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Green Chemistry

Safer Chemistry Impact Fund launches to eliminate industry’s use of hazardous chemicals

The fund aims to raise $15 million over 5 years to support switch to safer alternatives

by Krystal Vasquez
February 29, 2024 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 102, Issue 7

Muliple laptops lined up on display.
Credit: Shutterstock
The Safer Chemistry Impact Fund aims to target industry sectors such as consumer electronics.

A new fund has launched with the goal of eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals in industry. Over the next 5 years, the Safer Chemistry Impact Fund aims to raise $15 million to accelerate the transition to safer alternatives.

The effort is fiscally sponsored by the Windward Fund, a nonprofit that incubates and hosts initiatives that pursue solutions to environmental challenges. The Safer Chemistry Impact fund received seed money from Apple and Google.

The fund’s creation was driven by the idea that “the transition from hazardous chemicals to safer alternatives is going to be a disruptor of supply chains,” says Stacy Glass, executive director of ChemForward, a nonprofit that collects chemical hazard data that will help support the fund. But the fund sees the switch as necessary because of the harmful effects such compounds have on people and the environment.

The Safer Chemistry Impact Fund wants to ease this supply chain disruption by establishing a trusted data source for chemical hazard assessments. It also plans to create programs that can help finance the transition from hazardous chemicals to safer options.“Safer alternatives exist in many cases, but there are big switching costs,” Glass says. “It’s hard to get the finance needed to actually make that shift.”

Other initiatives have tried to move specific industries away from using hazardous chemicals. For instance, the US Environmental Protection Agency created the Safer Choice program that “helps consumers, business, and purchasers find products that perform and contain ingredients that are safer for human health and the environment,” according to the EPA’s website. It focuses on cleaning products.Similarly, a group of beauty retailers joined the Know Better, Do Bettercollaboration last year with the goal of increasing transparency about ingredients used in personal care products. The effort was organized by ChemForward.


The personal care program “was really a proof point for the Safer Chemistry Impact Fund” and served as an example of what could be accomplished, Glass says.

The new fund builds on those ideas by targeting more industries. “The goal is to influence six consumer-facing supply chains in the next 5 years,” including auto, electronics, and apparel, Glass says.


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