Large industry players have started to follow Johnson & Johnson’s lead to remove chemicals that are linked to adverse health effects from the manufacturing process. There has been a spike in the number of parties targeting efforts around product safety. Over the summer, Walmart banned the use of 10 hazardous chemicals by their suppliers. In early September, Procter and Gamble made a pledge that by 2014 they would eliminate 2 toxic chemicals from their manufacturing process. And in early October, California toxic regulators launched new rules guiding the use of hazardous chemicals for manufacturers within the state.
Why is there such a push towards product safety now?
A new era of regulatory compliance is upon us. The results are clear – science has proven that toxic chemicals are linked to health concerns such as cancer. Consumers are more frequently turning to safer alternative and companies that scream “green” in their manufacturing and marketing. People want to know that the products they consume will not cost them their future. Inherently green companies have an edge. Seventh Generation, for example, has been promoting this cause not only through their products, but through a toxin-reduction initiative and a campaign to change toxin regulation in the US. The company has instilled a message with the public that the safety of the community is their #1 priority. With the era of technology upon us, non-traditionally “green” companies now have an opportunity to step up to the plate by:
- Staying ahead on product safety research in their industry.
- Being aware of all the chemicals that touch their products in the manufacturing process.
- Implementing traceability for a better understanding of where their products go.
- Conducting market research to understand who their products impact.
Companies that comply with regulatory standards will always be one step ahead. We need to proactively raise manufacturing standards to keep up with public expectations.