In sectors as diverse as electronics, automotive, cosmetics, retail, home cleaning products, healthcare, packaging, building products, apparel, footwear and furniture, major global companies are looking to eliminate chemicals of concern from their supply chains, and in the process, many are finding additional business benefits.
World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Chemical Sector Scoping Study, 2007
In this 7 min. video three business leaders discuss how their companies are implementing the Guiding Principles for Chemicals Policy — policies for the creation and adoption of safer chemicals and sustainable materials. The speakers, Kathy Gerwig of Kaiser Permanente, Howard Williams of Construction Specialties Inc. and Sr. Susan Vickers of Catholic Healthcare West, are each vice presidents of their companies and participants in the Business-NGO Working Group (BizNGO).
Richard A. Liroff, Ph.D. Executive Director, The Investor Environmental Health Network
Steven Heim, Director of Social Research, Boston Common Asset Management
Tim Little, Executive Director, Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment
Toxic chemicals are hitting the bottom line. For example, DuPont recently settled a lawsuit for over $100 million after exposing consumers to hazardous chemical PFOA used in the production of Teflon. This panel explores why fiduciaries must track this increasingly serious and material issue, and what shareholder advocacy can accomplish.
PRODUCT TOXICITY AND CHINA
Video and Audio webcasts regarding Product Toxicity and China
Our video webcast “Product Toxicity and China: Insights for Investors and Companies” (15 min), features Melissa Brown, Executive Director of the Association for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia (ASRiA). Brown has nearly two decades’ experience working on equity and supply chain issues in Asia. The fifteen minute video briefing (transcript available) examines issues underlying supply chain management challenges in China in the aftermath of this past year’s controversies over imports to the US of toxic pet food, toothpaste, and toys. It took two decades for the United States to develop its current regulatory system, and even in the best case it will take years if not decades for China to establish an adequate regulatory system to control the issues of product toxicity deep within the multilayered supplied chains of China. The real solutions lie in developing genuine partnerships with suppliers in Asia — providing adequate technical support in training, and investing in the development of new products and materials.
Audio Interview with Stacy Malkan by IEHN Counsel Sanford Lewis
Stacy Malkan, author of the new book, Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry, and a cofounder of Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, says that the United States has some of the weakest regulations in the developed world when it comes to toxic products, with the lead recently detected in lipstick serving as a “poster child” example.
Audio Interview with Lauren Compere by IEHN Counsel Sanford Lewis
Lauren Compere directs corporate engagement for Boston Common Asset Management. A member of ASRiA and IEHN, Boston Common has focused on cosmetics safety, toxic chemicals in baby bottles and other product toxicity issues at numerous companies. She reports in her audio interview that on her recent trip to Asia she found companies were giving more attention to how they can profit from climate change than how to avoid toxicity problems, despite numerous toxic recalls that have received widespread media coverage. She also observed that companies with toxicity issues tend to quit producing the problem products, thereby allowing those products to slip down the supply chain to the lowest level where there is the least scrutiny and regulation.
These audio and video webcasts were produced in conjunction with Corporate Watchdog Radio, a weekly radio show and podcast.
TOXIC CHEMICALS IN PRODUCTS: FINANCIAL RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES
“Short course” on how toxic chemicals in products relate to investment risk and opportunity.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — April 16, 2007. A new video released today provides individual investors, executives, pension fund fiduciaries and other investment professionals with a 20-minute “short course” on how toxic chemicals in products relate to investment risk and opportunity. As the video explains, these issues will be prominent in six shareholder meetings starting in April and unfolding throughout the 2007 proxy season, continuing challenges begun in the 2006 proxy season by members of the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN).
Entitled “Toxic Chemicals in Products: Financial Risks and Opportunities,” the video focuses on numerous companies, including Wal-Mart, SC Johnson, DuPont, Bed Bath & Beyond, Apple, Dow Chemical, and Avalon Cosmetics. The video features comments by leading experts and investors from three continents, including: Vermont Treasurer Jeb Spaulding; Robert Monks, Lens Investments; Heather Langsner, Innovest Strategic Value Advisors; Melissa Brown, Association for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia, Julie Fox Gorte, Vice President, Calvert Funds; Raj Thamotheram, USS (the largest UK higher education pension fund); Vesela Veleva, Citizens Funds; Blaine Aikin, Center for Fiduciary Studies; John Warner, Director, Center for Green Chemistry, University of Massachusetts — Lowell; and Morris Shriftman, Vice President, Avalon Cosmetics.
JOHN WARNER ON THE OPPORTUNITIES OF GREEN CHEMISTRY
An interview by IEHN Counsel Sanford Lewis with John Warner, Director of the Center for Green Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Warner discusses the market opportunities for Green Chemistry, and other advice for investors considering investing in this sector.
INNOVEST REPORT AUTHOR HEATHER LANGSNER: TOXICS AND VALUE
An interview by IEHN Counsel Sanford Lewis with Heather Langsner of Innovest Strategic Value Advisors regarding the impact of European Chemical laws, Walmart and Green Chemistry on value. Visit the Innovest website for a downloadable copy of the February 2007 Innovest report, Cross-Cutting Effects of Chemical Liability from Products, reviewing risks and opportunities regarding product toxicity.