On November 14, 2017, the U.S. non-profit organization Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families (SCHF) released the second annual report card evaluating retailers’ efforts to eliminate toxic chemicals from consumer products. The retailer report card is part of SCHF’s Mind the Store campaign. The first report card was published in November 2016 and evaluated eleven retailers’ safer chemicals programs (FPF reported).
The second annual report card assessed 30 companies regarding the chemical safety of the products they sell. The retailers were scored across 14 categories, such as adoption of a safer chemicals policy, supply chain accountability, action to reduce or eliminate chemicals of high concern within the last three years, and evaluation of safer alternatives while avoiding regrettable substitutions. Ten of the 30 companies were given satisfactory grades, reaching at least 39 out of 135 possible points. Leading retailers include Walmart (87.5 points), Target (79 points), and Costco (43 points), who have released new safer chemicals policies or initiatives in the past year. The remaining 20 companies received unsatisfactory grades “for failing to adequately put basic safer chemical policies to work to ensure the chemical safety of their products and supply chain.”
The 2017 evaluation revealed that at least twelve retailers “have significantly reduced or eliminated some chemicals of high concern in the products they buy and sell, including chlorinated solvents, NMP [(1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone)], flame retardants, BPA, phthalates, PFAS, formaldehyde, parabens, and other hazardous substances.” However, as two-thirds of the evaluated companies are lacking basic safer chemicals policies, “more work is needed to ensure that the products that retailers buy and sell are free from dangerous chemicals of high concern to human health and the environment, throughout their supply chain,” the report states.
Boma Brown-West (November 15, 2017). “New retailer ranking on safer chemicals reveals major gaps between leaders and laggards.” EDF + Business
Tammy Lovell (November 15, 2017). “Apple comes top in U.S. retailer chemical ranking.” Chemical Watch