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Home Depot Ditches Chemicals, Focuses on Green Goods

Home Depot is following in the footsteps of its big-box competitors like Walmart and Target to “disclose the chemicals in the products they sell and remove them whenever possible,” according to an article by Bloomberg.

This news comes out of the company’s updated environmental policies, included in its 2017 Responsibility Report. The report says that Home Depot is “increasing its protection of High Conservation Value Forests and pulling substances like formaldehyde and lead in several of its categories in an effort to meet demands for greener products,” according to an article by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Home Depot says it is strengthening chemical oversight practices in five product categories, including paint, carpet, vinyl and laminate flooring, as well as insulation. The strategy also includes “commitments to increase the assortment of products that have transparency of product ingredients and third party certification of chemical ingredients,” the company says.

The company says it has “significantly improved” its paints in the past decade, “removing triclosan, lead and formaldehyde from the latex-based wall paint it sells in the U.S. and Canada. It has also eliminated substances such as vinyl chloride and perfluorooctanoic acid from the indoor wall-to-wall carpeting it sells,” according to Bloomberg.

Many home improvement retailers have started implementing these new alternatives, especially after Lumber Liquidators was investigated for selling laminate flooring with higher levels of formaldehyde than permitted by California’s health and safety standards, Hardware Retailing reported in March 2015.

To make the steps necessary to achieve its environmental goals, Home Depot says it is partnering with suppliers like the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council, Healthy Building Network and Cradle to Cradle for guidance.

“We recognize the role we play in the value chain for home improvement products, especially lumber and manufactured goods,” says Ron Jarvis, vice president of environmental innovation for Home Depot, in its news release. “We believe that better transparency is the key to retailers and consumers making better purchasing decisions that will improve our industry’s long-term environmental impact.”

The Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition applauded Home Depot’s changes and urged the company to take next steps, as well as calling out other home improvement retailers to make changes as well, the Atlanta Business Chronicle article says.

“These chemicals pose unacceptable risks to their customers,” says the Safe Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition. “We urge Lowe’s and Ace Hardware to join The Home Depot in developing safer chemical policies to restrict a broader universe of chemicals in building products.”

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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