This framework is a critical step in achieving our vision of zero discharge of hazardous chemicals across supply chains and product life cycles by 2020.
In 2012, the ZDHC Group published a database of thousands of chemicals (at the CAS number level) used in the apparel and footwear industry. To focus the database for prioritisation, a pared down list of restricted chemicals was identified as a starting point.
The list was a subset to chemicals appearing on restricted or watch lists, such as the bluesignR system substance list, brand restricted substance lists, the Substitute it Now (SIN) list and the KEMI hazardous chemicals in textiles list. ZDHC filtered the SIN list by "use in textiles" and highest volume to pare it down to relevant chemicals.
The initial list of chemicals will be prioritised for action, using the new framework to rank the chemicals by three main criteria: hazard, volume and use pattern. ZDHC will further prioritize by its influence to catalyze action.
"An influence filter has been developed to focus the ZDHC team's efforts on substances that the group can influence quickly and identify supply chain stakeholders that may be needed to initiate action on a chemical substance," said Cheryl Kreindler, ZDHC Programme Manager. The prioritisation criteria work in concert to help focus the ZDHC Group's effort. Once the prioritised list is identified using the framework, it will be revisited annually to reflect new information.
Developed and assessed in collaboration with the ZDHC Technical Advisory Committee and other industry stakeholders, the framework creates a transparent and technically-sound chemical prioritisation hierarchy. As work continues toward 2020, the prioritisation framework will provide a consistent way for the ZDHC programme to align and address the most pressing issues related to the group's ambitious goal.
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