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ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines 2.0 focuses on setting a single, globally unified expectation across the textile, leather and footwear industry

ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines 2.0 focuses on setting a single, globally unified expectation across the textile, leather and footwear industryThe ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines set a single, globally unified expectation across the textile, leather and footwear industry for industrial wastewater and sludge.

On 1 March 2022, ZDHC released the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines Version 2.0 including its supporting documents; the ZDHC Sludge Reference Document Version 1.0 and ZDHC Wastewater and Sludge Laboratory Sampling and Analysis Plan Version 2.0.

The update strengthens the evolution of the Roadmap to Zero Programme and drives the industry to understand and reduce the impact of wastewater.

“Pollution poses a direct threat to biodiversity in terrestrial, freshwater, and coastal ecosystems. Support from the ZDHC in addressing wastewater from textile processing, will not only play a significant role in helping our industry connect the biodiversity risks but also provide practical guidelines on positive action.” –Liesl Truscott, Corporate Benchmarking Director at TextileExchange

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The ZDHC Wastewater Council was created to guide this update of the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines, ensuring the parameters and limits included are relevant, stringent and pragmatic. The Wastewater Council is composed of a diverse group of independent wastewater experts from the textile industry, academia, and water treatment industry to provide credibility and objectiveness to final decisions made.

“As a wastewater professional of 40+ years it was a pleasure and honour to be a member of the ZDHC Wastewater Council. I was very impressed with the knowledge, experience, and engagement of the council members. The council not only represented the spectrum of the industry, it included some of the keystone people that lead our path forward.” –Tim Maloney, ZDHC Wastewater Council Member, and  Principal Technologist at Startup and Operations Services.

In addition to the review by the independent Wastewater Council, the ZDHC held a public consultation for ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.0 and supporting documents to provide all stakeholders a forum for feedback on the proposed updates.

Key updates

  1. The ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines Version 2.0 combines previously separate textile- and leather wastewater guidelines into one
  2. The guidelines introduce a streamlined approach to sampling and testing for Direct, Indirect and Zero Liquid Discharge
  3. Incorporation of the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (ZDHC MRSL) Version 2.0
  4. Guidance on appropriate sludge disposal pathways and an update on sludge testing parameters

“Since the publication of the first ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines (in 2016), the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme has evolved to become much more of a holistic chemical management programme and this update is an important pillar in that approach. It is closely aligned with the chemical input management process and the testing advice is much more streamlined, to enable facilities and brands to demonstrate conformance and rectify issues more easily.”- Phil Patterson, ZDHC Wastewater Council Chair.

“Metals and compounds found in sludge can be released and cause negative impacts on human health and the environment.  In too many cases around the world, sludge quality and the impact on  the environment is poorly understood.  It is crucial for sludge to be tested, properly characterised,  handled and disposed of properly  and for this information to be transparent and available for brands and retailers to see.” – Jimmy Summers, Vice President – Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability Chief Sustainability Officer at Elevate Textiles

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