and neighbouring countries), including a growing number of European networks, and representing some 15 million individual members and supporters.
  • We work on a vast array of environmental issues and our policy officers work with experts, our members, politicians and the media to protect and further develop environmental policies.
  • The Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) is an international coalition of over 95 public interest environmental and health non-governmental organizations from more than 50 countries from around the world formed in 2005 by the European Environmental Bureau and the Mercury Policy Project.  ZMWG strives for zero supply, demand, and emissions of mercury from all anthropogenic sources, with the goal of reducing mercury in the global environment to a minimum.  Our mission is to advocate and support the adoption and implementation of a legally binding instrument which contains mandatory obligations to eliminate where feasible, and otherwise minimize, the global supply and trade of mercury, the global demand for mercury, anthropogenic releases of mercury to the environment, and human and wildlife exposure to mercury.

Our website for more information: www.eeb.org / http://www.zeromercury.org

Part 3: Tender

Summary

The Zero Mercury campaign at the EEB would like to build a new website for Zero Mercury Campaign/Zero Mercury Working Group based on the existing website available at www.zeromercury.org – while maintaining the URL.

Active since 2005 the Zero Mercury Campaign, having grown into the Zero Mercury Working Group has a long history of action. We would like to see a visual update of the website, to a more modern and user-friendly visual look. The division of sections, and their related subsections should be divided between introductory and advanced mercury issues.

-          We would like to convey through our website an approachable and educational tool for mercury related issues.

-          On the other hand, on separate tabs we would like to make available the recent activity related:

  1.  to project implementation through our members in different countries, and
  2. the developments related to policy at international and EU levels.

The distinction between the “introduction to mercury” section and the “Policy” and “Projects” sections should be clear. We would like a visualization of introducing the general public to mercury through its various topics (processes, products etc), and then at the end of the page have a link where an individual can arrive at how the Zero Mercury Working Group is working on that specific issue at project and policy level as relevant. Simultaneously however, we would like to have a tab where stakeholders familiar with mercury issues and/or our work, can get directly to the advanced information without going through the introductory informational section or tabs.

We are looking for a proposal that explains in detail how the concept note below can be implemented.

Tender: revamp a website

  • The Zero mercury Working Group is looking to revamp its website. It currently does not do justice to the work carried out by the 95+ members organisations. This means a much more advanced structure with more visuals, conveying the image of a serious, trustworthy NGO coalition.
  • The new website should be Wordpress-based, allow for easy management internally and coded in an open and accessible way to permit other third party developers to easily adjust.
  • We would like the website to be a one-stop-shop for individuals that are new to mercury issues and simultaneously provide a platform where stakeholders familiar with mercury issues can find updates on international policy developments and relevant project information. 
  • The audience of the Zero Mercury Working Group website includes our members, representatives of EU institutions and member state governments, journalists, academics, other NGOs, progressive business and members of the public.

Please include the following and their related costs (separately) in your quote:

  • Design and development of new easy to navigate website
  • Transfer of data from the current our current CMS system, Joomla.  
  • Annual costs for domain name and hosting (including backup). We may decide to handle this ourselves depending on the quotes provided.
  • Annual costs for technical support.
  • Basic Google Analytics tracking on all pages.
  • SEO on all pages
  • Responsive design, with slick page scaling for tablets and smartphones.

Indicative timeline

  • 25/01 Publication for tender
  • 12/02 Deadline for submissions
  • 23/02 EEB/ZMWG evaluates proposals and contacts suppliers / Communicate to winning service provider
  • End Feb-Beginning of March: Signature of contract with EEB/ZMWG
  • Building of the website: March – April
  • Launch: end April- beg May

Criteria to be considered during evaluation

  • combination of price and quality,
  • production / delivery time and service.
  • having/using environmental and sustainability policy/criteria
  • the EEB holds the right to exclude a supplier who may have a negative financial record, that violates criteria such as bankruptcy, not paying taxes etc.

Part  4: Functionality

  • Slider for home page
  • Horizontal menu with drop down elements (within homepage – e.g. About us, About Mercury, Policy Developments, Projects, Resources, News  )
  • About us section
  • Map that interacts with posts to deliver news on members’ projects/activities
  • News section (Press releases)
  • Newsletter sign up widget
  • Position paper section (listed chronologically)
  • Publication section  displaying in an attractive way – showing the front cover of the publication – up to 10 publications per year
  • Photos, infographics, and videos should be downloadable.
  • Events section
  • Contact form
  • Possibility of archiving the content of the existing website

Home page

The home page is meant to be a public oriented landing page for individuals wishing to learn about mercury. The first image should be a large slider which in principle will not change over time. The slider will include 4-5 pictures referring to introductory information about the challenges surrounding mercury pollution, but also to some of the priority areas we work on.

Above it, a horizontal menu, with dropdown elements can be displayed, dividing between general mercury information, the policy work that ZMWG does along with current projects and other elements (to be detailed at a later stage e.g about us etc). Below the slider there will be some space to describe ZMWG group as an organization and post our latest news. There should also be space to include a footer providing our location and contact information.

As examples please see http://www.artisanalgold.org/ or www.sradev.org

Map

The website should provide country-specific pages/posts with contact information for our different national partners, in addition to a description and updates of relevant projects that they do appearing within our website (via posts) apart from linking back to national websites. Accessing these country specific pages should be done through a map, e.g.  found on “About us” page. The map needs to highlight somehow differently countries where EEB/ZMWG are funding (or have funded) directly projects, whilst providing a link to that campaign (page/post).

We would also need to post updates about the relevant projects/campaigns, that will simultaneously appear in the “What’s new” section of the home page.

Technical prerequisites:

The CMS should be WordPress to align with our other websites. The current site is working with Joomla.

Visual identity / look and feel:

We do want to update, but not reinvent the visual identity of the Zero Mercury Campaign/ Working Group.

The Zero Mercury logo stays unchanged and is our branding basis. We would like the look and feel of the new website to be more visually oriented, as now it feels a bit text-heavy.

Footer: Logos and disclaimers of EC will need to go somewhere at the bottom 

Polyurethanes PDF Print
Friday, 11 March 2011 16:51

In polyurethane manufacture, for many applications, the catalysts of choice for catalysing the reaction between a polyol and an isocyanate composition, i.e., for hardening or curing polyurethane (PU) materials, have long been organic mercury compounds. This is because, for a wide range of polyurethane materials, these catalysts provide a robust and desirable “reaction profile” characterised by:

• an initial induction period in which the reaction is either very slow or does not take place, which continues for sufficient time to permit the “system” (combination of polyurethane materials and catalyst) to be mixed and cast (or sprayed); and

• a subsequent rapid reaction period during which the product cures, taking on its final properties (shape, hardness, flexibility, strength, etc.).

Like any catalyst used in PU elastomer systems, the mercury catalyst is incorporated into the polymer structure and remains in the final product. Over time – and accelerated by exposure to harsh environments, UV, abrasion, etc. – the polymer structure breaks down and mercury is released.

Mercury in PU products already attracted attention some years ago. According to an investigation by the Minnesota (USA) Department of Health, some PU elastomer flooring manufactured from about 1960 through at least 1980 contained up to 0.1% mercury in phenylmercuric acetate or other organo-mercuric salts that were used as catalysts (Reiner 2005, as cited by MDH 2006). Ambient mercury concentrations in school gyms ranged from 0.13 to 2.9 Pg/m3, and in 5 of 6 gyms was above the RfC level of 0.3 Pg/m3 established by US EPA as the exposure level below which no adverse health effect is expected (MDH 2006). A separate investigation in Ohio (USA) showed that PU elastomer floors in schools also emitted mercury is excess of the 0.3 Pg/m3 RfC level (Newhouse 2003).

It is estimated that 300-350 tonnes of mercury catalyst may be used globally in PU elastomer applications, of which some 60-105 tonnes in the EU (industry communications; SRI 2006). If one assumes the mercury catalyst is added to a system at an average of 0.5-0.6%, then approximately 55,000 - 65,000 tonnes of PU elastomers globally are catalysed with mercury each year. Assuming the global market for PU elastomers is 1.6 million tonnes, this suggests that around 4% of that global market uses mercury catalysts. As a percentage this is not high, but it represents over 100 tonnes of mercury consumption worldwide, and 20-35 tonnes of mercury consumption with PU elastomers in the EU27+2. The mercury catalyst mainly ends up in the final product, and it is roughly estimated that the mercury consumption in PU elastomer end products corresponds to the consumption during production of 20-35 tonnes within the EU27+2.

Tin and amine catalysts are alternatives to Hg catalysts for some PU elastomer applications, titanium and zirconium compounds have been introduced for others, while bismuth, zinc, platinum, palladium, hafnium, etc., compounds are marketed for still others. In fact, known mercury-free catalysts could be used for nearly all elastomer applications, but some reduction in the key performance characteristics of activity, selectivity, catalyst lifetime, etc., may have to be accommodated until the best system is identified for a given application. (Shepherd 2008).

As suggested, a large number of Hg-free catalysts for PU elastomers have been developed as alternatives to mercury – the large number reflecting the fact that there does not appear to be a “drop-in” substitute for mercury catalysts that can be used in so many different systems, that confers similarly desirable curing properties, and that is so forgiving and easy to adjust to the needs of the user.

Despite these challenges, it should be stressed that perfectly viable substitutes to mercury catalysts are already in use for over 95% of PU elastomer systems, and have been in use for many years.

The cost of most mercury-free catalysts is quite competitive with the typical mercury catalyst cost, and even more so if one takes account of waste disposal costs, environmental and other customer concerns. The cost of Thorcat 535 has increased significantly in recent years, and is presently in the range of €40-50/kg, compared to €25-35/kg for medium-priced mercury-free catalysts, and €10-20/kg for cheap mercury-free catalysts (IMCD 2008). A bismuth catalyst would be fairly close to the cost of Thorcat

 (2008, COWI, Concorde)

Relevant legislation and NGO policy work

In the EU

In 2010 the Norwegian authorities submitted a report (report Annex XV) to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), asking for the restriction of use of phenylmercury compounds as catalysts in polyurethane systems,  

The report is open for consultation and comments are due by 24 March 2011.

The Risk Assessment and Socio-economic Analysis Committees of ECHA (RAC, SEAC) will give their opinions on the suggested restriction taking into account comments submitted by the interested parties during the public consultation (see Art 70 and 71). [expected by March 2011].

Furthermore, interested parties will have a possibility to comment the draft opinion of SEAC. [expected summer-autumn 2011]

For more information, about the timetables and procedures, please, consult the new ECHA website at http://echa.europa.eu/reach/restriction_en.asp

Please see the  EEB comments on Phenymercury compounds that were submitted during the public consultation that was concluded on the 24 March 2011.

Globally

For the US information is provided at http://www.epa.gov/hg/regs.htm, at http://www.epa.gov/hg/consumer.htm#bat and at http://www.newmoa.org/prevention/mercury/modelleg.cfm