Chemical Footprint Project Releases 2017 Report

AUGUST 8, 2017

The Chemical Footprint Project (CFP) has released its 2017 Report with responses from large corporations, such as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss & Co., Adidas and HP Inc. regarding their uses of specific chemical substances.

The CFP is a new initiative led by investors, retailers, government agencies, non-government organizations and health care organizations to “support healthy lives, clean water and air, and sustainable consumption and production patterns through the effective management of chemicals in products and supply chains.”

The report notes that “Signatories, representing over $2.3 trillion in assets under management and over $600 billion in purchasing power, are engaging corporations in CFP. As with carbon footprint reduction, the participants in CFP recognize that a global transition to a reduced chemical footprint is necessary. CFP gives Signatories an invaluable tool to discern which firms bear the highest chemical risk and which are best positioned to capture new markets with safer products.”

The data are obtained through a 20-question survey, evaluating a company’s management strategy (20 points), chemical inventory (30 points), footprint measurement (30 points), and public disclosure and verification (20 points), including:

  • Is reducing CoHCs (chemicals of high concern) and/or advancing safer alternatives beyond regulatory requirements integrated into your company’s business strategy? (4 points)
  • What capabilities does your company have for managing data on chemical ingredients in its products? In documentation, include a description of your data system. (5 points)
  • How does your company assess the hazards of chemicals in its products beyond regulatory requirements? In documentation, include a description of your hazard assessment system or tool. (6 points)
  • Does your company agree to publicly disclose its responses to the CFP Survey? (3 points)

The Executive Summary of the report notes that, until CFP crafted its survey, investors and purchasers did not have appropriate data and information to gauge an individual company’s performance in relation to chemicals management and its potential affect on corporate performance.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Wal-Mart’s Senior Director for Sustainability Zach Freeze noted, “We think it’s a great initiative for our customer, first and foremost. It is something that we see as value to our business and we hope our suppliers feel the same way.”

Given its immense purchasing power, Wal-Mart’s suppliers have removed 96 percent of chemicals of high concern from the products sold in their stores and online.