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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Participating in the Chemical Footprint Project pilot led us to develop a formal chemical policy that will be included on our website. Our chemicals policy and its successful implementation is the very heart of our company philosophy.
- Jessica Iclisoy , California Baby
CFP is a market differentiator and provides a competitive advantage for business leaders. This new tool will add a level of transparency and help companies mitigate reputational and regulatory risks and exploit opportunities afforded by moving to safer chemicals.
- Roger McFadden, Staples, Inc.
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
Companies need to know the chemicals in their products and supply chains, and be able to benchmark their performance. CFP offers a new and welcomed option for companies to make progress in these efforts.