Safer Food Packaging

More than 10,000 chemicals are permitted for use in food – about half as direct additives and the rest in packaging or other food contact materials such as handling and processing equipment.

Muncke, et al. Scientific Challenges in the Risk Assessment of Food Contact Materials, Environmental Health Perspectives. 2017.

Unfortunately, the chemicals directly added to final packaging can migrate into food. Chemical migration can also occur from bulk intermediate packaging used during food processing and handling.

Some of these chemicals have been linked to health impacts such as endocrine disruption and developmental toxicity.

Therefore, when meeting consumer demand for safer food, companies need to address not only the safety of direct food additives but also the safety of chemicals in food packaging. EDF provides guidance on how to start.

Read more: Tackling Contaminants of Concern in Food

Tackling Contaminants of Concern in Food

Consumers are increasingly concerned about the chemicals in their food.

The food supply chain is complex, resulting in a number of ways that chemicals of concern can contaminate food. For example, chemicals directly added to packaging may migrate into food, heavy metals may contaminate the soil where ingredients are sourced, or incidental contamination could occur at food handling and processing plants.

When meeting consumer demand for safer food, it’s important for your strategy to include the minimization of chemical contaminants. In our work with companies and in the regulatory space, EDF has prioritized action on certain chemical contaminants based on sufficient evidence that these chemicals harm fetal and infant brain development, and food is a meaningful source of children’s exposure.

Chemicals recommended for initial action:

  • Perchlorate: Perchlorate is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that can harm childhood brain development and is, therefore, of major concern for pregnant women and children. Perchlorate is present in almost all food, including those marketed for young children. Perchlorate primarily enters food from plastic packaging and food handling equipment for dry food and from degraded bleach. There are a number of ways that you can minimize perchlorate contamination. Learn more about how Perchlorate can be reduced.
  • Ortho-phthalates: Ortho-phthalates are a class of at least 28 chemicals that are used in food packaging and handling equipment. There is growing evidence from scientific studies that ortho-phthalates may harm the developing fetus and young children. Food appears to be the primary source of exposure. To proactively manage your company’s risk, we recommend avoiding all ortho-phthalates and adopting safer alternatives.  
  • Lead: In 2017, EDF published a report finding that food is a meaningful source of children’s exposure to lead. The report estimated that eliminating lead in food would save society more than $27 billion annually. Although we’ve seen some improvement in lead levels in certain baby foods, more action is needed. EDF recommends manufacturers prioritize lead contaminant minimization in ingredient sourcing, set a goal of less than 1 ppb of lead in infant and toddler food, and test more frequently during processing to allow for corrective action on lead.

For additional information on managing chemicals of concern in food packaging, the “Food Packaging Product Stewardship Considerations” published by the Institute of Packaging Professionals in March 2018, provides recommendations for eliminating or minimizing a long list of chemicals of concern in packaging.

Lastly, informing consumers of the actions your company is taking to drive down the levels of chemicals of concern in food is an important part of any safer food strategy.

Perchlorate

Perchlorate shows up in almost all types of food tested by FDA, including foods made for and marketed to young children. Perchlorate is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that can harm fetal and child brain development.

How does it get into the food supply?

Understanding how perchlorate ends up in our food supply chain is an important step in being able to manage levels in food. There are three primary sources for perchlorate in food: 

  1. Plastic dry food packaging: Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of perchlorate as an antistatic agent in plastic packaging, the chemical can migrate from the packaging into food – whether it’s packaging for final products or bulk containers for raw materials, known as “super sacks”;
  2. Bleach: Degradation of hypochlorite bleach used to disinfect or wash produce and food handling equipment because perchlorate forms when bleach degrades; and
  3. Water: Water contamination from upstream industrial facilities or degraded bleach used to treat water.

Action is needed

Consumers are increasingly concerned about chemicals in their food. They want to know that the food they buy is better for their families and for the environment. This is especially important for younger consumers and new parents, who represent a growing market segment.

Managing perchlorate contamination is an opportunity for your company to be a safer food leader.

Opportunities to reduce perchlorate levels in products

Fortunately, there are opportunities to reduce the perchlorate levels in food.

  1. Require periodic testing of raw materials for presence of perchlorate to help you identify unexpected sources and to focus minimization efforts.
  2. Advise suppliers not to use plastic packaging or other food handling equipment that contains or is treated with perchlorate.
  3. Ask suppliers to adhere to proper bleach management procedures, such as those outlined in the American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) guidelines. Key recommendations include making sure to use the oldest containers of bleach first, storing containers out of the sun, and storing containers for no more than a few months.
  4. Advise suppliers to ensure water used in products meet California’s 1 part per billion goal for perchlorate in drinking water, a threshold that should be achievable by responsible water utilities.

EDF is committed to making food safer for all. Helping businesses tackle chemical contaminants in food is an important step in that journey. We will continue to recommend best-in-class policies and practices your company can use.

For details on the health impacts of Perchlorate please visit EDF’s Health page.

Joint Ventures Mask Global Oil & Gas Emissions Risk


The world’s major oil and gas companies face significant emissions risks within the industry’s vast web of joint ventures. EDF’s new analysis, The Next Frontier: Managing Methane Risks from Non-Operated Assets, maps the global risks and opportunities to advance methane reduction efforts industrywide.

Methane — the primary component of natural gas and a climate pollutant 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period — is responsible for a quarter of global warming happening today.

Methane leaks occur throughout the entire supply chain, with evidence of higher emissions in upstream production. Companies that are acting on methane emissions generally only do so at assets they operate. However, this new analysis reveals that assets operated by other companies account for nearly 50% of oil and gas production for many companies. These non-operated assets (NOAs) can undermine a company’s commitments to reduce emissions. But mitigating this risk, which has gone largely unrecognized until now, represents a major opportunity to advance methane reduction efforts industrywide.

This report examines the NOAs of eight publicly traded companies participating in the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) – BP, Chevron, Eni, ExxonMobil, Occidental, Repsol, Shell and Total. These companies have established themselves as leaders on methane, but the risk of non-operated assets applies across the sector.

 

According to EDF research, an average of 50 percent of the eight companies’ production flows from non-operated assets, with the individual proportions ranging from 26 percent to 65 percent. Oil and gas produced by these NOAs account for fully one-fifth of total world output.

Despite their huge role in company portfolios, NOAs are not currently covered by existing corporate pledges to reduce methane emissions. If companies were to expand their methane reduction strategies to include an approach for non-operated assets, they increase the impact of their methane commitments by three- to five-fold.

The findings are particularly important as both industry, investors and regulators all step up their focus on methane, a potent greenhouse gas responsible for a quarter of the warming we experience today. As stakeholders scrutinize carbon footprints, advances in aerial and satellite monitoring will provide unprecedented visibility into higher emitting projects and geographies. At a time when it is becoming easier to ‘see’ emissions, a comprehensive approach to methane reduction is not only the right thing to do for the environment, but is also essential to earn and keep public trust, which is critical to industry’s license to operate.

Clean Air Innovations

Future Fleets: The Potential for Vehicle Based Pollution Mapping

You may already have a powerful resource for understanding and fighting air pollution and climate change. We’re creating the roadmap for putting it to good use.

Ordinary fleet vehicles doing their normal jobs in your city have hidden potential to save lives and shape actions that protect health and the climate. This superpower comes from advanced mobile air pollution sensors paired with connected vehicle technologies that allow cities to map pollutants at a hyperlocal scale.

Air quality can be eight times worse at one end of a block than another. Living on the more polluted end can significantly increase the risk of asthma and heart attack. The way we currently track and measure air pollution, with stationary sensors spaced miles apart atop buildings, simply can’t give decision-makers enough data to guide solutions.

Clean Air Innovations - EDF Pollution Mapping

A new feasibility analysis from EDF and connected transportation expert Geotab shows that public and private fleets can provide urgently needed data. In fact, it doesn’t take many vehicles to do so. We found that 10-20 vehicles can map 50% to 70% of a city without changing their routes. The opportunity here is huge. Cities are the future of our economy and of environmental innovation, and with hyperlocal mapping, leaders can design – and see the results of – climate and clean air investments that maximize local impact.

Whether you’re a public or private sector leader, a tech company or an analytics firm, this is how you can improve individual lives and entire communities. Become a champion for healthy, smart cities – learn how you can pilot fleet-based air pollution mapping in your city or accelerate IoT solutions.

Understand your smart city fleet potential

Access scientific studies

Contact Geotab

Who is Promising What on Home and Personal Care products in the U.S.?

Business leadership is critical in realizing a safer marketplace. Companies are committing to be more transparent about ingredients and to remove certain chemicals of concern from products.

To track the movement in the marketplace, we made a tally of the public commitments made in the household cleaning and personal care product sectors. For our tally, we have included only those commitments that are explicitly stated on the companies’ websites.

This is a living document and is in no way an exhaustive tally, but we aim to update it over time. Please let us know if you have any suggestions to improve the list — especially if we have missed a company.

Find existing commitments at the following links:

Retailers with “never use” ingredient lists for all products or subset of identified products*

RetailerProducts coveredStated commitment
CVS“Earth Essentials” cleaning productsNo phosphates, phthalates
CVS store brand baby, beauty and personal care productsNo chemicals on CVS store brand restricted substances list
Credo BeautyAll productsNo chemicals on “The Dirty List” allowed in products (many ingredients)
FollainAll productsNo chemicals on Restricted Ingredients list allowed in products (many ingredients)
SephoraProducts with “Clean at Sephora” LabelFree of: SLS, SLES, parabens, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban
Fragrance products with “Clean at Sephora” labelIn addition to above requirements, fragrance products must not contain: PTFE/PFOA, styrene, polyacrylamide / acrylamide, acetaldehyde, acetonitrile, methylene chloride, animal fats, oils, and musks, benzalkonium chloride, toluene, resorcinol, acetone, butoxyethanol, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, methyl cellosolve, methylisothiazolinone / methylchloroisothiazolinone, mercury and mercury compounds , and bisphenol A (BPA).
TargetEssentials & Beauty products with “Wellness Icons”For a product in this category to carry a wellness icon, at a minimum, it must not include: propyl-paraben, butyl-paraben, phthalates, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-donors or nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs).
Walgreens“Well Beginnings” lineNo parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde donors
Whole Foods (Amazon)All personal care productsOver 100 ingredients banned
Premium Body CareTM productsOver 400 ingredients banned
All cleaning productsEco-Scale product rating system (red, orange, yellow, green tiers) listing “unacceptable ingredients” – ingredients not allowed in products labeled at the different tier levels

* For a product to be sold in the applicable category or under the identified program, private label and/or national brands, it cannot contain the listed ingredients.

Brand manufacturers with “never use” ingredient lists

Brand manufacturerProducts coveredStated commitment
AvedaAll productsNo parabens, phtalates, and sodium lauryl sulfate
Beauty CounterAll productsThe Never List – 1500 ingredients banned
Burt’s BeesAll productsNo phthalates, parabens, petrolatum or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).
EO ProductsAll productsNo parabens, sodium laurelth sulfate, synthetic fragrances, aluminum, propylene glycol, polysorbates, phthalates, artificial colors or dyes, GMOs.
The Honest CompanyAll productsNO ListTM – a list of over 3,000 chemicals/ materials not used in products
MethodAll ProductsNo chlorine bleach, triclosan, EDTA, phosphates, 2-butoxyethanol, phthalates, parabens, ammonia, ethanolamine (MEA)
MychelleAll products“The Dirty 30” ingredients banned
Seventh GenerationAll productsNo phosphates, optical brighteners, synthetic surfactants, synthetic fragrances or dyes, volatile synthetic surfactants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Tom’s of MaineAll productsNo artificial colors, syntheic flavors, or fragrances, artificial preservatives (e.g., EDTA, formaldehyde, parabens, etc…), animal ingredients, ethylene glycol, gluten, grapefruit seed extract, parabens, peroxides, petrochemicals, phthalates, artificial sweeteners
UnileverBaby care productsFormaldehyde releasers/donors
Home and personal careNo mecury compounds
All productsIso-parabens, diethyl phthalates (DEP),

Retailer commitments to ban, phase-out, restrict, or reduce use of certain chemicals of concern

RetailerProducts affectedSpecific commitmentsDates
AmazonPrivate label Baby, Household Cleaning, Personal Care, and Beauty ProductsRestricted Substances List including parabens, formaldehyde donors, phthalates, nonylphenol (NP), nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE), toluene, and triclosanCommitted: 2018
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.Products as specifiedRestricted Substances List (RSL) including Manufacturing Restricted Substances ListEffective: 2014, updated annually
All productsCertain flame retardants bannedCompleted; date not specified
All private label productsReductions in lead, cadmium, and phthalates (in plastics)In effect; date not specified
CostcoApparel, bedding, home goods, pet beds, furniture, personal care products, cleaning products, Kirkland SignatureTM food packaging, Kirkland Signature baby wipes and diapersCostco Smart Screening protocol: Tests these items for chemicals of concern that are not restricted by law and works with suppliers to remove chemicals from itemsCommitted: 2017
CVSAll CVS Brand productsRemoved Cocamide and Cocamide DEACompleted: 2013
Essence of Beauty ProductsParabens removedCompleted: 2013
“Essence of Beauty” body and hand creamsArtificial dyes removedCompleted: 2013
All CVS brand products, most name-brand productsTriciosan removedCommitted: 2014
Effective: 2015
CVS Brand ProductsMicrobeads removedCommitted: 2014
Effective: 2015
CVS Brand baby products, certain non-medicated adult cleansing wipesFormaldehyde removedCommitted: 2014
Effective: 2015
All CVS store brands in baby, beauty and personal care productsRestricted Substances List (RSL) including parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde donorsCommitted: 2017
Goal completion date: 2019
Rite-AidPrivate label formulated productsElimination of triclosan, formaldehyde, toluene, butylparaben, propylparaben, dibutyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, and nonylphenol ethoxylatesCommitted: 2016

Goal completion date: 2020

TargetPersonal care, Beauty, Household cleaning, Baby care productsRemove phthalates, paraben, formaldehyde, formaldehyde donors and NPEs.Committed: 2017

Goal Completion date: 2020

The Home DepotResidential Household Cleaning ChemicalsRemove propyl-paraben, butyl-paraben, diethyl phthalates, dibutyl phthalates, formaldehyde, nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), triclosan, toluene, trichloroethylene (TCE).Committed: 2018

Goal Completion date: End of 2022

Walmart (U.S), Sam’s Club U.S.Health & beauty, Household paper, Pet supplies, Household chemicals, Cosmetics & skincare,Infant consumables, JanitorialRemove propyl paraben, butyl paraben, triclosan, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, formaldehyde, nonylphenol (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs)
Reduce chemicals on Walmart Priority Chemicals list
Committed: 2013
10% weight reduction in Walmart Priority Chemicals (or consumables chemical footprint)Committed: 2017
Goal completion date: 2022
Walgreens Boots AllianceWalgreens and Boots owned brand and exclusive retail products in: baby, beauty, personal care, and household cleaning productsElimination of substances on the Restricted Substances List, including parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde and formaldehyde donors, nonylphenol (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs).Effective 2018

Goal Completion date: End of 2021

Brands’ commitments to ban, phase-out, restrict, or reduce use of chemicals of concern

CompanyProducts affectedSpecific commitmentsDates
AvedaAll productsEliminate parabensCompleted: No date specified
Clean Control CorporationAll productsInorganic phosophorusCompleted: No date specified
Select floor strippers, concentrated laundry detergentsNo ammonia
No monoethanolamine (MEA)
Completed: No date specified
All products2-butoxy ethanol phthalatesCompleted: No date specified
Johnson and JohnsonAll baby products
All new products by 2015 (with rate exceptions>
Formaldehyde releasers removedCompleted: 2015
All productsParabens banned (except methyl, ethyl and propyl in adult products)
Fragrance oils: animal-derived ingredients, nitromusks and polycyclic musks, tagetes, rose crystal, diacetyl, Diethyl phthalate (DEP)
Completed: 2015
All productsMicrobeads removedCommitted: 2013
Completed: 2017
All productsTriciosanCommitted: 2011
Completed: 2015
P&GCleaning productsPhosphates phased-outCompleted: 2016
All formulated productsNo alkylphenols and alkylphenol ethoxylates, benzene, BPA, heavy metals, microbeads*, organotins, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated bphenyls (PCBs), phthalates*, triclosan, triclocarban*Completed: No date specified
* These ingredients are not used in current products and P&G has committed to removing them from exisitng products
Reckitt BenckiserAll productsFormaldehyde, dichlorvos, glycol ethers (monoethylene series), paradichlorobenzene (PDCB) removedCompleted: 2006
Formaldehyde-donor preservatives, Non-geranyl nitrile fragrance raw materials,  certain brominated flame retardants, alkyl phenol ethoxylates (APEs), NPEs removedCompleted: 2007
Chlorpyrifos, certain boron compounds, geranyl nitrile (GN) fragrance raw materials removedCompleted: 2009
Polyethylene beads to be removedGoal completion date: 2018
Isothiazolinones (preservatives)Committed: 2017
CosmeticsIsoparabens removedCompleted: 2015
All products except healthcare productsPVC packaging of household products removedCompleted: 2009
Seventh GenerationAll productsAcutely orally toxic ingredients and chronic toxicants phased outGoal completion date: 2020
Laundry detergentBoric acid removedCommitted: 2014
Completed: 2015
Formulated productsBenzisothiazolinone (BIT) and methylisothiazolinone (MIT)Goal Completion Date: 2020
SC JohnsonAll productsNo materials on the “Not Allowable” list (unless at restricted levels)Committed: 2001
UnileverMost leave-on personal care products
Rinse-off personal care products
Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) removed
All productsTriclosan, triclocarban removedCommitted: 2015
Completed: 2017
New and existing fragrance formulationsLyral removedCompleted: 2017
Exfoliating productsPlastic scrub beadsCompleted: 2014

Retailer commitments on ingredient transparency to consumer

CompanyProducts affectedSpecific commitmentsDates
Rite AidPrivate label formulated productsEncourages suppliers to publicly disclose all ingredients online or on pack, including the constituents of fragrance and other generic ingredientsCommitted: 2018
TargetBeauty, baby care, personal care, and household cleaning formulated productsAchieve full transparency, including generics such as the term “fragrance”Goal completion date: 2020
WalmartHealth & beauty, Household paper, Pets & supplies, Household chemicals, Cosmetics & skincare, Infant consumables, JanitorialEncourages suppliers to disclose all ingredients online (by product) and on product labelCommitted: 2013

Effective date: 2015 for online disclosure

Effective date: 2018 product label disclosure

Walgreens Boots AllianceWalgreens and Boots owned brand and exclusive consumer retail formulated products in the baby, beauty, personal care, and household cleaning product categoriesWill pursue full ingredient transparency, including generic terms such as “fragrance” and will annually measure and report progress toward fuller ingredient disclosure

Brand manufacturers commitments on ingredient transparency to consumer

Brand manufacturerProducts affectedLevel of transparencyDates
BeautycounterAll productsingredient name and function at product level onlineCompleted: No date specified
Clean Control CorporationAll productsIngredient name and function for non-fragrances at product levelCompleted: 2014
CloroxAll productsIngredient name and function for non-fragrances at product levelEffective: 2015
Discloses online the presence of all EU fragrance allergens when present at a concentration of 0.01 % in productsEffective: No date specified
Ecos (Earth Friendly Products)All productsIngredient name and function at product level online and product labelCompleted: No date specified
The Honest CompanyAll productsIngredient names at product level online and product labelCompleted: No date specified
Personal care and cosmetic productsIdentifies EU fragrance allergens when at 0.01% in rinse off products and 0.001% in leave-on productsCompleted: No date specified
MethodAll productsIngredient names, function, safety information at product levelEffective: 2009 for online disclosure
Effective 2012 for product label disclosure
P&GAll productsPreservatives paletteEffective date: 2017
Fragrance palettes (with conditions)Committed: 2017
Goal completion date: 2019
Reckitt BenckiserAll productsIngredient name and function for non-fragrances at product level online and on-packEffective: 2009
Committed: 2017 for product label disclosure on US cleaning products
Disclosure of 99.99% of fragrance ingredients online and disclosure of fragrance ingredients below 100 ppm that are on one of the recognized hazard listsCommitted: 2017
Disclosure of all known fragrance allergens online when present in products >100 ppmEffective: 2017
Full disclosure of dyes and preservativesCompleted: No date specified
SC JohnsonAll products (staged roll-out by product category)Ingredient names and functions for non-fragrances at product level onlineEffective: 2009
Exclusive Fragrance Palette onlineEffective: 2012
Product-specific fragrance information (with conditions) onlineEffective: 2015
Fragrance and non-fragrance skin allergen palette online and then by productEffective: 2017
Completed: 2017 for Palette
Goal completion date: 2018 for product-level information
Seventh GenerationAll productsAll ingredients disclosed on product packagingEffective: 2008
All ingredients, materials, packaging, and supply chain disclosed publicallyGoal completion date: 2020
UnileverAll productsNon-fragrance ingredient names and functionEffective: 2017
Fragrances at product level online (and available via SmartLabel QR code on product label)Committed: 2017
Goal completion date: 2018
Personal care productsFlag EU fragrance allergens on product labelCommitted: 2017

For more examples of companies leading on ingredient transparency, visit EDF’s Rules for Online Disclosure

Last updated: February 2019

Sustainable Finance

Where ROI meets ROE (Return on Environment)

Sustainable investing has grown over the past decade, ushering in a new era of protecting the environment while earning financial returns. However, the cost of addressing the world’s urgent environmental challenges exceeds the capacity of philanthropic and public sector resources – this leaves a major financing gap. New research shows that blended financing can bridge that gap by directing private investment dollars to projects that deliver environmental outcomes and competitive financial returns.

Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Sustainable Finance program works with the financial sector, with investors, and via public-private partnerships to find and scale innovative financing solutions that foster economic and environmental prosperity.

EDF Sustainable finance strategy

We seek to leverage the influence, expertise and capital of the financial marketplace to protect the environment, improve livelihoods and achieve ambitious environmental goals. We’ll do this by working with others to implement the following strategies:

1. Getting the rules right2. Making engagement & investment easier3. Demonstrating returns
We are working to advance policies and practices that improve transparency, reduce risks and create clear incentives and price signals in order to design more efficient and effective markets for environmental investment opportunities.To spur new investment in environmental solutions, we must lower investment barriers and transaction costs. We are creating and promoting tools and resources that improve information flows, standardize complex projects and build capacity in the marketplace.Environmental investments remain below the radar for many investors. We aim to connect private capital with priority environmental opportunities by working with partners on “lighthouse” or pilot transactions that demonstrate a strong investment case, mitigate risks and deliver returns. In the process, we are creating new investment models that others can follow and take to scale.

EDF is a proven leader in working with the financial sector to drive innovation and progress. Over the past several years, EDF initiatives have:

  • Raised the bar for environmental management across the private equity (PE) industry through pioneering partnerships with KKR, Carlyle, and Oak Hill Capital to measure, manage, and improve environmental and financial performance across PE portfolios.
  • Delivered healthier air to millions of New York City residents by empowering building owners and operators to invest in nearly 6,000 heating oil conversions through NYC Clean Heat, reducing emissions of fine particulate matter from buildings by over 65%.
  • Accelerated the transition to sustainable fisheries management by providing loans totaling over $4.2 million to support California Fisheries Fund

EDF’s Sustainable Finance experts also help to scale impactful financing through research, insight and case studies. EDF’s latest report, Unlocking Private Capital to Fund Sustainable Infrastructure, presents a framework for state and local governments, philanthropists and financial institutions to advance new partnerships for impact.

For regular updates please follow the EDF+Business blog. [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

 

EDF Model Corporate Chemicals Policies

When it comes to safer chemicals in the marketplace, EDF’s Five Pillars of Leadership offers a guiding framework for industry. But we are often asked how a retailer, grocer or brand can put those into action effectively. The most effective tool in jump-starting and sustaining leadership is a written corporate chemicals policy. A chemicals policy institutionalizes your commitment to lead on safer chemicals and articulates to all levels of the business, as well as to your suppliers, what the company wants to achieve. At a minimum, your chemicals policy should outline your aspirations for:

  • Improving Supply Chain Transparency,
  • Cultivating Informed Consumers,
  • Embedding Safer Product Design, and
  • Showing Public Commitment.

What does that look like? If you are a retailer or grocer, EDF created templates that you can use when designing your own chemicals policy. Our templates provide the text you need as well as tips and resources for starting your journey.

Model Safer Food Policy for Retailers/Grocers

Model Chemicals Policy for Retailers of Formulated Products 

If you are a brand, we recommend BizNGO’s Model Chemicals Policy for Brands and Manufacturers. In line with EDF’s model policies, this template can help a product manufacturer in any sector develop a strong chemicals policy.

An Investor’s Guide to Methane

Oil and gas industry investors face increasing financial, reputational and regulatory risks from widespread methane emissions. An Investor’s Guide to Methane: Engaging with Oil and Gas Companies to Manage a Rising Risk, by EDF and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), is a first-of-its kind guide to help investors manage methane risk through company engagement.

Methane — the primary component of natural gas and a climate pollutant 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period — is responsible for a quarter of global warming happening today.

The oil and gas sector is the largest industrial source of methane emissions, costing an estimated $30 billion in lost product each year. The guide was developed for concerned investors following the release EDF’s breakthrough Rising Risk report, which found that as of early 2016, none of the 65 leading upstream and midstream oil and gas companies operating in the United States disclosed methane reduction targets, and less than a third disclosed baseline emissions information via accessible, investor-facing data sources. Engagement from investors will be required to gain the data they need to factor methane management into portfolio selection, while encouraging continuous improvement as operators progress across the spectrum. This guide is designed to be a tool to support such constructive dialogue, holding companies accountable for managing methane and driving results.

This guide can help investors manage methane risks and keep more saleable product in the pipeline – a win-win for investors, companies, and communities.

Sean Wright  Lead author and Senior Manager, EDF

With the Investor’s Guide [PDF], EDF and PRI provide constructive tools for investors to engage with oil and gas companies on methane reporting and mitigation, to engage with senior management in constructive dialogue, and to identify concrete actions to improve methane performance.

This guide provides investors with an extremely valuable tool to understand these risks.

Jonas Kron  Senior Vice President, Trillium Asset Management

The guide provides practical advice on what investors should expect from companies regarding operational practices and disclosure. While the guide is aimed at public equity investors, the document can also be useful for investors in private companies, energy lenders such as investment banks and insurance companies, who may be looking to benchmark methane performance as they implement ESG and risk-management policies. Likewise, this guide can also be a reference for oil and gas companies to benchmark their operations and identify best practices.

Performance Assessment Tool

Through the guide, EDF and PRI have introduced a new Performance Assessment Tool [PDF] to rank company methane management performance.

Download the Assessment Tool