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And just like that ... Chemours is removed from Newsweek's 2022 'Most Responsible Companies' list


Chemours has been removed from Newsweek’s 2022 list of the most responsible companies in the United States, just days after the list was publicized. Local environmentalists, government agencies, and residents all expressed their frustration at the company's inclusion on the annual list.

Last week, when Newsweek releasedthe annual list, the inclusion of the Fayetteville-based producer of GenX sparked the ire of environmentalists and local government officials.

Fueling the frustration was that, according to Newsweek’s own methodology, which it published online, a pre-screening process for the award was supposed to filter out any company involved in major lawsuits or scandals. Chemours is facing hundreds of lawsuits in North Carolina for decades of PFAS pollution.

CFPUA Executive Director Kenneth Waldroup called for Chemours to be removed from the list in a letter to Newsweek Global Editor in Chief Nancy Cooper on Friday. On Tuesday, he gave credit to local organizations and residents who expressed their concern.

"CFPUA is grateful to Newsweek for promptly considering and acting upon the facts we and others in our community provided regarding Chemours’ erroneous inclusion in the magazine’s 2022 list of America’s Most Responsible Companies. And, to be sure, credit for Chemours’ removal from the list goes to the many individuals and organizations who expressed concern about this," Waldroup wrote in a statement.

"Being a truly 'responsible' company isn’t about corporate reports and PR campaigns. It is about consistently doing what’s right, even when you don’t have to. For Chemours, that means living by its stated corporate values by doing what is right for customers, colleagues, and communities 'always.' That includes taking responsibility and paying for the harm its actions have caused, both at its industrial site near Fayetteville and downstream, where communities such as ours are spending tens of millions of dollars to address Chemours’ persistent PFAS pollution. I sincerely hope that Chemours can someday meet Newsweek’s criteria and be listed among America’s Most Responsible Companies," he said.

Neither Newsweek or Statista, the database company which compiles the list for the news magazine, have responded to requests for comment on why Chemours was chosen for – or removed from – the list. As of Tuesday evening, Chemours still had a press release touting the award on its website.

Ben Schachtman is a journalist and editor with a focus on local government accountability. He began reporting for Port City Daily in the Wilmington area in 2016 and took over as managing editor there in 2018. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and later received his MA from NYU and his PhD from SUNY-Stony Brook, both in English Literature.