Costco products are a staple in congregational life. Affordable housewares help furnish houses of worship, bulk-sized cleaning products keep supply closets full, and a wide selection of organic food provides for many a church potluck and parish coffee hour.
Although known as a responsible Northwest company, you may be as shocked as we are to learn that Costco is failing to announce a public policy to reduce toxic chemicals in products they sell. In a recent report evaluating some of the largest retailers on their efforts to reduce the use of harmful chemicals in products sold in their stores, Washington state-based company Costco received the lowest letter grade “F”. In comparison, Target and Wal-Mart both received “B’s”.
People of faith know that we have an ethical obligation to protect present and future generations from toxic contamination in our homes, in our food, and in the products we use every day. We want Costco to reflect our faith values that call us to care for each other and the planet in a way that brings about justice for all of God’s children.
It is far past time for Costco to “mind the store” and announce a safe chemicals policy with clear public timelines and benchmarks. If you are a Costco member, we need your help!
Please complete the comment form below to share your concerns about Costco’s continued failure to announce a public safe chemicals policy. Be sure to include why you care as a person of faith! Earth Ministry will compile and deliver your comments to show that religious communities are asking that Costco mind the store in a way that exemplifies true Northwest values.
Update: Since the Mind the Store retailer report card was published, Costco recently updated its website describing the development and implementation of a Costco Restricted Chemical List (RSL) and Smart Screening Program for toxic chemicals. This is a step in the right direction, but not enough to meet rising consumer demand for transparency and safer products. Costco’s customers want to see a concrete commitment from the company to reduce toxic chemicals in products it sells. We hope Costco will take the next step by announcing a robust safer chemicals policy with clear benchmarks and timeframes to reduce and eliminate toxic chemicals in products they sell.