15 Jun

Retail Council of NYS & Advocates Announce Unprecedented Agreement

Retail Council of New York State and Advocates Announce Unprecedented Agreement on Path to Passage of Child Safe Products Act

June 15, 2015
Contact:
Cathy Rought cathy.rought@berlinrosen.com 202-263-9097
Jordan Levine jlevine@nylcv.org 917-392-8965

All eyes on Senate, Assembly, Governor to move bill across finish line

ALBANY, NY – In an unprecedented agreement, The Retail Council of New York State and advocates endorsed language to amend the Child Safe Products Act (CSPA). With those amendments, advocates and retailers stand united in their call for the bill’s passage.

Ted Potrikus, President and CEO of the Retail Council of New York State, issued the following statement announcing the association’s support:

“Governor Cuomo, the Assembly, and the Senate all made the Child Safe Products Act a priority for the 2015 session. Their leadership spurred a constructive, candid, and honest discussion between the retailers selling these products and the health and environmental advocates looking for clear guidelines on what can be sold in New York stores.

I’m pleased that our discussions have led to what we think is the strongest product safety bill in the nation.  We think it reflects the priorities we’ve heard from Governor Cuomo and state legislature, from advocates, and from the people who shop in our stores, as well as the practical considerations we needed to ensure an effective, statewide application of a single standard.

“We thank our friends in the environmental and health advocacy communities for participating so vigorously in these conversations, and we thank Governor Cuomo, Chairman Englebright, and Senator Boyle for setting the tone and recognizing the seriousness of the issue.  We hope that they’ll agree to a final product that lets all of us move forward on an issue that means so much to so many people across New York State.”

This endorsement furthers evidences the momentum of the bill after Senator Phil Boyle acknowledged “we are close” on bill negotiations.

“With so much hard work by so many it would be a downright shame if our leaders dropped the ball.  New York’s kids are depending on us and we can’t let them down,” said Kathy Curtis, Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York.

“The advocates have worked hard with those who have opposed this bill in the past to find a way to come together for the good of the kids of New York State. Now, what we need is leadership from the Governor, the Senate and the Legislature to close the deal to protect millions of New York State’s kids from the chemicals that can harm their health.  Don’t let them down,” said Cecil Corbin-Mark, Deputy Director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice.

“This agreement is the result of a good old fashioned compromise. We commend the Retail Council for joining us in putting our differences aside to reach a fair and reasonable deal,” said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Collectively we are sending a clear message: statewide action is in the best interests of business, children, and the environment. Now it is up to the Governor, Senate, and Assembly to make sure this plan becomes law.

We applaud the Retail Council of New York State’s leadership in standing up for our kids,” offered Ashley Orgain, Manager of Mission Advocacy and Outreach for Seventh Generation. “Seventh Generation has shown time and time again that you can be profitable AND operate in the best interest of the public. We look forward to the Senate’s vote on this crucial piece of information.”

“We are pleased with the new language in this bill. It achieves the twin goals of protecting New York’s children and enabling New York business to compete in the global economy,” said Laura Ornstein, coordinator of the New York State Sustainable Business Council, an alliance of business organizations and businesses advancing a sustainable economy in New York State. “Now the bill is set to provide the market clarity that businesses are calling for as well as accelerate the transition to the safer marketplace that consumers are demanding.”

“As a mom, its so refreshing to see industry and advocates working together on this issue – it’s common sense – we don’t want toxic chemicals in products meant for children. The message is loud and clear from New Yorkers across the state, we want passage of the Child Safe Product Act, and we are not waiting till next year, next session, or next week, we want it today,” said Renee Scholz, Moms for Non-Toxic NY.

“Moms Clean Air Force applauds the broad support for the Child Safe Products Act”, states Trisha Sheehan, Regional Field Manager for Moms Clean Air Force. “Toxic chemicals have no place in children’s products and we thank the Retail Council of New York State for working to find a path forward for the Child Safe Products Act. We are urging our Senate, Assembly, and Governor to now make this bill a law.”

“Toxic chemicals have no business in children’s products like toys, clothing, or car seats,” said Elie Ward, Director of Policy & Advocacy for NYS American Academy of Pediatrics. “Yet product makers have reported more than 5,000 types of children’s products that contain dangerous chemicals. New York must act now to protect our children’s health with a comprehensive approach, modeled after effective policies in other states and countries, she continued.”

“Advocates and retailers have worked hard to come together to craft legislation to  protect children’s health in New York.  Now the question is will the NY Senate & Assembly work together to pass this legislation?” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, “A primary role of government is to protect public health, even when it’s inconvenient to industry.  It is past time that our elected officials make protecting children from toxic exposure a priority.”

“The Child Safe Products Act will help ensure the safety of New York’s pregnant women, infants and young children by limiting their exposure to certain toxic chemicals which are known to have a negative impact on the health and well-being of these highly vulnerable populations”, said Frank DeMeo, Director of March of Dimes New York Chapter. “March of Dimes is grateful to the many advocates and legislators who have worked together to advance this critical mission.”

06 May

NY Businesses Launch Companies for Safer Chemicals NY Campaign

For Planning Purposes: Monday, May 4, 2015
Contact: Cathy Rought, cathy.rought@berlinrosen.com, 646-200-5287

 New York Businesses Launch Companies for Safer Chemicals NY Campaign 

Group Releases Report on Positive Market Potential for Safe Chemicals

Campaign Demonstrates Business Support for Chemical Safety Reform by Endorsing Child Safe Products Act

Albany, NY—Top New York Businesses announced at the Albany Business Summit  the launch of Companies for Safer Chemicals New York (CSCNY), a coalition of enterprises and brands headquartered and/or doing business in New York State committed to advancing a safer, non-toxic marketplace. Members of the coalition include Seventh Generation, Eileen Fisher, the New York State Sustainable Business Council (NYSSBC), Ecovative, Re>Think LocalTidy Tots, Staach, Hawthorne Valley Association and others.

As part of its formation, the coalition presented Making the Business & Economic Case for Safer Chemistry,a report that explores the use of safer chemicals, and its potential for creating business and economic value. To further support the report’s findings, CSCNY officially endorsed S.4102, the Child Safe Products Act (CSPA),New York’s recently reintroduced legislation that would increase transparency, safety & innovation of non-toxic alternatives for businesses.

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3) partnered with Trucost to evaluate the potential of “safer chemistry”—which can include reducing the use and generation of hazardous substances, reducing the human health and environmental impacts of processes and products, and creating safer products. The research included interviews with 17 industry experts, as well as a review of literature and available data on the business and economic opportunities achievable through safer chemistry and the business and economic value at risk from not adopting safer chemistry.

In the coalition’s report, researchers found that safer chemistry’s potential in businesses is promising, but not yet fully realized. Customers are conveying positive signals to brands, manufacturers, formulators and chemical companies to use safe chemicals in their products. Those actions are being taken, but these changes are limited–mostly reactionary, not proactive, and situational, not comprehensive.

Based on the research findings, the CSCNY makes the following recommendations:

  1. Businesses that have not yet evaluated their individual business case for safer chemistry within their specific product portfolio and market segment are strongly encouraged to do so, given the potential for revenue growth and business value at risk.
  2. Safer chemistry metrics that relate to business and economic opportunity (and risk) should be tracked and communicated, to help spur business understanding of safer chemistry and public policy mechanisms for data disclosure.
  3. The total societal benefits associated with the addressable market for safer chemistry should be quantified and communicated to policy makers and investors.
  4. Existing safer chemistry initiatives should be catalyzed, harmonized and aligned through a value chain approach and used to leverage capital flows toward safer chemistry innovation.
  5. Stakeholders should work toward a common understanding and communicate with better clarify on the specific aspects of safer chemistry that they are addressing, since the topic can encompass many different production aspects and product attributes.
  6. Priorities for filling data gaps should include gathering more specific market research to quantify the potential for job growth and revenue opportunity for safer chemistry (as more narrowly defined), more specifically by product segment and industry vertical.

Currently, adequate hazard information is not available to make responsible product selection decisions. If CSPA passes the state senate, it would require the state to publish a list of high-concern chemicals, prioritize chemicals used in children’s products, require children’s product makers to first report their use, and then to stop using them.  Without its passage, thousands of products will likely continue to contain these toxic chemicals, putting the next generation at risk for conditions like kidney damage, bone fragility and cancer.

“Seventh Generation is joining other leading companies to squash the idea that comprehensive chemical reform would hamper business in New York. Our company is living proof that you can be profitable without compromising health and the environment,” said Ashley Orgain, Manager of Mission Advocacy & Outreach, Seventh Generation. “As businesses, we are tasked with meeting consumer demand – and consumers are demanding non-toxic products. Passing the Child Safe Products Act will make it easier for businesses to navigate the shifting market.”

“Businesses from Rochester, Binghamton, New York City and the Hudson Valley are joining together to send a clear message to Albanyit’s time to step in where the federal system for regulating chemicals has failed,” said Laura Ornstein, Coordinator, New York State Sustainable Business Council. “Rather than waiting for Congress to solve this problem, New York must take the lead and pass chemical safety reform legislation that promotes transparency, safety and innovation of alternatives.”

“When taking into account the aggregate economics on the upside of market and job growth, investment for innovation along with the downside cost of hazardous chemical compliance, lawsuits and remediation, it becomes clear – transitioning to safer chemicals makes good business sense,” said David Levine, CEO, American Sustainable Business Council. “For many, this isn’t new.  More and more companies have recognized that they can meet consumer demand and improve their financial bottom line by providing safer products. The NYS government should lead the way by making transparent chemical content and eliminating the more hazardous chemicals from our products and driving business growth and job creation.”

“This is not just a moral imperative, but one that directly impacts the success of our business; our clients are consistently calling for the elimination of toxic chemicals in the supply chain and greater transparency in product information,” said Anne Sherman, Director of Sustainability, Staach Inc. based in Rochester, NY. “Since my company’s inception in 2006 we have sought to create products that are safe for the environment and our communities, but without public policy that requires disclosure throughout the supply chain, it can be very challenging to obtain specific ingredient information from suppliers to guarantee the safety of our products. The Child Safe Products Act is a great step forward to create market clarity and allow New York businesses to make more informed choices to protecting the health of our business and workers, as well as the general public.”

“At Ecovative, we are committed to working with industry and consumers to rid the world of toxic, unsustainable materials. We’re proud to join with other forward-thinking companies today at our State Capitol to demonstrate support for safer chemicals and smart regulations,” said Gordon MacPherson, Business Development Manager of Ecovative. “Our business is a testimony to the ability of creating safer materials without compromising public health or the environment.”

“Throughout all of Hawthorne Valley Association’s endeavors we are ardently aware of the ecological, health and economic impacts of chemicals,” said Martin Ping, Executive Director, Hawthorne Valley Association based in Ghent, NY. “Consumers are increasingly asking where something was made or grown, what ingredients it contains, and if it is safe.  Making this information available throughout the supply chain will increase confidence and trust among consumers, employees, communities, and investors.”

The Albany Business Summit, hosted by the New York State Sustainable Business Council, is a day when like-minded business leaders from across the state get the opportunity to join forces and exchange ideas with state legislators on how to grow a more sustainable economy in New York State.

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About the Companies for Safer Chemicals NY Campaign
Coordinated by the American Sustainable Business Council and New York State Sustainable Business Council, Companies for Safer Chemicals New York is a campaign that represents approximately 1200 enterprises and brands headquartered and/or doing business in New York State committed to advancing a safer, non-toxic marketplace.

Learn More About The Coalition Here.

02 Mar

Business Leaders See Economic Opportunity from NYS Bipartisan Bill to Protect Children from Toxic Chemicals

For Immediate Release: Monday March 2, 2015
Contact: Bob Keener, bkeener@asbcouncil.org, (617) 610-6766

 Business Leaders See Economic Opportunity from NYS Bipartisan Bill to Protect Children from Toxic Chemicals

ALBANY, NY— Today, Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) and Assembly Member Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) announced the reintroduction of the Child Safe Products Act, which would empower New York State legislators and the Department of Environmental Conservation to phase out dangerous chemicals in products marketed to children in the state. Current federal regulations are inadequate because they have not been updated since 1976, and New York State does not have comprehensive legislation to protect children.

Business leaders from across the state and country responded positively to this proposed legislation.

“From Troy, Ithaca, NYC and Long Island, businesses leaders will reap significant benefits from the Child Safe Products Act. This bill provides the kind of transparency and market clarity that our businesses need and will lead to even greater innovation by businesses in NYS,” said Laura Ornstein, Coordinator for the New York State Sustainable Business Council.

“It is more than possible for companies to produce safer products,” said John Replogle, CEO for Seventh Generation, which is based in Vermont, but sells throughout New York State. “Our mission is to nurture the health of the next seven generations, and with the introduction, and hopefully the passing of CSPA, we can see our mission through on behalf of New York’s children.”

“More and more businesses across the country are recognizing that they can meet consumer demand for safer products that will improve their financial bottom line and improve the economy,” said David Levine, CEO, American Sustainable Business Council. “With this legislation, NYS companies can help lead the way by eliminating more hazardous chemicals from our products while driving business growth and job creation.”

“Sadly because of the lack of good legislation, information surrounding chemicals is murky, and customers are left to fend for themselves.  Green Depot developed our own C.L.E.A.R. criteria for evaluating the safety of products. Until there is more transparency regarding chemicals safety, which we hope this legislation will provide, it is an uphill battle for responsible businesses, like Green Depot to forge,” said Sarah Beatty, Founder, Green Depot, based in New York City.  

“At Ecovative, we are committed to working with industry, consumers and government to rid the world of environmentally damaging and unsustainable materials. This commitment to safer products is at the core of our business and we are proud to leverage natural technology to bring our products to market, both within our community in Troy, NY, and around the US,” said Gavin McIntyre, Co-founder & Chief Scientist, Ecovative. “This action by responsible NYS legislators is an important step forward.”

“Tidy Tots Diapers is devoted to providing a safer, cleaner and healthier environment for our children to live in,” said Sandra Beck, Founder & Owner, Tidy Tots Diapers, based in Rensselaer, NY. “The Child Safe Products Act drives the marketplace towards safer solutions and helps restore consumer confidence. It will support companies like mine that produce safer products, as well as help many other businesses to take a more responsible path.”

The American Sustainable Business Council and the ASBC Action Fund represent organization members that span more than 200,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors. The Council www.asbcouncil.org informs policy makers, business owners and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy. The Action Fund www.asbcaction.org advocates for legislative change.

The New York State Sustainable Business Council www. nyssbc.org is an emerging alliance of business organizations and businesses committed to advancing a vibrant, just, and sustainable economy in New York State. The organization promotes practical strategies and policies that build strong local economies, incentivize investment and innovation in clean technologies and alternative energy sources, and advance the development of sustainable communities

 

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07 Jan

Parents, Advocates Laud Signing of “Toxic-Free Toys Act” into Law

 

JGP logo

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 7, 2015
CONTACT:Ruth Foster, CHNY, 518-641-1552 x1

Parents, Advocates Laud Signing of “Toxic-Free Toys Act” into Law

Historic action by Albany County will protect children’s health

(Albany) Today, County Executive, Daniel McCoy stood with parents and children by signing the Toxic Free Toys Act, Local Law “J” into law in Albany County.  The bill bans the sale of seven toxic chemicals in children’s products.  Less than two months after a major report, Toxic Toys in Albany County, found dangerous chemicals in children’s toys and products in Albany County, the County Legislature and County Executive Dan McCoy have enacted legislation to protect our children from the most hazardous chemicals known to cause cancer, reproductive disorders, autism, and learning disabilities.

“We applaud the Albany County Legislature for passing Local Law “J”, and County Executive McCoy for signing it into law,” said Kathy Curtis, executive director of Clean and Healthy New York. “This brings us one step closer to the day when all products are safe for kids.”

“Protecting children is one of government’s most vital tasks. Today, Albany County took a bold step in that direction by signing the Toxic Free Toy Act into law,” said Albany County Legislator Bryan M. Clenahan.  “I am very proud to have sponsored this bill and very proud to have worked with so many amazing advocates and citizens to make it law.  Thank you to the County Executive and my Legislative colleagues on both sides of the aisle.  Albany County has taken the lead on this important issue – let’s hope that other localities and the State Legislature follow our example.”

“Thank you County Executive McCoy and the Albany County legislature for enacting the Toxic-Free Toy Act, and to Legislator Bryan Clenahan for championing the issue of toxicity in children’s products,” said NYS Sustainable Business Council coordinator Laura Ornstein. “In the absence of meaningful action at the federal and state levels, Albany County residents are fortunate to have leaders unwilling to allow worker and children’s health be collateral to business-as-usual.”

“Kudos to County Executive McCoy for brushing aside the self-interested chemical industry blather and standing with parents and kids to promote child health,” said NYPIRG Counsel Russ Haven. “This is good policy and smart politics and it will make the world safer for children.”

“By signing into law this common sense legislation, County Executive McCoy has demonstrated he is a leader where federal and state governments have failed to act,” said Caitlin Pixley, Conservation Associate at Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. “This smart policy protects the health and well-being of the children of Albany County and creates momentum for similar legislation to pass throughout New York State.”

“We owe it to our children to protect them from known toxins. Thank you County Executive McCoy for doing the right thing,” Francesca Sommer Executive Director, Learning Disabilities Association of New York State.

“We are thrilled that County Executive McCoy signed this bill into law to protect kids from toxic chemicals,” said Christopher Goeken, Director of Public Policy for the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Parents won’t have to worry about mercury, lead and arsenic in the toys they buy for their kids.”

“We’re thrilled Albany County Executive McCoy took the bold step of signing the county legislator Clenahan’s Toxic Free Toys Act into law. Albany will be a leader in keeping children and families safe from chemicals that are known to cause harm” said Saima Anjam of Environmental Advocates of New York.

“We applaud County Executive McCoy for this step to protect the County’s children from harmful chemicals that have no place in their toys,” said Ansje Miller of Center for Environmental Health. “Albany County today is leading the way towards safer products for children and families across New York and ultimately nationwide. All businesses should know that consumers want safer, sustainable products for their children, families and homes.”

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The JustGreen Partnership is a collaboration of over 50 organizations working for New York’s people and communities.  Learn more: www.just-green.org

18 Dec

Businesses to NY’s Fracking Ban: Yes!

Contact Info:
Laura Ornstein
NYSSBC
laura@nyssbc.org
(845)765-1145

For Immediate Release:
December 17, 2014

Addresses the Threat to Business from Climate Change and Builds the Market for Renewable Energy

NEW YORK, NY (December 17, 2014) – In response to a decision by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to ban fracking in the state, the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), which represents more than 200,000 businesses nationwide, and the New York State Sustainable Business Council (NYSSBC) today released statements praising the action.

“By protecting New York’s soil, air, water and communities from fracking, Governor Cuomo is laying the groundwork for the flowering of New York’s food, beverage, outdoor recreation and tourism economy, and we thank him,” said Hilary Baum, director of Chefs for the Marcellus, a founding member of NYSSBC.

Business leaders from around the state have voiced concerns about fracking’s impacts on their livelihoods. Over the last few years, nearly 2,000 businesses have called on Governor Cuomo to issue a statewide ban by signing petitions from Businesses Against Fracking New York and Chefs for the Marcellus. Before today’s announcement, NYSSBC, Businesses Against Fracking New York and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) New York delivered a letter to the governor urging him to reject fracking and instead promote alternative strategies to meet New York’s energy and economic needs.

“Governor Cuomo’s decision is the right one for business, and we applaud his action on this important issue,” said David Levine, CEO of ASBC. “Fracking undermines businesses in a range of sectors from agriculture to tourism and stunts our overall economic growth. Today’s action will allow the state and our businesses to move toward clean, renewable energy, which delivers more and better jobs than equivalent fossil fuel projects and is healthier for our communities and economy.”

The organizations recently published a report showing strong business and economic reasons for rethinking fracking, including a lack of complete scientific analysis, potential degradation of water, air and soil, exacerbation of climate change, and links to an economic boom and bust cycle.

The New York State Sustainable Business Council (NYSSBC) http://nyssbc.org/ is an alliance of business organizations and businesses committed to advancing a vibrant, just, and sustainable economy in the state. The organization will promote strategies and policies designed to build strong local economies, prioritize investment and innovation in clean technologies from green chemistry to renewable energy sources, and advance the development of sustainable communities in New York State.

The American Sustainable Business Council and the ASBC Action Fund represent a membership network of more than 200,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors. The Council www.asbcouncil.org informs policy makers, business owners and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy. The Action Fund www.asbcaction.org advocates for legislative change.