Promoting safe chemicals in personal care products

Shareholder advocacy |

Companies announce plans to reduce consumer exposure to hazardous chemicals

Responding to pressure from consumers and investors, Avon announced in April 2014 that it is phasing out triclosan – a chemical and suspected endocrine disruptor – from all of the company’s beauty and personal care products. Avon no longer uses triclosan in new product development, and the company has begun replacing it in existing products.

Shareholders, including Everence, have supported the adoption of a safe chemicals policy at Avon for several years, through letters to management and shareholder resolutions.

The presence of toxic chemicals in everyday personal care products (such as lipsticks, baby shampoo and beauty salon products) has received significant media coverage, and many companies are under pressure to provide safer alternatives. A number of major product retailers and manufacturers have announced policies to reduce consumer exposure to hazardous chemicals in everyday products. Companies such as Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson – and retailers like Target and Wal-Mart – have all announced policies for reducing customer exposure to certain toxics by phasing out chemicals known or suspected to cause serious health risks. Everence has helped to encourage these corporate actions through investor letters, corporate dialogues and shareholder proposals.