Are Your Favorite Retailers Taking Action on Toxics?

Important to know from the website Mind The Store.

In our second annual report card on toxic chemicals in consumer products, the Mind the Store Campaign found that one-third of 30 major U.S. retailers are leaders, but two-thirds are seriously lagging behind. Find out how the stores where you shop are (or are not) tackling toxic chemicals in everyday products. Click on any of the logos below to learn more about each company, read our report, and raise your voice as a consumer!

Wal-Mart Stores (Walmart and Sam’s Club) earned a grade of A-, improving from a B+ in 2016, and scoring 87.5 out of 135 possible points, the 2nd highest score of any retailer evaluated. In 2017, the company made significant progress in both implementing and expanding their chemical policy, which includes a greater focus on the larger list of 2,700 chemicals, which grew by adding two new authoritative lists of fragrance chemicals of concern. Most recently, Walmart stated a new goal: by “2022, Walmart aims to reduce its consumables chemical footprint for Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. stores by 10 percent” which translates to a reduction of toxic chemicals of 55 million pounds. Since 2014, Walmart has reduced the use of “High Priority” chemicals by 96% by weight. The company states that: “All suppliers are expected to reduce, restrict and eliminate use of priority chemicals using informed substitution principles.” The policy applies to cleaning products, cosmetics and personal care products, infant products, and pet supplies, covering approximately 90,000 products and 700 suppliers. The company’s Implementation Guide provides comprehensive guidance to suppliers on how they should work with Walmart to implement the policy. In October 2016, Walmart unveiled its “Sustainable Packaging Playbook,” which also encourages suppliers to identify, restrict, and remove its priority chemicals from packaging, while avoiding polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl) plastic in packaging.

Opportunities for improvement: Walmart can continue to improve its safer chemicals program by setting a more ambitious Chemical Footprint reduction goal going beyond 10%, expanding the policy to include key chemically intensive product categories such as apparel, electronics, and furniture, piloting the Chemical Footprint Project with key private label suppliers, and reducing priority chemicals in use by Sam’s Club, which grew 13% by weight since 2014.