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China Textile Information Center joins ZDHC

By Simone Preuss


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The China Textile Information Center (CTIC), a state-owned research institution, has become the newest associate contributor of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Programme as of Friday. Also known as the Roadmap to Zero, ZDHC tackles the issue of hazardous chemicals in the global textile and footwear value chain.

“With CTIC joining ZDHC as an official contributor, there is increased opportunity for the harmonisation and alignment between ZDHC and CNTAC’s Chemical Stewardship 2020 initiative. Further, this creates momentum for China’s domestic brands and manufacturers to join the hazardous chemicals control movement in China,” commented ZDHC’s Asia director Lydia Lin.

CTIC is managed by the China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC), an industry federation that represents all textile-related industries in China. Earlier this year, CNTAC launched its Chemicals Stewardship 2020 Initiative, a cross-industry policy framework aimed at minimising the adverse effects of chemicals on human health and the environment. Joining the ZDHC programme will support the goals of the Chemicals Stewardship 2020.

The ZDHC Programme began in 2011 with six leading brands (Adidas, C&A, H&M, Li Ning, Nike and Puma) and consists today of 18 value chain affiliates, 8 associates and 22 signatory brands like Burberry, Esprit, Gap, H&M, Inditex, Kering, Levi Strauss and Primark.

ZDHC makes sure to take a holistic approach in its efforts to improve chemical management across the textile and footwear value chain and emphasises the importance of industry collaboration to achieving its goal: “Addressing this environmental challenge cannot be achieved alone. To achieve meaningful, long-lasting impact, we need the entire industry, including NGOs, to adopt and support this standard,” said Frank Michel, ZDHC’s executive director.

To get the Chinese textile and apparel industry on board is crucial for the programme's success as according to Greenpeace East Asia, “China has been the world’s largest chemical producer since 2010” and thus the greatest polluter, acknowledging so-called 'cancer villages' for the first time in February 2013 and unveiling a breakthrough chemical plan that blacklists 58 chemicals and targets an elimination chemical list the same year.

All contributors to the ZDHC Programme commit to working collaboratively on the development and implementation of ZDHC standards and tools and to the goal of the elimination of hazardous chemicals within the textile and footwear industry, focusing on the following areas: compiling a Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) & Conformity Guidance, wastewater quality, audit protocol, research, training, data and disclosure.

Last month, ZDHC released its Wastewater Guidelines, a set of unified expectations on wastewater quality for the entire textile and footwear industry, which it is now urging all actors within the value chain to adopt.

Images: ZDHC
hazardous chemicals
roadmap to zero