In June 2015 the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, U.S. published a report on “Advancing safer chemicals in products – The key role of purchasing.” Author Amy Perlmutter outlines the influential role of sustainable institutional purchasing programs in driving the market for safer chemicals. The report includes six case studies of organizations – governmental, private-sector, and non-profit – that have made efforts to screen and restrict chemicals of concern in their products and services. The featured case studies also show how companies developed processes to identify and purchase safer alternatives. One example is Danish retailer Coop Danmark that started removing chemicals of concern from products sold in its stores in 2001. Recently, Coop Danmark stopped selling microwave oven popcorn because the packaging contains polyfluorinated compounds (FPF reported). Other organizations with sustainable purchasing programs include among others health care provider Kaiser Permanente and electric utility Seattle City Light. Further, the report provides a compilation of resources and tools to inform purchasers about chemical hazards and availability of safer chemicals.

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Amy Perlmutter (June 2015). “Advancing safer chemicals in products – The key role of purchasing.Lowell Center for Sustainable Production – University of Massachusetts Lowell (pdf)