Mind the Store, a coalition which focuses on tracking toxic chemicals in consumer products, is out today with its third annual ranking of North American retailers. This year, Apple locked in the top position on the list with an A+ grade, an improvement from the A it received last year.
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This year, Apple scored 106.25 points of 135 possible points, which equates to an A+ on the Mind the Store grading scale. The coalition praises Apple’s work manning and updating its Beyond Restricted Substance List, as well as its efforts to “analyze every component in the products it sells.”
Its Regulated Substances Specification applies to private-label and brand-name products, packaging, manufacturing processes, and in-house purchasing. The company has a comprehensive system to ensure compliance, including training on the RSS and on chemicals management more broadly such as through the Apple Environmental Health and Safety Academy.
In 2018 specifically, Mind the Store says Apple added to and strengthened its list restricting the chemicals in products:
In 2018, Apple revised its RSS by adding or strengthening restrictions for a number of chemicals in products, including chemicals on the REACH Candidate List for Substances of Very High Concern (unless pre-approved by Apple), and established “non-use” restrictions for manufacturing process chemicals.
Other notable improvements for Apple over recent years include replacing hazardous cleaning chemicals used in assembly facilities with safety alternatives, the creation of its own Green Chemistry Advisory Board, and use of the GreenScreen Framework and the EPA’s Safer Choice Program.
As for areas of improvement moving forward, Mind the Store says Apple can make additional strides by setting forth “transparent public, quantifiable goals with specific timelines for reducing and eliminating chemicals of concern.”
On Mind the Store’s leading retailer list, Apple is followed by Target, Walmart, Ikea, and Whole Foods, rounding out the top five. Some of the “lagging retailers,” according to the coalition, include Macy’s, Ulta Beauty, Nordstrom, and Panera Bread – all of which received F grades.