Who should use the ‘ZDHC Responsible Solvents Approach Guide V1.0’ document and where can it be accessed?
While the core audience is manufacturing facilities (suppliers), other stakeholders can also use this document.
Brands/retailers can use the document to understand chemical management best practices to ensure proper emission controls for workers' safety and engage with suppliers to monitor implementation.
Formulators can use this document to prepare safer alternatives for their solvent-based formulations in their portfolio by understanding the criteria and references given for safer solvents.
This ‘ZDHC Responsible Solvents Approach Guide V1.0’ published in October 2023, can be found here
What is the objective of ‘ZDHC Responsible Solvents Approach Guide V1.0’?
The objectives of this guide are to support the textile, leather and footwear industry on:
Safer substitutes to eliminate the use of the ZDHC MRSL-listed solvents and solvent-based chemical formulations from the supply chain.
Understand chemical management best practices to ensure responsible use of ZDHC MRSL V3.1 listed solvents (marked as ‘EC’ - emission and exposure control) and solvent-based chemical formulations in the facilities during the time-bound phase-out towards safer alternatives.
What is the philosophy of the ‘ZDHC Responsible Solvents Approach Guide V1.0 document?
The philosophy of this document is based on the following principles:
Understand the hazards associated with the ZDHC MRSL-listed solvents or solvent-based chemical formulations.
Eliminate or substitute hazardous solvents or solvent-based chemical formulations from use.
Implement engineering, admin, and PPE best practices to ensure proper emission & exposure (EC) control during the phase-out.
What are the expectations from stakeholders for this guide?
The following are the expectations from stakeholders for this document:
All stakeholders - Adopt this guide where the use of the ZDHC MRSL-listed solvents or solvent-based chemical formulations may be required while undertaking all efforts to phase them out in a time-bound manner.
Brands/retailers – Create awareness of the guide with supply chain partners. Monitor suppliers for the phase-out of ZDHC MRSL V3.1 listed solvents, and implementation of chemical management best practices
Suppliers – Using the information provided in Chapter 3 of the guide, make an action plan to phase out the MRSL-listed solvents from on-site production processes and/or from their formulations, using the information provided in Chapter 3 of the guide. Where the phase-out may take time (for any practical reason), suppliers should implement actions as described in Table 13 and Table 14 (“To Do” Checklist) in the document, studying the cross-references to the chapters/sections for more details on the actions required. The 'ZDHC Responsible Solvent Approach Guide V1.0’ should also be read in conjunction with the ‘ZDHC CMS - TIG V1.0’ in order to implement a framework for a general chemical management system at a manufacturing facility.
Formulators – Refer to ’Chapter 3: Safer alternatives’ to prepare and offer safer alternatives to the industry to phase out ZDHC MRSL-listed solvent-based chemical formulations from their portfolio.
What are the different approaches discussed in the guide for finding safer alternatives to the ZDHC MRSL-listed solvents?
Following are the approaches discussed in ‘Chapter 3’ of the guide for finding safer alternatives to the ZDHC MRSL-listed solvents:
Search for ZDHC MRSL V3.1 conformant products from the ZDHC Gateway.
Use chemicals from the list of potential chemical and process substitutes for ZDHC MRSL-listed solvents given in Tables 5 & 6.
Choose chemicals from the potential list that can be used in footwear manufacturing processes with proper emission and exposure controls given in Table 7.
Use the OECD Minimum Safer Criteria for decision-making when finding safer alternatives to avoid regrettable substitution.
Use the resources for finding safer solvents given in Table 4.
Is there a transition period for the use of solvents listed in the ZDHC MRSL V3.1?
From 1st November 2023 solvents listed in the ZDHC MRSL V3.1 are banned from intentional use in on-site production processes or materials. All chemical formulations based on the solvents listed in the ZDHC MRSL V3.1 will be considered ZDHC MRSL non-conformant. Signatory Brands and Friends of ZDHC - Brands should make their supply chain aware of this update and begin to look at ways to phase out these solvents in their supply chain, if and wherever they are used. During this phase-out period, which should be time-bound and monitored, suppliers should ensure proper emission and exposure controls (EC) best practices are in place, as described in the ZDHC Responsible Solvents Approach Guide V1.0. Such solvents are marked in the ZDHC MRSL V3.1 as ‘EC’.
How is the ‘ZDHC Responsible Solvents Approach Guide’ to be implemented?
The ZDHC Responsible Solvents Approach Guide V1.0 is not a guidelines document for reporting the implementation on a ZDHC platform. This guidance document should be read in conjunction with the ZDHC CMS-TIG which supports the textile, apparel, leather, and footwear industries in implementing a chemical management system. In the future, the ZDHC Responsible Solvents Approach Guide will be aligned with the ZDHC CMS-TIG, with a focus on the management of solvents and solvent-based formulations at a facility and may link into the Supplier to Zero Programme. The current intention of this document is to:
Guide facilities on a responsible approach in the use of solvents and solvent-based formulations to ensure proper emission and exposure controls.
Advise on actions that can be taken by suppliers to shift to safer alternatives and processes in the textile, apparel, leather, and footwear industries for the ZDHC MRSL-listed solvents.