Featured post

Publication of the ZDHC Responsible Solvent Approach Guide V1.0

October 12, 2023

We are excited to announce the publication of the ZDHC Responsible Solvents Approach Guide V1.0.

Organic solvents are used in various processes in the apparel and footwear industries. The ZDHC MRSL V3.1 includes a ban on the intentional use of specific organic and halogenated solvents in textile, leather and footwear production and is therefore a signal to the industry to take appropriate action to shift to safer alternatives.

While ZDHC recognises that these solvents will be termed as ZDHC MRSL non-conformant, these solvents may still be used for specific applications in textiles and footwear or in the transition period towards a time-bound phase-out strategy at facilities. This requires proper emission and exposure controls at the facility level to ensure worker health and safety and reduce their environmental impact. The halogenated and organic solvents for which these controls should be implemented by a manufacturing facility have been marked as “EC” (Emission and Exposure Controls) in the ZDHC MRSL V3.1. 

To support the industry in the transitional phase towards safer alternatives for these solvents, ZDHC has developed the “Responsible Solvents Approach Guide V1.0” that intends to: 

  • Guide facilities on a responsible approach in the use of solvents and solvent-based formulations to ensure proper emission and exposure controls
  • Advise on actions that can be taken by suppliers to shift to safer alternatives and processes in the textile, leather, and footwear industries for the ZDHC MRSL-listed solvents. 

The intention of this document is to drive positive transformation for a sustainable supply chain and minimise emissions and exposure to workers and the environment through the implementation of best practices.

The ZDHC Responsible Solvents Approach Guide V1.0 should be read in conjunction with the ZDHC CMS Technical Industry Guide that outlines the framework for a general chemical management system at a manufacturing facility.

It is expected that all stakeholders engaged in the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme will adopt this guide where the use of the ZDHC MRSL listed solvents may be required, whilst undertaking all efforts to phase them out in a time-bound manner. 

Suppliers are encouraged to implement actions as described in Tables 13 and Table 14 (“To Do” Checklist) in the document and understand the cross-references to the chapters/sections for more details on the actions required.

Brands are expected to create awareness about the guide with their supply chain partners wherever applicable, and monitor the implementation and phase-out activities at their suppliers.

Thank you to all the focus group members and experts who supported the creation of this guide.