The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group (ZDHC Group) released version two of the Joint Roadmap, which defines the critical path for achieving a new standard of environmental performance for the global apparel and footwear industry.



This initiative, the impact of which will reverberate well beyond the apparel and footwear industry, is led by members of the ZDHC Group-the adidas Group, C&A, Esprit, G-Star Raw, H&M, Inditex, Jack Wolfskin, Levi Strauss & Co., Li Ning, M&S, New Balance, Nike, Inc, Puma SE-and a diverse group of stakeholders.

The Joint Roadmap, Version 2, presents the ZDHC Groups long term vision, interim 2015 milestones and 2020 goals. It builds on the previous Joint Roadmap document and sets out a new plan, incorporating and reflecting comments received from a wide range of stakeholders, including textile industry suppliers and associations, government agencies in Asia, Europe and the United States, non-governmental organisations, international development organisations and the chemical industry.

To achieve the goal of systemic change and commercialisation of new, preferred alternative chemistries, we will need to transform the industrys manufacturing inputs and processes. This requires full collaboration amongst thousands of organisations, said Jessica Wollmuth, ZDHC Programme Manager. Good progress has been achieved thus far, and the Joint Roadmap, Version 2, lays a firm foundation for creating an apparel and footwear industry that delivers high quality products using safe chemistries.

ZDHC Group achievements in the past year include having:

  • Completed chemical use and management surveys, and wastewater testing for approximately 150 analytes at 20 facilities in Bangladesh, China, India, Taiwan and Vietnam
  • Completed a chemical inventory that is the most complete, publicly available compilation of information on chemicals used in the textile industry
  • Developed training materials in English and Chinese
  • Developed and delivered training to suppliers
  • Engaged with more than 350 potential stakeholders
  • Completed system mapping, critical to the understanding of the interconnected issues, leverage points and stakeholders involved.
  • Agreed to timelines for the phase out of C8 chemistry by no later than Jan. 1, 2015
  • Worked with suppliers to address the most pressing chemicals of concern, starting with APEOS, and will continue to do so in 2013
  • Worked to identify safer chemistries and mechanisms to incentivise chemical suppliers to invest in these alternatives

Building on the knowledge gained during the first full year of implementation, the Joint Roadmap, Version 2 provides an overview of the guiding principles and long-term vision of the ZDHC group, and defines key activities that will catalyse industry change, said Wollmuth. By implementing tasks in seven workstreams defined in the Roadmap, specifically Chemical Hazard Assessment, Prioritisation and Action, Training, Right to Know, Assessment and Auditing, Management Systems Approach, Structure and Documentation Stakeholder Partnering, and Chemicals Management Best Practices Pilot. The ZDHC Group will develop and promote industry best practices to deliver a safer and cleaner environment. Our goal is ambitious, and the ZDHC Group and partners are fully committed to working together to achieve it, said Wollmuth.