What is the business case for Chemical Footprinting?
The human health and environmental drivers – as well as the social, technological, economic, and political drivers – for businesses to reduce their chemical footprints are increasing rapidly.
Socially, public interest and pressure to avoid toxic chemicals in products is rising rapidly in all countries. Technologically, the capacity for manufacturers to make safer products of equal performance and price is growing rapidly. Economically, corporations carry significant liabilities when toxic chemicals are found in their products and supply chains. Politically, the regulatory environment for chemicals in products is becoming more complex.
Global regulations for chemicals management are increasing faster than for any other environmental issue, including climate change. The current suboptimal management of toxic chemicals is resulting in ever more frequent and larger costs to businesses from regulatory, reputational and redesign risks.
Companies cannot manage what they don’t measure – a lack of common sustainability metrics for chemical management presents significant chemical risks to corporate performance. Tracking chemical inputs and measuring progress to safer chemicals is an important metric in Environmental Social Corporate Government.
Brands and retailers that are passive – reacting when compelled by crises or regulations—face significant hidden liabilities of chemicals of high concern in their products. Costs from these liabilities can run to the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, tarnish the reputations of brands, and result in loss of market share and valuation.
Investors and purchasers lack sufficient information systems to differentiate companies on their overall chemical management performance – thereby hiding potential “chemical risks” to corporate performance.
Regulatory requirements, customer demands, media attention, non-governmental organization advocacy, product recalls, and market opportunities are driving companies to develop and implement comprehensive chemical management programs that track chemicals from concept to fate, and identify and de-select the most hazardous chemicals.
Active strategies to know and act upon information on chemicals in products and supply chains generate long-term value for companies, their shareholders, the public, and the planet.
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We see the Chemical Footprint Project enabling us to quickly recognize and reward suppliers for doing what matters most to us in health care, which is implementing systems to ensure their products and supply chains use safe and healthy chemical ingredients
- Vanessa Lochner , Kaiser Permanente
We need metrics for reporting and benchmarking overall corporate performance on chemicals management. CFP is a publicly developed standard which could allow us to benchmark, track and report our overall corporate chemical management performance going forward. We look forward to its launch in 2015.
- Annie Schmidt, Seagate Technology, LLC
The Investor Environmental Health Network welcomes the launch of the Chemical Footprint Project. For too long chemicals and health have been missing pieces in Environmental Social Governance (ESG) assessments. Now we have a tool that investors can use to fill in this critical information.
- Richard Liroff, Investor Environmental Health Network
CFP greatly simplifies the complex issue of chemicals management. We now have a tool that is available for plugging into purchasing decisions.
- Monica Nakielski, Partners HealthCare
Hazardous chemicals “present reputational, regulatory, and reformulation risks across a broad range of industry sectors. Investors need to understand how companies are meaningfully managing these risks.”