CVS Joins Retail Push for Non-toxic Personal Care Products
SAN FRANCISCO — CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS), the nation's largest retail pharmacy chain, with approximately 6,300 stores in 40 states, announced a groundbreaking new cosmetics safety policy as part of its first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, released yesterday.
Responding to consumer and shareholder pressure, the company will remove chemicals linked to adverse health outcomes from its house-branded products and will replace them with safer alternatives. The company will also prompt similar action by its manufacturing partners. The policy further committed the company to continuously evaluating and improving their house-brand products based on emerging science about the links between cosmetic ingredients and health/environmental risks. It was released the day before the company’s annual shareholder meeting, held today in Woonsocket, RI.
This new policy follows letters from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to the company and ongoing shareholder resolutions filed by Boston Common Asset Management (BCAM), LLC in 2006 and 2007 and dialogue on cosmetics safety. BCAM carried out its work in collaboration with the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN).
This is the first cosmetics safety policy to be released by a major drugstore retailer in the United States, and follows closely on the heels of the March announcement by Whole Foods Market of its “Premium Body Care” seal, which is the first private standard for personal care products created by a major retailer in the United States that screens products for safety, efficacy, environmental impact and labeling.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a national coalition of health and environmental groups, praised the new policy of CVS Caremark as an important step toward providing consumers with safer personal care products in the absence of adequate federal protection from toxic chemicals.
“We welcome the opportunity to work with socially and environmentally conscious companies committed to making and selling safer, healthier products. We strongly support the efforts of CVS Caremark to create and continuously improve its cosmetics safety policy,” said Lisa Archer, national coordinator of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. “We challenge other retailers to join the race to the top in improving cosmetics safety.”
The CVS report also highlighted the company’s efforts to increase the placement of products made by companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, a pledge signed by close to 1,000 personal care products companies to replace chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other health harms with safer alternatives.
For more information on the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Compact for Safe Cosmetics visit: www.SafeCosmetics.org.
For more information on the work of Boston Common Asset Management with CVS, please contact Lauren Compere, Director of Shareholder Advocacy, at (617) 335-9764; firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Investor Environmental Health Network, visit www.iehn.org.
Download the full CVS Caremark Corporate Social Responsibility Report with their new Cosmetics Safety Policy here: http://www.csrwire.com/csr/reports/1210039557_CVS_Caremark_CSR.pdf.
Founding members of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics include: Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow, Breast Cancer Fund, Clean Water Fund, Commonweal, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, National Black Environmental Justice Network, National Environmental Trust and Women's Voices for the Earth.