Nike, Levi Strauss, H&M and several other members of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group have committed to publishing a list of chemicals targeted for phase out or research by 2015 as part of a plan to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their supply chains by 2020.
The second version of the ZDHC Group’s Joint Roadmap defines a path for achieving a new standard of environmental performance for the global apparel and footwear industry and outlines 2015 milestones and 2020 goals.
The Roadmap sets a new plan that incorporates and reflects comments received from a wide range of stakeholders, including textile industry suppliers and associations, government agencies in Asia, Europe and the United States, NGOs, international development organizations and the chemical industry.
“To achieve the goal of systemic change and commercialization of new, preferred alternative chemistries, we will need to transform the industry’s manufacturing inputs and processes. This requires full collaboration amongst thousands of organizations,” said Jessica Wollmuth, ZDHC Program Manager. “Good progress has been achieved thus far, and the Joint Roadmap, Version 2, lays a firm foundation for creating an apparel and footwear industry that delivers high-quality products using safe chemistries.”
ZDHC Group achievements in the past year include having:
- Completed chemical use and management surveys, and wastewater testing for approximately 150 substances at 20 facilities in Bangladesh, China, India, Taiwan and Vietnam.
- Worked with suppliers to address the most pressing chemicals of concern, starting with APEOS, and will continue to do so in 2013.
- Worked to identify safer chemistries and mechanisms to incentivize chemical suppliers to invest in these alternatives.
- Completed a chemical inventory that is the most complete, publicly available compilation of information on chemicals used in the textile industry.
- Developed training materials in English and Chinese.
- Developed and delivered training to suppliers.
- Engaged with more than 350 potential stakeholders.
- Completed system mapping, critical to the understanding of the interconnected issues, leverage points and stakeholders involved.
- Agreed to timelines for the phase out of C8 chemistry by no later than January 1, 2015.
“Building on the knowledge gained during the first full year of implementation, the Joint Roadmap, Version 2 provides an overview of the guiding principles and long-term vision of the ZDHC group, and defines key activities that will catalyze industry change,” said Wollmuth.
By implementing tasks in seven workstreams defined in the Roadmap, the organization says it will develop and promote industry best practices to deliver a safer and cleaner environment, including Chemical Hazard Assessment, Prioritization and Action, Training, Right to Know, Assessment and Auditing, Management Systems Approach, Structure and Documentation Stakeholder Partnering, and Chemicals Management Best Practices Pilot.
This year saw the launch of a new worldwide initiative called the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, which standardizes classification of hazardous chemicals and provides a communication system for conveying information regarding their proper use and handling. In 2011, Nike and PUMA committed to the elimination of all releases of hazardous chemicals from their entire product lifecycles, and across their global supply chains by 2020.