This is an abstract from the September edition of The Cornerstone JSFB. Subscribers can read the full article here.

In our daily lives we are constantly exposed to a large number of chemicals, affecting us and our health – without us even realising it.  These chemicals stem from a broad-range of products we use every day; plastic food containers, shower curtains, sunscreens, pesticides, furniture, toys, cosmetics and even the cash receipts or lottery tickets we handle. This daily danger comes with a difficult name – endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs) – or substances that interfere with the hormonal communication between our cells.

There is a strong sense of déjà vu in this debate. As with actions to mitigate climate change, or reduce air pollution in our cities or demands for properly labelling GMOs in our foods, it seems that consumers would want to have much more information and transparency, but also strong policy action in order to achieve healthier and more sustainable lives.  However – largely due to industry standing in the way – policy action is often painfully slow. This same dynamic applies to the slow pace in progress for regulating endocrine disruptor substances. It is therefore this disconnect in demand and supply of sustainable action that creates a great opportunity for forward-looking businesses who can see past the entanglements to greener fields ahead.

Lisa Beauvilain is the Head of Sustainability & ESG at Impax Asset Management. She is responsible for environmental policy and legislation investment research and non-financial ESG analysis.