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Attention Retailers! Your Shoppers Are Watching

There’s a lot to absorb in the latest “Retailer Report Card” from the Mind The Store Campaign. The second annual report ranks 30 major stores on their policies for controlling toxic chemicals in the products they sell. Consumers who care about safer, healthier products will be interested to read the results. But the biggest take-home lesson for Safer States is this: paying attention can make a real difference.

Last year, the Mind The Store campaign reviewed eleven retailers on their policies. In the course of just one year, seven of those same retailers have made significant progress in their commitments to safer chemicals policies and initiatives.

It may be that the first Retailer Report Card made a difference simply by letting retailers know what consumers expect. Consumers not only care about safe products; they also look to retailers to take responsibility. Consumers expect retailers to ensure the safety of the products they sell, and to use their considerable power to insist on safe formulas from manufacturers and suppliers.

But the partners who make up Safer States also made a difference after the release of the first report. State groups made sure that consumers were aware of the report, and helped people raise their voices together to share their concerns with retailers online, over the phone, and in person.

In Minnesota, Conservation Minnesota and Clean Water Minnesota targeted Target and Best Buy. In Washington, Toxic Free Future took the fight straight to Costco’s annual shareholders meeting. Clean Water Connecticut and Rhode Island led the way in their respective states, making CVS Health aware of consumer demands for safer products. Each one of these companies released new safer chemicals policies or initiatives.

There is far more to be done in order to ensure that everyone has access to safe products. Many of the retailers profiled are failing on all fronts, with no policy at all regarding toxic chemicals. Safer States will continue our work with state advocates until every consumer has a chance to choose safe products.

Read the full report here and the official press release here.

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