Yesterday evening ChemSec was awarded the CFA Sweden ESG Award for its work to spread awareness about PFAS chemicals in the financial sector.
To address the global health and environmental crises related to the use of harmful substances such as PFAS, ChemSec launched the Investors Initiative on Hazardous Chemicals (IIHC). The initiative is now joined by over fifty institutional investors and their representatives with over US$11 trillion of assets under management. The Investor Initiative on Hazardous Chemicals (IIHC) encourages chemical companies to increase transparency and stop producing “forever chemicals”.
Investors Initiative on Hazardous Chemicals (IIHC)
“The transition from hazardous chemicals to safer alternatives could be one of the next big disruptors of the global economy as it affects every single industry and supply chain in the world. The transition will put significant regulatory, legal and reputational pressures on chemical companies unable or unwilling to reduce their toxic footprint”, says Anne-Sofie Bäckar, Executive Director at ChemSec.
During the last six months, the industry pressure from the investor-led coalition IIHC has been covered by the Financial Times and the Guardian, among others. Late last year, Reuters reported that one of the biggest PFAS producers in the world, the US company 3M, announced it would stop manufacturing PFAS. The company cited changing stakeholder expectations as a reason behind the move in a statement.
The transition from hazardous chemicals to safer alternatives could be one of the next big disruptors of the global economyAnne-Sofie Bäckar, Executive Director at ChemSec
“We have reached significant goals when engaging with several companies during the past year and are looking forward to continuing the movement to push the chemical sector in a more sustainable direction as part of the Investor Initiative on Hazardous Chemicals”, says Victoria Lidén, Senior Sustainability Analyst at Storebrand Asset Management.
What are PFAS?
PFAS are a class of about 12,000 compounds typically used to make products resist water, stains and heat. They are called “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down and are linked to cancer, kidney disease, liver problems, immune disorders, birth defects and other serious health issues.
Sweden-based ChemSec – the International Chemical Secretariat – is an independent non-profit organisation that advocates for substitution of toxic chemicals to safer alternatives. Founded in 2002, ChemSec engages the work of chemists, political scientists, business experts and communicators, among others.
About CFA Society Sweden
CFA Society Sweden is a not-for-profit organisation of investment professionals based in Sweden, founded in 2003. It aims to promote a high level of professionalism among its members and the broader investment community. Every year CFA Society Sweden, through the “CFA Sweden ESG Award,” recognises an individual, organisation or group that has raised awareness of the importance of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) considerations in the investment process.