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Investors Seek End to ‘Forever’ Chemicals

Investors with US$8 trillion in AUM have called on the world’s largest chemical producers to phase out ‘forever chemicals’, as new annual rankings show the industry is “doing little to halt an emerging global crisis”. The investors – including AXA Investment Managers, Credit Suisse Asset Management, Resona Asset Management and Robeco – asked companies to disclose the volume of hazardous chemicals they produce and demonstrate action to improve their chemicals management by raising their ChemScore rankings. The 47 asset managers which signed the letter to CEOs of the biggest chemical companies, coordinated by Aviva Investors and Storebrand Asset Management, warned of the dangers posed by ‘forever chemicals’ — known as PFAS — that stay in the environment for generations. The investors wrote: “We encourage you to lead, not be led, by phasing out and substituting these chemicals. As investors, we believe that companies’ licence to operate is dependent on the public understanding of risks and impacts”. Sonja Haider, Senior Business and Investor Advisor at ChemSec, the non-profit that compiles ChemScore, said: “The global chemical industry is turning a blind eye to the unfolding chemical pollution crisis. Most companies are taking little or no action to phase out hazardous chemicals despite the risks to public health, the environment and shareholder value.”  

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