In an article published on August 2, 2017 by news provider Bloomberg, journalists Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Taylor Cromwell informed that U.S. retailer Walmart has joined the Chemical Footprint Project (CFP). On the same date, CFP published its second annual report revealing that Walmart has participated in the 2016 CFP survey (FPF reported). CFP is an initiative of investors, retailers, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and health care organizations aiming to transform global chemical use by measuring and disclosing data on business progress to safer chemicals (FPF reported). Walmart has become the first retailer to participate in the initiative and has also become a signatory to the project. The involvement of the world’s largest retailer “gives a big boost to the three-year-old program and underscores the growing movement by corporate America to regulate itself,” Coleman-Lochner and Cromwell wrote. They further explained that “consumers are increasingly checking ingredient labels of the products they buy — and pushing companies to rid products of controversial chemicals, such as formaldehyde or phthalates.”
In July 2016, Walmart released a list of eight chemicals of concern (COCs), including formaldehyde and two phthalates, that it aims to phase out of its products (FPR reported). In May 2017, Walmart reported on its progress in reducing the use of the listed COCs (FPF reported). Regarding the participation in CFP, Zach Freeze, head of Walmart’s strategic initiatives around sustainability, stated “we want to be more transparent,” and added “we do want to lead.” Coleman-Lochner and Cromwell noted that Walmart does not plan to publish its CFP survey results this year, but may do so in the future.
Lauren Coleman-Lochner & Taylor Cromwell (August 2, 2017). “Wal-Mart puts chemicals in spotlight by joining new program.” Bloomberg
Mike Schade (August 2, 2017). “Walmart becomes first retailer to evaluate its chemical footprint.” Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
Boma Brown-West (August 9, 2017). “No one-hit wonder: Walmart reinforces its commitment to safer chemicals.” EDF + Business