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New Tool Measures Corporate Progress Towards Safer Chemicals

A group of corporate and NGO leaders have released a new tool for assessing leadership in corporate chemicals management.  The Chemical Footprint Project (CFP) provides the first-ever common metric of its kind for publicly benchmarking corporate chemicals management and profiling leadership companies.

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” said Dr. Mark Rossi, Co-Director of the nonprofit Clean Production Action and Chair and Founder of BizNGO, who released the Chemical Footprint Project with the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production and Pure Strategies.  “The CFP finally establishes a meaningful measurement of overall corporate performance to safer chemicals in products and supply chains.  We look forward to engaging business leaders in tracking and disclosing their Chemical Footprints.”

Business leaders are moving ahead of regulations to avoid chemicals of high concern to human health or the environment in their products and supply chains. They are meeting the needs of customers large and small who are concerned with toxic chemicals in products. From health care to retail, purchasers are seeking products made with inherently safer chemicals. Now these purchasers will have a tool to quickly compare and benchmark suppliers. In addition, socially responsible investment firms can use this new tool to evaluate companies on their chemical management and select companies for investment.

Similar to Carbon Footprinting, Chemical Footprinting can apply to any business sector. Retailers, health care organizations, governments, and investors all see value in a comprehensive measure of business progress to safer chemicals. “CFP is a market differentiator and provides a competitive advantage for business leaders,” said Roger McFadden of Staples, Inc.  “This new tool will add a level of transparency and help companies mitigate reputational and regulatory risks and exploit opportunities afforded by moving to safer chemicals.”

The CFP will enable purchasers to preferentially select suppliers and investors to integrate chemical risk into their sustainability analyses and investments. The CFP results enable brands to market their progress and success in using safer chemicals.

The CFP Steering Committee members include representatives from: Boston Common Asset Management, ChemSec, Dignity Health, Environmental Defense Fund, Investor Environmental Health Network, Kaiser Permanente, Partners Healthcare, Staples, Inc., Target Corporation, Trillium Asset Management, LLC, and the U.S. Green Building Council, among others.

The CFP is the first initiative to publicly measure overall corporate chemicals management performance by evaluating:

  • Management Strategy
  • Chemical Inventory
  • Progress Measurement
  • Public Disclosure

For more information about the Chemical Footprint Project, see http://www.chemicalfootprint.org.

A webinar to introduce the tool is scheduled for Wednesday, January 21 at 1 p.m.