What is the purpose and where can I find the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1?
The ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines set a unified expectation for wastewater quality in the textile, apparel, leather, and footwear industry. Including; reporting limits for traditional (conventional) parameters & hazardous chemical parameters, sampling and reporting frequency. By doing so, the Wastewater Guidelines aim to reduce the workload and cost faced by suppliers in satisfying multiple brand-specific testing requirements.
The current version of the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V.2.1, can be found here
Are the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines only applicable to ZDHC Contributors?
No, the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines are publicly available. Anyone within the textile, apparel, leather, and footwear value chain is welcome to use them free of charge. To enable widespread industry adoption, ZDHC encourages its Contributors, throughout the value chain, to adopt the Wastewater Guidelines within their organisations.
What are the ZDHC Man-Made Cellulosic Fibres (MMCF) Interim Wastewater Guidelines?
The MMCF Guidelines document
addresses the expectations for wastewater discharge parameters and limits related to the production of Man-Made Cellulosic Fibres. This document includes the analytical testing methods and sampling procedures for wastewater testing, enabling brands and manufacturing facilities to share their testing results in a systematic and efficient manner via the ZDHC Gateway.
Does the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 fulfil the wastewater legal requirements of a specific country?
No. ZDHC is not a legal requirement in any country yet. The ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 is a guideline that aligns with multiple brand-specific testing requirements for wastewater and sludge. But some of the parameters in the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 will help the suppliers to align with the wastewater legal requirements of specific countries. But this doesn’t mean that complying with the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 parameters would guarantee compliance with the wastewater legal requirements of any country.
What are the differences between the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.0 and the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1?
How many wastewater testing cycles are to be completed per year?
The ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 mandates testing twice a year of wastewater at a supplier facility - before 30th April and before 31st October every year. There should be at least a 3-month gap between the 2 testing cycles. The wastewater test reports for the 2 cycles must be uploaded to the supplier’s ZDHC Gateway account by the ZDHC Approved Wastewater Laboratory completing the sampling and testing.
What action should a supplier take from the ClearStream report?
If the ClearStream report indicates any non-conformances to the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1, the supplier should complete a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to identify the cause and create a Corrective Action Plan (CAP). Both should be uploaded to their ZDHC Gateway account. By continual monitoring of output chemicals, the supplier is able to identify where the non-conformances are coming from and take corrective action to ensure zero discharge of hazardous chemicals.
What is a ClearStream report?
The ClearStream Report is a summary of the test results as per the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1. Giving an indication of non-conformities to the conventional and MRSL parameters listed in the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V.21. Allowing suppliers to conduct a root cause analysis in terms of input chemical management and/or wastewater treatment plant efficiency. Then take corrective actions so that these non-conformities are not repeated.
What is the impact of the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 on the Chemical industry?
The goal of the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 is to eliminate the discharge of hazardous chemicals in the textile, apparel, leather, and footwear industries. Having one, single expectation makes it easier for suppliers to implement the guidance and therefore accomplish this goal. For suppliers an aligned set of metrics eliminates the need to meet overlapping individual brand requirements, thereby reducing the need to carry out multiple, different tests. For brands, it allows the use of information from already completed testing, and the ability to track supplier progress of continuous improvement using the 3 levels; Foundational, Progressive and Aspirational.
How did ZDHC determine the limit values for conventional parameters and ZDHC MRSL parameters in wastewater?
The limits for conventional wastewater parameters
were determined by evaluating over 100 wastewater test reports from the textile and footwear industry.
Foundational limits were met by 90%
Progressive limits were met by 50%
Aspirational limits were met by 20%
The reporting limits in the ZDHC MRSL parameters
are those that are widely available. They were provided through consultation with global laboratory experts.
If the goal is to strive for zero discharge of hazardous chemicals, why are the reporting limits for ZDHC MRSL parameters in the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V.2.1, not zero?
The limits represent the lowest, most achievable (with existing technology) and reliable reporting limits available globally. While not specifically set at zero, these limits will move the industry towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals.