Opportunities in Safer Materials

Companies developing safer chemicals policies can reduce costs, spur innovation, grow market share, and burnish their reputations. Using safer chemicals may allow companies to avoid the added administrative overhead and disposal costs associated with more toxic chemicals subject to government hazardous chemical regulations.

SC Johnson and Son, Inc. has been a pioneer in safer chemicals policies with its patented Greenlist process for systematically reducing the toxicity of its products. While reducing the toxicity of its iconic blue Windex product, it increased the product’s cleaning efficacy by 30 percent and grew sales and market share.

Consorta, Inc., a $4.1 billion health care group purchasing organization (GPO) has noted that non-PVC-based hospital feeding tube systems cost less than PVC-based ones. Their CEO, John Strong, contends that "the myth that cleaner products cost more is just that--a myth."

C&A Floorcoverings successfully competed for a Kaiser-Permanente floor coverings contract requiring PVC-free carpet, and Construction Specialties, Inc. was awarded a contract by Kaiser-Permanente for its low toxicity interior office furnishings. Catholic Healthcare West shifted a five year, $70 million contract from Baxter to Braun Medical Inc. because Braun was able to supply products free of certain toxic chemicals.