The reporting limits in the ZDHC MRSL are those that are widely and globally available. They were provided through consultation with global laboratory experts.
The limits for conventional wastewater parameters were determined by evaluating over 100 wastewater test reports from the textile and footwear industry. Foundational Limit values were met by 90% of those test reports, Progressive Limits were met by 50% of them and 20% met the Aspirational Limits.
The limits represent the lowest and most practical, reliable reporting limits available globally. While not specifically set at zero, these limits will move the industry towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals.
Having a single expectation for wastewater quality for the supply chain makes it easier for chemical suppliers to understand their customer’s needs and conform to the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines. It is the explicit goal and expectation of ZDHC and its contributorship that the tests are accepted by everyone. That makes it possible to reduce the burden by not requiring individual, customised sampling and testing methods, or reporting limits.
In this instance, the facility is expected to develop a root cause analysis and corrective action plan with a defined completion date, and submit these in the ZDHC Gateway – Wastewater Module. This must be done within thirty (30) days from the date of the laboratory report.
No, facilities that have already teste raw wastewater will not be required to test sludge for MRSL substances. However, facilities may wish to test sludge to get a more complete picture of the potential discharge of hazardous chemicals via this disposal pathway.
There are two options for testing to ensure the detection of any substances present in the ZDHC MRSL:
1) Testing of raw wastewater
2) Testing of sludge and discharged wastewater
It will be up to individual brands, whether or not they are ZDHC Contributors, to encourage their value chain to implement the guidelines and undertake testing.
ZDHC acknowledges that facilities with indirect discharge will have limits based on agreements with their contracted wastewater treatment plants or local authorities. Indirect discharge suppliers must meet their legal and/or contractual limits. The conventional parameters reported for ZDHC are for informational use only.