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The ZDHC Unveils Hub to Help Companies Scale Chemical and Environmental Best Practices

The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Foundation is opening a new center to help companies adopt more sustainable chemical and environmental practices.

Earlier this month, the ZDHC Foundation launched its Implementation Hub in the Netherlands, which will accelerate positive environmental impacts in apparel, footwear and leather supply chains and elevate global sustainable chemistry practices. The hub’s debut was part of the ZDHC Foundation’s first “Friends of ZDHC” event that brought together contributors to the sustainable chemicals cause, and the greater community of brands, supply chain partners and leading sector organizations that support ZDHC’s mission of protecting the planet.

The Implementation Hub marks a new chapter for the ZDHC Foundation, which over the past few years, has provided industry members with its Roadmap to Zero Programme—a robust resource that helps apparel, footwear and leather companies move toward zero discharge of hazardous chemicals and practice sustainable efforts for the future. Since 2015, ZDHC has tripled its contributors and global reach—and the Implementation Hub will accelerate continued progress around ZDHC’s anti-pollution efforts, including improving companies’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) evaluations.

At the Implementation Hub, brands, manufacturers and retailers will have access to industry-leading service offerings that span baselining, implementation and strategy setting. Approved by the ZDHC, these support services ensure that companies are minimizing their carbon footprint efficiently with sustainable chemistry choices. Leveraging existing industry expertise, the Implementation Hub provides a platform to match companies up with accredited experts in chemistry and environmental management. ZDHC contributors can also use the hub to improve ZDHC’s new Leader Programme, which monitors ZDHC Roadmap to Zero progress at all points of the supply chain—including factories and retailers.

[Read more about ZDHC’s compliance efforts: ZDHC Adds GOTS as its Newest Accepted Certification Standard]

While enabling companies and contributors to reach more sustainable chemical practices, the Implementation Hub will also serve as a piloting environment for ZDHC’s global large-scale implementation efforts. Though incorporated in the Netherlands, the Implementation Hub will oversee the establishment of local and regional capabilities and fortify a worldwide network of accredited chemical and environmental experts. ZDHC’s implementation specific services will cater to each nation’s apparel, footwear and leather industries, while supporting local businesses with efficient chemical compliance standards.

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Starting in January, the Implementation Hub will begin its first projects with ZDHC signatory brands and work with China, India and Italy on nationwide chemical management efforts.

“The Implementation Hub is a natural progression as we enter the next phase of the ZDHC journey towards large-scale implementation driving global impact. It is an essential element to help implement and drive continuous improvements,” ZDHC executive director Frank Michel said. “This setup will allow us to translate our program excellence into global value chain impact, to further strengthen industry expertise and to deepen alliances at country level.”