How is the recovery of chemicals used or produced as a by-product during fibre production categorised?
The ZDHC requirements for chemical recovery rates are categorised at three levels – Foundational, Progressive and Aspirational. This encourages continuous improvement activities at a facility to achieve higher limits of recovery of chemicals used and move towards circularity.
For viscose staple fibres and modal, the recovery of sulphur compounds due to the use of CS2 in the process needs to be monitored. This is also linked to the level of kg of sulphur emitted to air per tonne of fibre produced. The recovery rates for sulphur at the Foundational, Progressive and Aspirational levels, based on this, are 85, 92 and 95% respectively.
Similarly, the recovery rates for sodium sulphate in viscose staple fibres and viscose filament yarn process, NMMO (N-Methylmorpholine N-oxide) in the Lyocell process, ammonia and copper in the cupro process, and acetone in the acetate process at the three levels are also outlined.(Pg No. 18-24, MMCF V2.1)
The achievement of these levels is planned to be monitored through the MMCF module on the ZDHC Supplier Platform
To understand more about the production process of man-made cellulosic fibre (MMCF), it is important to have a complete overview of the raw material average input consumption. Therefore the second part of the responsible production guidelines is to monitor raw material consumption. A table of recommended consumption norms per tonne of fibre or filament produced has been detailed in the guidelines (Pg no. 25, MMCF V2.1). MMCF facilities should calculate the consumption on an annual base average of fibre production per site.
The sharing of this information is planned through the ZDHC Supplier Platform.
The ZDHC MMCF Guidelines V2.1 mandates wastewater testing at a MMCF manufacturing facility twice a year - before 30th April and before 31st October (every year). There should be at least a three month gap between the two testing cycles. The wastewater test reports for the two cycles must be uploaded to the supplier’s ZDHC Gateway account by the ZDHC Approved Laboratory completing the sampling and testing.
The sampling, testing and reporting for MMCF wastewater must be done by a ZDHC Approved Laboratory. The approval of MMCF WW testing labs is ongoing and the list is updated weekly through our website.
The general principles for sampling and reporting of the ZDHC MMCF WWG V2.1 document are directly linked to the latest published version of the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1. For sampling, refer to ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1. Testing must be conducted for the parameters mentioned in MMCF WWG V2.1 based on the wastewater discharge type (direct/ indirect/ ZLD)
No, only viscose staple fibre (VSF) and modal facilities continue their WW testing as per MMCF V1.0 and report for the April 2023 cycle through existing test labs which are approved for MMCF V1.0. Within the October 2023 cycle, all VSF / Modal facilities are expected to test their wastewater based on MMCF guideline V2.1
The other MMCF types in the expanded scope will need to start testing as per MMCF V2.1 from the October 2023 reporting cycle.
Although ZDHC has published an update to sludge testing and disposal requirements in the ZDHC WWG V2.1, the testing of sludge for MMCF is continued as given in the MMCF V1.0. Further discussions will be done with MMCF Task Team to align the sludge testing and disposal requirements for MMCF manufacturers with those outlined in the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 – Tables 4A-4C in the next update to the MMCF Guidelines.
The conformance criteria for wastewater discharge for MMCF facilities is based on achievements of the limits for different discharge types. (Whether MMCF facilities have direct, indirect discharge or ZLD)
Direct discharge facilities: should achieve the foundational limit in the sample of discharged wastewater (Conventional, additional & specific parameters mentioned under Appendix A, Table 1.A, 1.B & 1.C) and the APEO limits for the sample of raw wastewater.
Indirect discharge facilities (that discharge indirectly to a central effluent treatment plant (CETP)): should meet the norms of the CETP and achieve at least foundational limits for cadmium, chromium [VI], lead, mercury for wastewater and APEO limit values in raw wastewater mentioned in Appendix A Table 1.B
ZLD facilities: Should meet the APEOs and summation of hydrocarbons limits in untreated (raw) wastewater mentioned in Appendix A Table 1.B
Testing and reporting of ambient air emissions as well as mass balance calculations will need to be performed by viscose staple fibres, modal, viscose filament yarn, cupro and acetate manufacturing facilities once per calendar year.
Wherever there are non-conformities with the MMCF Air Emissions Guidelines requirements, facilities shall identify the root cause, resolve the issue and retest ambient air as often as necessary to ensure the issue has been resolved.
The monitoring of these responsible production requirements will be done through a system of self-evaluation by the facilities. But we also plan to monitor these through an MMCF module on our Supplier Platform. This is currently a work in progress and it will be officially launched in the coming months.
Viscose staple fibres & modal facilities are expected to reach Progressive Level by Dec 2023 and Aspirational by Dec 2025
Expanded scope fibre facilities are expected to reach Foundational Level by Dec 2025, Progressive by Dec 2027 and Aspirational by 2030
The MMCF Module is a self-assessment questionnaire based on the principles of the ZDHC MMCF Guidelines V2.1. By answering these questions, facilities demonstrate their awareness of good chemical management in achieving the limits for chemical recovery, wastewater and air emissions during MMCF fibre production.
The MMCF Module is based on:
ZDHC Man-Made Cellulosic Fibres (MMCF) Guidelines V2.1
ZDHC MMCF Guidelines Industry Standard Implementation Approach V2.1
The Man-Made Cellulosic Fibre (MMCF) Module on the ZDHC Supplier Platform supports MMCF manufacturers. The module addresses the use and discharge of hazardous chemicals in the MMCF production process, focussing on chemical recovery, wastewater discharge and air emissions. The self-evaluation-based solution supports MMCF manufacturers implementing the ZDHC MMCF Guidelines V2.1, published in February 2023. Manufacturers can demonstrate meeting the unified criteria for measuring output indicators like wastewater, sludge, air emissions and other process-related parameters.
What are the key components of the MMCF Module Assessment?
The MMCF Module assesses MMCF manufacturers on the following topics:
Best practices for fibre feedstock
Responsible production of MMCF
Best practices for raw material consumption
Environmental impact: Wastewater parameters
MMCF Wastewater Guidelines
MMCF Air Emissions Guidelines
Every MMCF manufacturer with access to the ZDHC Gateway can access the Supplier Platform for free. To access the MMCF Module, MMCF manufacturers must be invited by ZDHC. Please contact SupplierPlatform@ZDHC.org. Access to the module, the questions, and the content are free of charge. The certification process fee is €499 per review.
Once the MMCF facility decides to go for the review with certification, they have to complete the assessment, upload all the required documents and have to pay a processing fee of €499 per review.
After completing the review, the third-party reviewer will review the answers and documents submitted by the MMCF facility. Based on the third-party assessment, the MMCF facility will receive an assessment report indicating their implementation level achievements; Foundational, Progressive or Aspirational (Signatory Suppliers) Supplier to Zero Level 1/2/3 (non-signatory suppliers).
If a facility does not meet the requirements, it can develop an improvement plan and complete a reassessment.
Who can use the MMCF Module?
Every MMCF manufacturer with access to the ZDHC Gateway can access the Supplier Platform for free. To access the MMCF Module, MMCF manufacturers must be invited by ZDHC. Please contact SupplierPlatform@ZDHC.org to get access to the MMCF Module.
Please visit the ZDHC Knowledge Base to learn more about the requirements of the MMCF Module, and learn more about required file uploads and certification.
What does the MMCF review cost?
Access to the module, the questions, and the content are free of charge. The certification process fee is €499 per review.