In October 2015, Praxis Mutual Funds® participated in an investor inquiry letter to CVS Pharmacy about the company’s progress on chemical safety.
Several years ago, CVS adopted a first-in-the-industry safe chemicals policy, stemming from discussions with shareholders, including Praxis. Since then, CVS has led the way in identifying and removing chemicals of concern from its products. Although chemicals of concern are not illegal, various studies have shown them to be potentially carcinogenic or otherwise harmful. According to its 2014 report, CVS made plans to remove certain priority ingredients – such as triclosan, microbeads and formaldehyde – that went beyond existing or pending regulations.
Other retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target are now following suit and launching their own safe chemicals programs. This is good news for consumers looking for safer personal care products, and it will help move the industry toward greater safety and sustainability. It also means CVS has the opportunity to build on its past leadership.
The investor letter hopes to spur more conversation with CVS and encourage the retailer to support broader efforts such as the Chemical Footprint Project, the Principles for Safer Chemicals, and the requests of the Mind the Store campaign.