Chemicals management continues to go mainstream, with sporting goods manufacturer ASICS Corporation and chemical company Stahl joining the growing body of brands, manufacturers and chemical suppliers to achieve bluesign® system partner status.
Adopted by more than 500 leading companies worldwide, the bluesign system is based on an applied practice called Input Stream Management. bluesign works with its partners to eliminate harmful substances right from the beginning of the manufacturing process and sets and controls standards for environmentally conscious and safe textile production. The system ensures that the final products meet very stringent consumer safety requirements and also serves as a reliable indicator of sustainability for consumers.
The bluesign® system will provide ASICS with two valuable tools — the bluefinder and the blueguide. Using the bluefinder, suppliers can access a database of chemicals that have received bluesign approval following a thorough analysis of hazards and risks, enabling them to effectively manage the chemicals they use and ensure sustainability. The blueguide will support ASICS with the selection of sustainable materials by providing access to a database of bluesign-approved fabrics, accessories and trims which are produced with safe chemicals at verified factories. These tools will be applied throughout ASICS’ global supply chain.
“ASICS is determined to further improve the sustainability of our products and supply chain by focusing on sustainable, high quality and safety materials,” said Joji Yoshimoto, General Manager of CSR Sustainability Department at ASICS. “Partnering with bluesign offers us the opportunity to shift our focus from restricting hazardous chemicals towards providing insight into positive chemicals that our suppliers can use. This positive approach is in line with our ambition to collaborate more closely with our suppliers to achieve our common sustainability goals.”
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ASICS expects the bluesign system to play an instrumental role in the achievement of its 2020 goals, which include expanding its supply chain management scope to include Tier 2 suppliers. Joining bluesign allows the company to work towards these goals in an efficient way, focusing on all issues related to Environment, Health and Safety and chemical management in particular. bluesign offers a reliable framework for supplier certification that can ensure EHS issues are managed properly.
The sportswear company joins the likes of Nike and adidas in its pursuit of more sustainable apparel. Nike announced its partnership with bluesign in early 2013 to broaden its supply of sustainable materials and chemistries, while adidas signed on to the system in 2014. Since then adidas has rolled out a number of groundbreaking materials and products, such as performance wear made from upcycled marine plastic waste, which it developed together with environmental organization Parley for the Oceans.
Other bluesign partners include G-Star, which in February committed to creating 100 percent bluesign products in 2017; and EILEEN FISHER, which is using the bluesign system to improve its impact in terms of chemical damage, water and energy consumption. As part of its Vision2020, the brand aims to have 30 percent of its items bluesign-certified.
In addition to ASICS, chemical company Stahl — which specializes in leather- and performance coatings and dyes — has also partnered with bluesign, formalizing its commitment to optimize management systems for environmental performance in five key areas: resource productivity, consumer safety, water emissions, air emissions and occupational health and safety. As a bluesign partner, the company will regularly report its progress in these five areas via on-site audits.
“bluesign® involves the complete textile production process,” said Jill Dumain, CEO of bluesign technologies. “We thoroughly audit the applied components and processes to ensure their compliance to strict limits regarding ecological and toxicological properties and risks. We are pleased to welcome Stahl as a bluesign® system partner. Stahl offers high-quality solutions that are produced in an environmentally cautious and resource-efficient way, combining both economic and ecological advantages to the benefit of everyone involved. They are an example to many chemical companies in the industry.”