Rich Liroff is founder and Executive Director of the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN). IEHN encourages companies to eliminate toxic chemicals in their products and supply chains.
Rich Liroff is founder and Executive Director of the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN). IEHN encourages companies to eliminate toxic chemicals in their products and supply chains. IEHN has also led investor efforts to get fracking companies to disclose and reduce the risks from their operations. IEHN investors moved CVS to adopt a pioneering safe cosmetics policy; prompted McDonalds to develop an integrated pest management program for its potato growers, led Whole Foods Market to pioneer elimination of BPA baby bottles and, with NGO partners, prompted Home Depot and Lowes to stop selling plants treated with bee-threatening pesticides. With ICCR and other partners, Liroff led creation of investor risk disclosure guidelines for fracking companies and four annual disclosure scorecards that have led to sizeable increases in corporate disclosures and adoption of best practices. Liroff founded IEHN in 2004 following a successful 25 year career at World Wildlife Fund. He’s published a half dozen books and scores of shorter pieces. He manages and writes “The Right Chemistry” blog at greenbiz.com. He earned a Ph.D in Political Science from Northwestern University and a B.A. in Politics from Brandeis University.
The competing and often strident claims about hydraulic fracturing for natural gas can obscure the real story of the risks involved. As a recent report notes, the chemicals and drilling waste are more hazardous above ground than miles beneath it.
The latest revision of the world's most widely used framework for corporate sustainability reporting provides an opportunity to push for increased disclosure of companies' efforts to reduce their toxic footprints.
U.S. companies should heed European regulatory and advisory bodies' increasing scrutiny of hazardous chemical mixtures. Most initiatives to restrict chemicals in products and supply chains in the past decade can trace their roots to Europe. And increased knowledge of mixture effects means that levels of chemicals once considered safe when viewed in isolation will no longer be deemed so innocent.