Adidas, Nike, Levi Strauss & Co., Puma and other members of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group say they will publish a list of chemical substances targeted for phase out or research by 2015 as part of a plan to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their supply chains by 2020.
Version two of the group’s Joint Roadmap outlines interim 2015 milestones and 2020 goals for a safer global apparel and footwear industry. ZDHC Group members include C&A, Esprit, G-Star Raw, H&M, Inditex, Jack Wolfskin, Li Ning, New Balance and other companies.
According to the Joint Roadmap’s action plan, the companies will start with existing sources — such as the REACH Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC), the Bluesign System Substances List (BSSL) and the SIN List (Substitute It Now list from ChemSec) used in textiles — and create a list with information about each identified substance. This will allow the group to prioritize the chemicals, ranking them for phase-out or research.
The group will address the top chemicals of concern by August and will continue to update its progress, the plan says.
The new Joint Roadmap also highlights the ZDHC Group’s achievements over the past year including:
- Completing chemical use and management surveys, and wastewater testing for approximately 150 substances at 20 facilities in Bangladesh, China, India, Taiwan and Vietnam.
- Completing a chemical inventory that the ZDHC Group says is the most complete, publicly available compilation of information on chemicals used in the textile industry.
- Developing training materials in English and Chinese.
- Developing and delivering training to suppliers.
- Engaging with more than 350 potential stakeholders.
- Completing system mapping, critical to the understanding of the interconnected issues, leverage points and stakeholders involved.
- Working to identify safer chemistries and mechanisms to incentivize chemical suppliers to invest in these alternatives.
- Working with suppliers to address the most pressing chemicals of concern, which the group will continue to do in 2013.
By implementing tasks in seven workstreams defined in the Roadmap — 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— the group says it will develop and promote industry best practices that producer a safer and cleaner environment.
The ZDHC program formed in 2011, following a series of Greenpeace reports about toxic chemicals in clothing from a host of brands including Nike, Adidas, H&M and Puma. After Nike, Puma and Adidas individually committed to having zero discharge of hazardous chemicals throughout their supply chains by 2020, the sports brands began entered discussions about creating an industry-wide collaboration to develop chemical management programs.