Target and CVS make bold moves toward safer chemicals

Shareholder advocacy |

Latest commitments build on shareholder engagements by Praxis and others

Target and CVS announced significant progress on their safe chemicals policies with the encouragement of Praxis Mutual Funds® and other shareholders.

In an industry-leading step, Target unveiled a new chemicals policy this spring, including date-specific phase-out goals for many “chemicals of concern” and a deep commitment to green chemistry. 

Target’s chemical strategy will be one of the most comprehensive in the U.S. retail industry, including all Target-owned and national brand products and operations. Two examples of chemicals scheduled to be removed from personal care products are phthalates and formaldehyde.

This spring, CVS announced its intention to remove all parabens, phthalates, and formaldehyde donors across nearly 600 beauty and personal care products from its store brand product lines. This commitment builds upon the company’s comprehensive safe chemicals policy, and follows the direction promoted by concerned shareholders.

Through the Praxis Value Index Fund and Praxis Growth Index Fund, Praxis is a shareholder of Target and CVS. We regularly engage with the companies to encourage them toward better practices. 

For many years, Praxis has encouraged manufacturers and retailers to develop safe chemicals policies and products, specifically regarding so-called “chemicals of concern.” These substances – commonly found in personal care products – have been linked to health problems including cancer, infertility, learning disabilities and behavioral problems. While technically legal to use, these health concerns make them a risk to companies that use them.

Chris Meyer, Stewardship Investing Research and Advocacy Manager | Praxis Mutual Funds
Author Chris Meyer
Manager of Stewardship Investing Advocacy and Research


As of July 31, 2017, the Praxis Value Index Fund has invested 0.29 percent of its assets in Target and 1.16 percent of its assets in CVS; the Praxis Growth Index Fund has invested 0.12 percent of its assets in Target. Fund holdings are subject to change. To obtain holdings as of the most previous quarter, visit