In these times of federal roll-backs to human and environmental health protections, we thankfully still have companies keeping and upping their commitments to use inherently safer chemicals in products, manufacturing, and supply chains. Working with companies, health care organizations, investors, and NGOs we made significant progress in 2017 to advance safer chemicals in textiles and health care, and transform business practices. And we are excited to welcome the Investor Environmental Health Network into the Clean Production Action family of programs. Here are a few highlights from 2017.
Getting to Safer Chemicals in Textiles & Health Care
Over 60 textile manufacturing formulations are now certified to GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals criteria. Clean Production Action launched its first product certification in April 2017 to leverage the power of GreenScreen® to highlight products that avoid known chemicals of high concern and encourage use of safer chemicals. GreenScreen Certified™ now provides textile formulators – including Beyond Surface Technologies, Epygen Labs, Garmon Chemicals, and TLP International – with a clear and robust platform for communicating their use of safer chemicals up and down the supply chain.
CPA’s new Chemical Footprint of Products Commonly Used in Pediatrics Departments report provides the first ever chemical footprint of products used in health care. The report assessed the chemical footprint – the presence of hazardous chemicals – of over 250 products commonly found in a hospital pediatric patient room. Dignity Health, one of the nation’s largest non-profit health care systems, is using the results to identify and select products that avoid “CoHCs” – chemicals of high concern to human health and the environment.
Transforming Business Practices
Walmart joined GOJO Industries as the second company to publicly commit to reduce its chemical footprint, with a goal of reducing CoHCs by 55 million pounds by 2022. Brands and manufacturers now have a common language for communicating to investors and customers their progress on their journey to safer chemicals thanks to the annual Chemical Footprint Project (CFP) Survey. According to Zach Freeze, Senior Director for Sustainability at Walmart, "CFP is making data available for benchmarking and gap analysis, which are critical for us to understand where our company and our suppliers are on the journey to more sustainable chemicals." The 2017 CFP report features results from adidas, Beautycounter, Becton Dickinson (BD), HP Inc., J&J, Levi Strauss & Co., Seagate, GOJO, Walmart, and others. If you’re interested in participating in this year’s Survey, please contact Cheri Peele at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BizNGO’s Chemicals Work Group launched the Model Chemicals Policy Template for Brands and Manufacturers in 2017. The model template highlights the core elements of a comprehensive chemicals policy: Intent, Scope, Supply Chain Transparency, Safer Chemistry, Informed Consumers, and Public Commitment. Companies are using the model template to create their own policies. For an example of a chemicals management policy that informed the development of the template, see HP Inc.’s “Materials and Chemicals Management Policy,” on page 28 in the CFP 2017 report.
Working with Investors
CPA’s work with investors is growing. We now have Investor Signatories to the Chemical Footprint Project with over $2.3 trillion in assets under management. And beginning in 2018, the Investor of Environmental Health Network (IEHN) will be part of CPA. IEHN, co-founded by the soon-to-be-retired Dr. Richard Liroff, works with investors to advance safer chemicals in corporations. Alexandra McPherson will return to the Clean Production Action team in January 2018 as the Consulting Manager of IEHN. Alexandra, who co-founded Clean Production Action in 2001 and served as our Managing Director for the first ten years, is now Principal of Niagara Share.
On behalf of all of us here at Clean Production Action, happy holidays!