The truth is that today’s chemicals legislations are not adapted for a sustainable circular economy, as many hazardous chemicals are unregulated and in widespread use. These chemicals fulfill thousands of different functions in all kinds of everyday household items all around us. And as these items are the very same we recycle and turn into new products in a circular world, it also means we are recycling their toxic contents.

Luckily, a growing number of brands and retailers are realis­ing that, at the moment, legal compliance is neither a good benchmark for corporate chemicals management nor for a circular economy. In order to account for weak legislation and stay away from toxic chemicals in products and supply chains, many companies have internal chemical require­ments that go beyond legal compliance.

The companies featured in this report – Apple, Coop Denmark, H&M, Ikea and Sarp Industries – are perfect examples of this. We are convinced that it is not a coincidence that these com­panies are in many cases market leaders in their respective industry.