2015 Progress Report on the Roadmap to Zero
In the past, there have been efforts to remove hazardous chemicals from the global textile and footwear value-chain, however until now, these efforts have been fragmented.
“The difficulty in solving this issue,” said Frank Michel, Executive Director of the Zero Discharge Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Foundation, “is that the supply chain is large, complex and interlinked. No one brand or supplier can change it alone.”
“The ZDHC Programme represents a collaboration of industry leaders working to create and harmonise standards to ensure safer chemical management. Today, we’re excited to release our 2015 progress report which reflects on the work we’ve achieved so far.”
Today, the ZDHC Programme releases its 2015 Annual Report reflecting on how collaboration by industry leaders is driving new standards in responsible chemical management forward.
In 2011, six brands joined forces as the ZDHC Group to collaborate on the issue of safer chemical management, and in 2015 that number grew to 21 brands and retailers, and seven associate contributors.
In 2015, the ZDHC Programme transitioned to the ZDHC Foundation, a newly created legal entity, appointed its first Board of Directors, Executive Director, and small dedicated ZDHC Team spread between Europe and the United States.
Highlights from the Programme’s 2015 Annual Report include:
- Releasing the Programme's Joint Roadmap Update, which refined the scope of the Programme to four key focus areas, and two cross-cutting areas. These are: Manufacturing Restricted Substances List and Conformity Guidance, Research, Wastewater Quality, Audit Protocol, Data and Disclosure and Training.
- Wastewater Quality was added to the scope of the Programme, and the first step towards publishing the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines was achieved with the release of the Textile Industry Wastewater Discharge Quality Standards Guidelines Literature Review.
- Version 1.1 of the Manufacturing Restricted Substances List was released, expanding the list to include leather.
- The Chemical Management System Guidance (CMS) Manual, a guideline for factories, brands, retailers and suppliers to develop an in-house CMS was released.
The report reflects on work achieved in each area of focus, and outlines ZDHC’s ambition and long-term strategy for achieving meaningful impact.
Charles Dickinson, ZDHC Board Treasurer and Primark's Environmental Sustainability Controller reflects on the achievements of the Programme so far, and why, in 2015, Primark decided to join.
“We joined because we knew one brand cannot solve this issue alone. It’s exciting brands and chemical companies are coming together with NGOs to solve this issue and really make a difference.
The power of the collaboration of the ZDHC Programme has proven itself over the past few years, and now it’s gaining momentum.”
Nathaniel Sponsler, ZDHC Board Chairman and Sr. Manager, Sustainable Chemistry and Policy at Gap Inc and echoed the importance of industry collaboration.
“We’ve been working in silos within our brands, and this is our effort to come together to work more effectively towards the elimination of hazardous chemicals. The ZDHC Programme is about collaborative implementation – speaking to the supply chain with one common voice.”
Read the full Annual Report here.