Letter grade = D
Total points = 29.5 out of 130

Lowe’s was issued a D grade, scoring 29.5 points. Lowe’s has no public safer chemicals policy. Lowe’s adopted a policy to eliminate phthalates in its flooring by the end of 2015. Lowe’s is the second largest home improvement retailer in the country, and flooring “represented $3.2 billion in sales for Lowe’s last year, or 6% of its $56 billion total revenues.”  Lowe’s actions helped lead to a major ripple effect among other large home improvement and flooring retailers who joined the market shift away from phthalates in flooring.

Opportunities for improvement: Lowe’s should leverage this success by phasing out phthalates in all other vinyl products it sells, develop a written safer chemicals policy, and set public quantifiable goals with clear timelines for reducing and eliminating chemicals of high concern. Lowe’s should become a signatory to the Chemical Footprint Project and pilot it with key private label suppliers. Lowe’s should also pilot the Health Product Declaration with suppliers.

Summary of Lowe’s Grade

oversight

8 out of 15

Oversight: Assigned corporate management responsibility
8 out of 15 points
policy

0 out of 20

Policy: Adopted a retailer safer chemicals policy
0 out of 20 points
disclosure

0 out of 10

Disclosure: Requires suppliers to report use of chemicals in products to retailer
0 out of 10 points
action

5 out of 10

Action: Reduced or eliminated chemicals of high concern within the last three years
5 out of 10 points
safer alternatives

0 out of 10

Safer Alternatives: Evaluates safer alternatives, avoids regrettable substitutes
0 out of 10 points
transparency

1.5 out of 15

Transparency: Demonstrates a commitment to transparency and public disclosure
1.5 out of 15 points
chemical-footprint

0 out of 10

Chemical Footprint: Evaluates its chemical footprint
0 out of 10 points
third-party standards

2.5 out of 10

Third-Party Standards: Promotes credible third party standards for safer products
2.5 out of 10 points

Extra Credit

dialogue

5 out of 5

Dialogue: Engaged in safer chemicals dialogue with the Mind the Store campaign
5 out of 5 points
joint announcement

2.5 out of 5

Joint Announcement: Public commitment demonstrated through joint announcement
2.5 out of 5 points
continuous improvement

0 out of 10

Continuous Improvement: Show continuous improvement by steadily expanding safer chemicals policy
0 out of 10 points
safer products

0 out of 5

Safer Products: Program to promote safer products in stores and/or on website
0 out of 5 points
collaboration

5 out of 5

Collaboration: Actively participates in collaborative process to promote safer chemicals
5 out of 5 points

Letter grade = D

Total points = 29.5 out of 130