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CVS to remove harmful chemicals from house-branded cosmetics

BY Antoinette Alexander

SAN FRANCISCO CVS Caremark has announced that it will remove chemicals linked to adverse health outcomes from its house-branded products and will replace them with safer alternatives. The company will also urge its manufacturing partners to take similar action.

The new cosmetics safety policy, which marks the first cosmetics safety policy to be released by a major U.S. drug store retailer, is part of CVS Caremark’s first Corporate Social Responsibility report, released earlier this week.

The company will continue to evaluate and improve their house-brand products based on emerging science about the links between cosmetic ingredients and health/environmental risks.

The policy follows letters from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to the company and ongoing shareholder resolutions filed by Boston Common Asset Management LLC in 2006 and 2007 and dialogue on cosmetics safety. BCAM carried out its work in collaboration with the Investor Environmental Health Network.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with socially and environmentally conscious companies committed to making and selling safer, healthier products. We strongly support the efforts of CVS Caremark to create and continuously improve its cosmetics safety policy,” stated Lisa Archer, national coordinator of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. “We challenge other retailers to join the race to the top in improving cosmetics safety.”

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a national coalition of health and environmental groups.

The CVS report also highlighted the company’s efforts to increase the placement of products made by companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, a pledge signed by close to 1,000 personal care products companies to replace chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other health harms with safer alternatives.

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AAFES introduces reusable shopping bags to benefit environment

BY Michael Johnsen

DALLAS As part of a continuing effort to be a good steward of the environment, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is introducing reusable bags to military shoppers, AAFES announced recently.

Made of non-woven polypropylene mesh, the bags are now arriving in stores in the United States, with worldwide distribution expected by June.

“Military shoppers continue to express a strong desire for environmentally friendly products,” stated AAFES’ senior vice president of sales Maggie Burgess. “In fact, AAFES has seen Compact Fluorescent Lighting light bulb sales increase by 160 percent in 2008 compared to the same time period last year. With that said, we anticipate exchange customers will enthusiastically embrace AAFES’ new, environmentally friendly shopping bag options.”

The AAFES recycled-reusable bag line, capable of carrying up to 35 pounds, will consist of a small shopping bag and wine bag for $0.99 each, a large shopping bag for $1.49 and a thermal bag is available for $1.99.

In addition to the bags, AAFES is implementing “green initiatives” at exchange facilities across the globe to include ENERGY STAR vending machines, inventive “pollution solutions” in fast food restaurants, CFL options within the stores as well as real estate efforts that focus on energy and water reduction and the incorporation of earth friendly materials into building design.

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Wegmans considers expansion into Massachusetts

BY Michael Johnsen

SYRACUSE, N.Y. According to a weekend report in The Post-Standard, a Syracuse daily, Wegmans is considering the expansion of its grocery business into Westwood, Mass., a Boston suburb.

“We have not yet committed to the project … but it is under consideration,” Jo Natale, director of media relations for Wegmans, told the paper. “At the moment, there are no other sites in Massachusetts under consideration, but if we go forward with this one, we will likely look for others.”

According to the report, the project hinges on whether the grocer can obtain a liquor license.

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