Frequently Asked Questions

The CFP Survey is designed to be completed by manufacturers, brands, and retailers. While the Survey is applicable to any manufacturer or brand or retailer, it was developed using information on the chemicals management practices of the following sectors: automotive, building products, consumer packaged goods, medical devices, electronics, and apparel/footwear/outdoor. Survey results and scores can be used by investors and purchasers to help identify chemical management leaders in specific product categories of interest.

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  • The Business Case
  • Value to Investors
  • Value to Purchasers
  • Why brands & manufacturers should participate
  • Value to Retailers
  • The Chemical Footprint Project is a new initiative for measuring corporate progress to safer chemicals.  It provides a metric for benchmarking companies as they select safer alternatives and reduce their use of chemicals of high concern.
    The Chemical Footprint Project measures overall corporate chemicals management performance by evaluating:
    • Management Strategy
    • Chemical Inventory
    • Footprint Measurement
    • Public Disclosure and Verification

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  • Press Release:  Chemical Footprint Project Launch
  • The mission of the Chemical Footprint Project is to transform global chemical use by measuring and disclosing data on business progress to safer chemicals.

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  • Get Involved With Chemical Footprint
  • The CFP Survey evaluates overall corporate chemical management performance by considering four elements: 1) management strategy, 2) chemical inventory, 3) footprint measurement, and 4) public disclosure and verification.


    For the 2017 reporting period, the CFP asks companies to measure CoHCs contained in the products they sell.


    In future years the scope of chemical footprint measurement will expand to include manufacturing operations, supply chain, and packaging.

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    Increasingly, purchasers and investors want to know how well companies manage chemicals in products and supply chains.  Are companies using chemicals of high concern to human health or the environment in products or manufacturing?  Are they using safer alternatives?  What actions are companies taking to systematically reduce chemicals of greatest concern and to use safer alternatives?  How can companies that systematically use safer alternatives be identified and rewarded?
    The lack of an independent, third-party metric for publicly benchmarking corporate progress in reducing chemicals of high concern makes it difficult for investors and purchasers to identify and reward good performance and makes it difficult for companies to demonstrate superior performance.  Furthermore, the lack of a common metric means that companies seeking to improve their performance lack a clear way to measure performance and identify their most significant improvement opportunities.
    The CFP aims to meet this need.  For investors, it supplies a key piece of information that has been missing in evaluating corporate sustainability.  For retailers, it provides a credible, third-party approach for driving chemicals management into the value chain.  For brands, it provides a means for assessing chemicals management and benchmarking progress as well as an opportunity to be recognized as a leader.  For purchasers, it will help to identify chemical management leaders in specific product categories of interest.  For the public, it will mean that chemicals of high concern are reduced in consumer products, leading to lower exposures and improved health outcomes.

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  • Why brands & manufacturers should participate
  • Value to Purchasers
  • Value to Retailers
  • The CFP defines chemical footprint as the total mass of chemicals of high concern (CoHCs) in products sold by a company, used in its manufacturing operations and by its suppliers, and contained in packaging. For the 2017 reporting period, the CFP asks companies to measure CoHCs contained in the products they sell.


    Chemical footprinting is the process of assessing progress toward the use of safer chemicals and away from chemicals of high concern to human health or the environment.  A chemical footprint can be used as a benchmark to document the actions an organization takes to advance the use of safer chemicals in its products and manufacturing operations.

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  • Why Every Company Has A Chemical Footprint
  • Signatories are investors, large-scale purchasers, retailers or NGOs that agree to:

    • Encourage companies in their sphere of influence to participate in the Chemical Footprint Project.
    • Be listed on the Chemical Footprint Project website.
    • Provide feedback on how to improve implementation of the Chemical Footprint Project.

    A Responder is a brand, manufacturer, or retailer that completes the Chemical Footprint Project Survey.

    Brands, manufacturers, and retailers can take the Survey by logging into the secure CFP website by first applying to participate.

    The Survey allocates a total of 100 points across 20 questions. Question-specific scores are added to give a company a total score. The response data from participants will be anonymized, collated, and analyzed in the CFP Annual Report.

    Responders can choose whether to publicly share 1.) their participation in the CFP, 2.) their Survey responses (not including documentation), and 3.) their scores. Although third-party verification is not a required, additional points are awarded if responses are independently validated.

    As a primary goal of the CFP is to recognize corporate leadership, the CFP will publically profile top performers in its annual report. The results will provide valuable data to investors, retailers and other organizations seeking to identify companies that use best practices in chemicals management. Participants can share their results with their customers and investors who wish to source products from companies that are leaders in using safer chemicals.

    Any brand or manufacturer can use the Survey to benchmark its chemicals management program, understand its progress over time and its position relative to other firms. It is designed as a tool to measure continuous improvement in chemicals management.

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  • Steps to Using CFP
    • Creates a common standard for companies to report their chemical footprints
    • Strengthens engagement with brands & suppliers in their chemicals management programs
    • Identifies leaders in substituting chemicals of high concern with safer alternatives

    There is no cost for being a Signatory in the Chemical Footprint Project.

    • Reduces chemical risks  of regulation, reputation, & redesign
    • Identifies opportunities for improvement  including engaging senior management & increasing transparency
    • Measures progress  in improving chemicals management

    There is no cost to be a Responder to the Chemical Footprint Project.

    The CFP Assessment Framework builds from other related frameworks, including the BizNGO Guide to Safer Chemicals and the Higg Index Chemicals Management Module. It differs from these frameworks as it is the first initiative to publicly benchmark corporate progress in chemicals management and safer chemicals use.
    BizNGO Guide to Safer Chemicals: The BizNGO Guide is a broad framework for chemicals management created through a unique collaboration of businesses and non-governmental organizations that share a vision of shifting the economy toward safer chemicals. It is designed to be used as a self-assessment tool and does not include a questionnaire to evaluate, score, and compare companies.
    Higg Index: The Higg Index was developed by a collaboration of brands, retailers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. It is currently being used as an internal self-assessment tool to measure the sustainability impacts of apparel and footwear products across the value chain at the brand, product, and facility levels, with a verification protocol under development to ultimately allow its use in consumer-facing communication. The Chemicals Management Module of the Higg Index was developed to specifically address chemicals use and impacts in the supply chain. 

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  • How is chemical footprint defined?
  • Companies completing the Survey receive scores from 0 to 100 based on responses and supporting documentation. A company can decide whether to make its participation public, as well as its responses to the Survey questions and its score. Participation, responses, and scores of companies that agreed to be public are available here .

    Responses of all participating companies are evaluated and reported anonymously in an Annual Report.

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    Although third party verification is not a requirement for participation, companies receive additional points if responses are independently validated.

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    The CFP defines a Chemical of High Concern (CoHC) as a chemical that meets any of the following criteria: 1) carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic to reproduction (CMR); 2) persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substance (PBT); 3) any other chemical for which there is scientific evidence of probable serious effects to human health or the environment that give rise to an equivalent level of concern (for example, an endocrine disruptor or neurotoxicant); or 4) a chemical whose breakdown products result in a CoHC that meets any of the above criteria.

    Using this definition, the Chemical Footprint Project compiled its 2016 CoHC List from 14 lists of hazardous chemicals developed by governments and other authoritative bodies. The CFP 2016 CoHC List includes any chemical or chemical group that meets any combination of the CFP criteria for a CoHC on any of the 14 lists. Substances on these lists that could not plausibly be an intentionally added ingredient of a product were excluded from the CFP 2016 CoHC List (e.g., viruses, alcoholic beverages). The source lists and links to their websites can be found in Appendix D of the Guidance Document.

    While each source list is dynamic, to simplify reporting the CFP 2016 CoHC List is static.  It was compiled using July 1, 2016, versions of the source lists.

    The CFP 2016 CoHC list aligns with the approach used by GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals to identify CoHCs, known as “List Translator-1” chemicals (LT-1’s) with two exceptions. First, CFP uses the European Union’s Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern to identify CoHCs, while GreenScreen uses the European Union’s list of Substances of Very High Concern requiring authorization to identify LT-1 chemicals. Second, CFP does not include EU-Reach Annex XVII CMRs.

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  • Why Every Company Has A Chemical Footprint
  • What’s your Chemical Footprint?
    • To download the Guidance document and the CFP 2016 Chemicals of High Concern list, click here.
    • As a Responder, you will get access to the Guidance document and the CFP 2016 Chemicals of High Concern list