Investors call for end to ‘forever chemicals’
Investors with $8 trillion in asset management have called on chemical companies to phase out the production of PFAS ‘forever chemicals. As the annual ‘ChemScore’ reveals most chemical producers are taking little to no action to reduce hazardous chemicals, despite known health and environmental risks.
ChemScore – compiled by ChemSec, an independent non-profit organisation, ranks the world’s largest chemicals producers, with scores based on the company’s environmental impact and action on hazardous chemicals. Of the 54 companies rated, only four have a public strategy that involves phasing out hazardous chemicals from their portfolio.
Investors are demanding that companies crack down on their production of one of the biggest groups of chemicals of concern, PFAS.
PFAS are a family of over 4,700 chemicals that are used in many of the products we use daily, from frying pans to sportswear. Certain PFAS have been linked to several health issues, including the promotion of certain cancers and immune system dysfunction. They are also extremely persistent, which means they do not degrade in our environment.
The investor’s campaign, led by Aviva Investors and Storebrand Asset Management, has the backing of 47 institutional investors with a combined $8 trillion worth of assets. In a letter from the CEOs of Aviva Investors and Storebrand Asset Management they wrote to companies saying “We encourage you to lead, not be led, by phasing out and substituting these chemicals”.
The investors are asking for companies to produce a database on the volume of PFAS produced globally and detail the production volumes of hazardous substances. Their letter comes at a time when awareness of chemical pollution is growing, and research suggest we have passed the planetary boundary for chemical pollution
CHEM Trust and partners ‘Ban PFAS manifesto’ urges the European Commission and EU Member States to ban all PFAS in consumer products by 2025 and across all uses by 2030.
Read more about the PFAS chemicals here