The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Group is developing and testing a comprehensive environmental audit protocol tool that will be used to ensure continuous strong environmental performance and improvement throughout the supply chain.
This audit protocol tool also represents another milestone outlined in the Joint Roadmap, Version 2, ZDHC says.
To ensure industry usefulness and transparency of the audit protocol tool, the ZDHC Assessments and Audits team worked with Sustainable Textile Services, Hohenstein Institute and OEKO-TEX to create version 1.0 of the audit protocol tool.
Based on this version 1.0, an audit protocol study was developed and pilot tested at 25 wet-processing facilities in 23 dye house and finishing facilities and two washing facilities in Bangladesh, China, El Salvador, India, Taiwan, Turkey, South Korea and the US.
Feedback from auditors, facilities audited and key stakeholders — Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), Leather Working Group (LWG) and the Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP) — is currently being incorporated into version 2.0 of the audit protocol tool.
Lessons learned in the audit protocol study will be incorporated into the group’s audit protocol tool, version 2.0, which will be publicly released by the end of 2014. The goal for the version 2.0 is for multiple stakeholders to adopt the protocol as the apparel and footwear industry standard generic environmental audit and/or self-assessment tool. The group envisions that this tool will serve as a basis both for audits and as a standalone self-assessment tool to aid facilities of any size in self-education and calibration to industry norms.
To assist suppliers in understanding the ZDHC audit requirements, training on the audit protocol tool will be incorporated into the ZDHC supplier training program and will be available in face-to-face and online formats. The training will be usable for facilities of all sizes.
In June, the adidas Group, whose brands include adidas, Reebok and TaylorMade, committed to being 90 percent perfluorinated compound (PFC) free by June 15 and 99 percent PFC free by Dec. 31, 2017. The company has already committed to phase out the use of long-chain PFCs by no later than Jan. 1, 2015.