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ZDHC releases Wastewater Guidelines for sustainability
26
Nov '16
The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) programme, a collaboration of 22 leading brands, 13 value chain affiliates and 7 associates, has released its Wastewater Guidelines, a unified expectation on wastewater quality for the entire textile and footwear industry. The Guidelines have been endorsed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC).

The Wastewater Guidelines built on a study conducted in 2015, which revealed that, despite efforts, there exists no unified set of expectations for suppliers that discharge industrial wastewater. This is of concern as the production of textile and footwear involves a large quantity of water and if not treated properly, presents a threat to people and the environment. Further, a lack of consistency between brands around expectations can lead to confusion within the value chain.

Today, ZDHC addresses this issue with the release of the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines, a harmonised set of wastewater parameters, limit values, and test methods, which will ensure that brands and suppliers are working to the same set of expectations.

The Guidelines were finalised following an extensive process of collaboration between ZDHC contributors, NGOs, suppliers, and a technical advisory committee. In July 2016, the public were invited to provide input and 295 comments were received.

Executive director Frank Michel said, “The release of the Wastewater Guidelines is good news for workers, consumers, and the environment. Suppliers will no longer face multiple guidelines depending on which brand they’re dealing with, and brands won’t face the challenge of individually ensuring each supplier is complying with their requirements.”

The ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines are free to download from the ZDHC website, and all actors within the value chain are encouraged to adopt them.

Jason Kibbey, SAC CEO said, “We’ve built the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines into the next version of the Higg Index and believe they will be a great step forward for improving one of the most impactful areas of apparel production.”

In the coming weeks, the Wastewater Guidelines will be released in simplified Chinese and a pilot programme will commence to implement the guidelines across several brands, countries, and facility types. (GK)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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