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ZDHC MMCF Guidelines V2.2 & ZDHC MMCF Industry Standard Implementation Approach V2.2

September 6, 2023

ZDHC is pleased to publish the updated MMCF Guidelines V2.2.

Click here for the ZDHC MMCF Guidelines V2.2 

Click here for the ZDHC MMCF Industry Standard Implementation Approach V2.2 

ZDHC is pleased to publish the updated MMCF Guidelines V2.2. A set of guidelines that address integrated expectations for discharged wastewater quality, air emissions, and chemical recovery for manufacturing facilities producing man-made cellulosic fibres. The complete set includes:

  • ZDHC MMCF Responsible Fibre Production Guidelines
  • ZDHC MMCF Wastewater Guidelines
  • ZDHC MMCF Air Emissions Guidelines

These guidelines drive man-made cellulosic fibre (MMCF) manufacturing facilities towards minimising the production impact on the environment and to manufacturing in a responsible way. Alongside these guidelines the MMCF Module on the Supplier Platform will be launched in October. 


Man-made cellulosic fibres (MMCF) are a group of fibres that are conventionally derived primarily from wood, and in some cases other sources of cellulose, such as bamboo or other plant matter. In the majority of MMCF production, wood is mechanically chipped and chemically processed into dissolving pulp, The solution is then dissolved into a viscose solution. extruded through spinnerets into a chemical bath which reconstitutes the solution into individual MMCF fibres.

MMCFs have a market share of about 6% of the total fibre production volume with an annual production volume of around 7.2 million tonnes. The group  includes viscose, acetate, lyocell, modal, and cupro. 

Viscose is the most widely used  MMCF, with a rapidly growing market share of around 80% of all MMCFs and a production volume of around 5.8 million tonnes in 2021.[1] The viscose industry is highly concentrated in a few corporate groups and companies, with some owning all stages of production – from forest to fibres. As well as being geographically condensed into a few regions including East Asia and South Asia.[2]

Man-made cellulosic fibres are currently primarily produced from wood, with hardwood forests as  the main source of cellulose used production. Cellulose is transformed into dissolving wood pulp and sold to fibre producers for filament or staple fibres production.[2] Less than 1% of all MMCF is currently made from recycled or other alternative feedstock.[1]

ZDHC MMCF Guidelines 

Within the production process of viscose and modal, particularly where it is  not an integrated (closed-loop) process, chemicals react with the cellulose. This creates by-products, which can be released into the air, water and soil. 

An 2018 industry expert report commissioned by ZDHC concluded that restricting chemicals via the ZDHC MRSL approach would not work for MMCF manufacturing. The restrictions would halt most MMCF production processes. Instead  it would achieve the most impact by collaboratively setting guidance around good chemical management and limits for wastewater, sludge, and air emissions during fibre production.

In March 2018, ZDHC hosted the first multi-stakeholder MMCF roundtable with representatives from approximately 80% of the global MMCF production. Several ZDHC Signatory Brands attended, including C&A, Coop Switzerland, Esprit, Inditex, H&M, M&S, Primark, PVH Corp and F&F, as well as Value Chain Affiliates Lenzing Group, BIRLA CELLULOSE, Sateri, Canopy, Textile Exchange, Bluesign and the China Chemical Fibers Association (CCFA), the Collaboration for Sustainable Development of Viscose (CV) and the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles. The roundtable agreed that ZDHC should lead a collaboration to develop a framework of guidelines for wastewater, sludge, waste and air emissions specific to MMCF production, and expectations for process by-product recovery rates. 

With this background MMCF Guidelines V1.0 was published in April 2020. In V1.0 the focus was viscose and modal staple fibre and then in MMCF V2.0, published in January 2023, the scope was extended to lyocell, cupro, viscose filament yarn (VFY) and acetate fibre. 

MMCF Module 

After covering all MMCF fibres in the scope , ZDHC started focusing on an implementation tool for MMCF manufacturing facilities. With this idea ZDHC developed a MMCF module on the ZDHC Supplier Platform.

The Man-Made Cellulosic Fibre (MMCF) Module is designed to evaluate the implementation of the ZDHC MMCF Guidelines V2.2, and supports MMCF manufacturers to  identify areas of improvement. The self-evaluation-based solution assists MMCF manufacturers to demonstrate that the criteria described in the ZDHC MMCF Guidelines V2.2 for chemical recovery, wastewater discharge and air emissions are met at the Foundational, Progressive or Aspirational levels through a scoring mechanism.

MMCF facilities/suppliers   answer questions and upload relevant documentation as part of a online self-assessment, The evaluation of the self- assessment, is done by a ZDHC Approved Verifier.  Depending on the requirements met within the self-assessment facilities can achieve either Pioneer/Level 1, Accelerator/Level 2, Champion/Level 3. The facility receives the self-assessment report along with a “Verification of Achievement” document. 

 For the calendar year 2023 Module’s submission period is from October 2023 - June 2024.

For details about MMCF Module please click here 

Canopy Hot Button Report

Since their launch in 2013 CanopyStyle audits have become the leading assessment of MMCF suppliers on their raw material sourcing practices and conducted  the first audits in 2017. In 2021, 53% of global MMCF supply has been awarded as  “Green shirt ” in the 2021 Hot Button Report and Ranking. These producers have been audited and assessed as being low risk, or have taken substantive action to eliminate known risks of sourcing MMCFs from ancient and endangered forests. The market share of MMCF producers committed to the CanopyStyle initiative through public sourcing policies increased from around 35% of the global production in 2015 to 90% in 20211,5

Apart from raw material sourcing Canopy is also focussing on chemical use and emissions in the MMCF production by adopting and implementing ZDHC MMCF Guidelines . The impacts of pollution from viscose processing are important to consider parallel to the impacts related to raw material sourcing. Since 2020, Canopy has provided the clothing sector with an integrated tool needed to assess the progress of MMCF producers in addressing both core risks.

As part of our collaboration, the Hot Button Report includes ZDHC’s assessment of producers’ efforts to adopt and follow through with implementation of ZDHC’s MMCF V2.2 Guidelines, a standardised set of MMCF fibre manufacturing emissions control requirements for the global MMCF industry5.

ZDHC MMCF Guidelines and the Canopy Hot Button Report

ZDHC is proud to collaborate with Canopy to push for sustainable chemical management in the MMCF supply chain production. Following the ZDHC MMCF Implementation Approach Guidelines V2.2, the updated chemical management criteria for viscose and modal staple fibres will connect into the Canopy Hot Button report through an indication on the chemical management performance of the facility assessed through the MMCF module. This performance will be scored according to the volume of production reached by MMCF facilities at the Progressive level. The MMCF suppliers chemical management score in the Hot Button Report (2024 edition), will be based on their 2023 performance.


  1. Textile-Exchange Preferred Fibres Market Report 2022.pdf
  2. Viscose fibre production-An assessment of sustainability issues, Water footprint Network, August 2017
  3. ZDHC MMCF Guidelines V2.2
  4. ZDHC MMCF Implementation approach V2.2
  5. https://hotbutton.canopyplanet.org/