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ZDHC Foundation Launches Commodity Chemicals Guide V1.0

The ZDHC Foundation has released the Commodity Chemicals Guide V1.0 to support sustainable chemical management in the fashion industry. This guide is part of ZDHC’s 2030 goal, encouraging the evaluation of commodity chemical sellers, such as those supplying sodium sulphate, ammonia, or bleach, based on standard criteria. It also promotes responsible purchasing and storage practices to protect workers, communities, and the environment.

Commodity chemicals are defined by ZDHC as single substances or compounds with known chemical structures and a single CAS number, used to facilitate processes. These chemicals, even from different manufacturers, are identical and interchangeable, typically not remaining on the final product.

Although commodity chemicals are covered by the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL), they are excluded from the Performance Incheck Report due to difficulties in involving the commodity chemicals industry in the ZDHC Gateway and listing these products in the ZDHC Gateway database of MRSL-conformant products.

Given their low cost and easy replacement without process changes, commodity chemicals are not expected to stay on finished products but are washed off during processing, affecting wastewater and sludge quality. They are generally sold in pure form, making intentional addition to the MRSL unlikely.

Objective

The Commodity Chemicals Guide V1.0 aims to:

  • List commodity chemicals that require responsible management as part of ZDHC input chemical management.
  • Categorize commodity chemicals as ‘virgin’ or ‘non-virgin’ for assessing MRSL risks.
  • Provide best practices for evaluating commodity chemical vendors regarding MRSL risks during purchasing.
  • Recommend storage, handling, and transportation precautions for specific commodity chemicals.
  • Outline Root Cause Analysis (RCA) for MRSL non-conformities in wastewater tests as per ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines.

Expectations

Brands should share this guide with their supply chains and encourage suppliers to implement the recommended best practices for managing commodity chemicals.

Suppliers need to become familiar with the guide, make informed purchasing decisions through vendor evaluations, and follow best practices for storage and handling.

ZDHC will collaborate with Signatory Brands to distribute the guide within their supply chains, ensuring suppliers adopt the best practices for managing commodity chemicals. Suppliers are expected to implement these practices in vendor evaluations and ensure the safe storage and handling of the chemicals.

Access the Guide : Commodity Chemicals Guide V1.0

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