As we’ve written here before, public commitment is one of the essential pillars of leadership on safer chemicals. When a company leads on public commitment, that means communicating not just its initial goal-setting, but its full safer chemicals journey, publicly and honestly.
That’s no small task. The rise of shareholder resolutions across a wide range of sectors shows that investors and purchaser communities are becoming increasingly interested in how companies manage chemicals and mitigate risk. With the release of its inaugural report, one organization is throwing a spotlight on companies that are not just making, but following through on, those commitments.
Ingredients for measuring your (chemical) footprint
The Chemical Footprint Project (CFP) recognizes companies that have effectively demonstrated public commitment to improved chemicals management. A joint effort launched in June 2015 by Clean Production Action, Pure Strategies and the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, the CFP was created as a simple way for investors and purchasers to assess these critical aspects of corporate value.
The CFP’s evaluation system was designed to be flexible and can be used for any business sector, from personal care products to toys. Using a twenty question survey, the CFP assesses companies’ performance in four areas:
- Chemicals management strategy (i.e. corporate chemicals policies),
- Chemical inventory (i.e. knowing the chemicals used in products, manufacturing processes and supply chains),
- Chemical footprint measurement (i.e. knowing the mass of chemicals of high concern in a company’s products and packaging, processes, and supply chain and tracking progress toward safer alternatives), and
- Public disclosure and verification.
A company’s performance is scored on a 100-point scale, with a bonus for verification – respondents receive up to 4 points for independent validation of reported data.
Breaking down CFP’s findings
Last week, the CFP released its inaugural report, with 24 companies from seven sectors participating. Though individual company scores are presented without identification, CFP’s initial report reveals many interesting themes: Read more