Increased use of virgin materials and low recycling levels show that a circular economy is far from being realised. The presence of chemicals of concern in materials is an important reason for this. Mechanical recycling will remain the main recycling technology for the foreseeable future, which makes establish ing nontoxic waste streams the key to scaling up the circular economy.
The Chemical Footprint Project’s second annual report reveals chemical footprinting moves to the mainstream. A diversity of companies across sectors, sizes, and the globe participated in the 2017 Report – demonstrating its relevance and application to a broad array of companies that sell and/or manufacture apparel and footwear, building products and furnishings, packaging, medical devices, household and personal care products, toys, and electronics. Participating companies had annual revenues totaling over $670 billion.
A select group of 24 leading-edge businesses both small (millions in annual revenue) and large (tens of billions in annual revenue) stepped forward to participate in the Chemical Footprint Project and to receive a score on their corporate chemicals management practices. Participants included: Levi Strauss & Co.; Seagate Technology, PLC; Johnson & Johnson; GOJO Industries; Becton, Dickinson and Company; Beautycounter; and California Baby, among others.
This report analyzes participants’ responses to a 20-question survey regarding chemicals management across four categories: Management Strategy, Chemical Inventory, Footprint Measurement, and Disclosure & Verification.
Policy makers need to take a broad approach in their assessments of whether to regulate a chemical or not. Since the ultimate aim is to protect human health and environment, while stimulating economic growth at the same time, one must include the costs and benefits for all involved parties. Failing to do so will cause regulation to misfire and favour laggards instead of frontrunners, as well as create barriers to innovation and weakened protection for the environment.
Disfavouring companies that produce or use alternatives restricts EU innovation potential.
Companies and trade organisations frequently tell politicians that stricter environmental legislation would harm the economy significantly – but such claims have repeatedly been proven wrong. This is shown in the ChemSec report Cry wolf.
Dialogue for sustainable business.