Clean Production Action’s 2017 Chemical Footprint Project Report

by Sandra Curtis

As parents, professionals, business owners/workers and activists, the more tools we have at our disposal to help us understand the chemicals in products we use, the more opportunity we have to make healthy choices for ourselves and our loved ones.

Clean Production Action (CPA) is not a company whose name pops up in the popular press but the work they are doing is definitely worthy of broad exposure. Why? Because CPA is collaborating with business, governments, and individuals to make critical information available on what chemicals are in products.

CPA adheres to the maxim, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Their tools help companies document and manage the chemicals used in their products. Their work directly
benefits us as consumers.

Social, technological, human and environmental health, economic, and political factors have put pressure on business to identify and select safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals. Regulatory requirements, customer demands, media attention, NGO advocacy, product recalls, and also new business opportunities are specific factors driving companies to develop and implement comprehensive chemical management programs that track chemicals from initial use to their end of life disposal. A tool that allows consumers to trace chemicals from their inclusion in a product’s design to the product’s end of life is a valuable asset. That’s what CPA’s Chemical Footprint Project provides.

As consumers, we need transparency in order to make informed choices. CPA facilitates companies being able to provide that information to the public. For businesses, similar advantages are offered, helping companies develop stronger supplier relationships, deeper supply chain knowledge, and clear metrics for assessing chemicals management and measurement progress.

CPA just published their 2017 report which includes data from a broad swath of global companies who annual revenues total over $670 billion. The participating businesses represent apparel and footwear, building products, packaging, medical devices, household, personal care products, toys, and electronics. You’ll undoubtedly recognize companies from whom you purchase products - Adidas, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Straus & Co. Walmart Stores, and Seventh Generation, among many others.

The choice of these companies to use CPA’s Chemical Footprint tool demonstrates the
relevance they find in enhancing their products’ marketability.

Key highlights of their survey results show that:

  • Chemical footprinting is moving into the mainstream with companies choosing to use quantitative measures to assess their chemical footprint
  • Investors and consumers now have access to data that enables them to benchmark firms on how they are progressing to sound chemicals management.
  • Brands and manufacturers can assess where they stand relative to peers, then identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement.
  • CFP provides clear steps to organizations on how they can improve their chemicals’ management practices.

If you have a business or are interested in the chemical composition of various products, check out Clean Production Action’s Chemical Footprint Project. Or contact us and we’ll see what we can do to answer your questions.

Join our global Coalition.