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What is ZDHC Certification?

The textile industry is under increasing pressure to minimize its impact on the environment and improve the sustainability of its supply chains. The use of hazardous chemicals that can be discharged into wastewater in the production process is under special scrutiny. Numerous initiatives have emerged to address this issue, the most comprehensive being the ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) Program.

The program supports the application of sustainable chemistry and best practices in the textile, leather, and footwear industries to protect consumers, workers, and the environment.

In 2019, App HUB began work on the Supplier to Zero Program (formerly the Facility Leader Program). In the early stages of the project, the focus was on establishing alignment with ZDHC guidelines, platforms, and solutions, particularly the Chemical Management System Guide (CMS). For this reason, Application HUB has also joined the internal review group for the CMS Industry Guide.

ZDHC MRSL; It is a list of chemical substances subject to the prohibition of use. This list is updated periodically and these updates are subject to the following objectives.







What are the restricted substances and substance groups according to the ZDHC MRSL?

´Alkylphenol (AP) Alkylphenol Ethoxylates (APEOs)

´Chlorbenzenes & Chlortoluenes


´Azo - Dyestuffs (Containing Limited Use Amine)

´Dyestuff - Navy Blue

´Dyestuffs - Carcinogenic or equivalent ones

´Dyestuff - Allergenic Disperse Dyes

´Flammable substances (containing SCCP)


´halogen-containing solvents

´Organotin compounds

´Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

´Perfluorinated and Polyfluorinated Chemicals (PFOA & PFOS)

´Phthalates - including other compounds containing ortho-phthalic acid ester

'All heavy metals

´Volatile organic compounds (VOC)

Eligibility Process Levels

ZDHC MRSL compliance Levels are 0, 1, 2, and 3. The higher the level number, the more rigorously the chemical formulation and chemical supplier practice have been reviewed. Higher compliance indicator levels are expected to be less likely for any ZDHC MRSL chemical to be present, resulting in higher confidence in that product and in the chemical supplier.

Note that Level 0 is designated as Provisional and ZDHC MRSL Compliance is classified as Levels 1, 2, and 3.

From January 1, 2021, Level 0 will no longer be considered provisional MRSL compliance, and no new Level 0 supplier declarations will be accepted into the Gateway after December 31, 2019.

Level 1

MRSL Compliance Level 1 requires a third-party documentation review or an analytical test report to be accepted as evidence of conformity where data meets Quality Assurance and Quality Control requirements.

Third-party inspection is accomplished by obtaining a certificate for the chemical formulation from a ZDHC-accepted third-party validator who has reviewed at least:

ANSI Z400.1 (2004),

ISO 11014 (1),

EC 1907/2006 (REACH),

Available Safety Data Sheet (SDS): 2005 (Part 1), prepared according to EC 2001/58, GHS (Global Harmonized System), or JIS Z 7250.

Self-declaration of ZDHC MRSL conformance based on ISO/IEC Standard 17050, Part 1 and 2 guidelines.

Other information (which may include data) that the certifier needs to be relevant to ensuring MRSL compliance and completeness of the SDS and self-certification.


Test data following Quality Assurance and Quality Control requirements are required. This test will be referred to as the "smart test" for formulation-related chemicals. These test data must meet the requirements and be obtained from a certified chemical testing laboratory. Analytical reports will be valid for two years from the date of analysis.

Suppliers should be prepared to provide appropriate quality control information regarding the chemical analysis. This includes blank samples added, samples calibrations, etc. may contain data about

Level 2

MRSL Compliance Level 2 requires:

-All elements of MRSL Compliance level 1

-Review of product management

- Chemical supplier's practices (health, safety and environment) by third party validator

This may include, but is not limited to:

-analytical test data

- Evidence that manufacturing is carried out according to ISO (or equivalent) standards for quality management systems or environmental management systems,

-Commitment to the Responsible Care © initiative

Level 3

MRSL Compliance Level 3 requires all elements of MRSL Compliance Level 2 plus a site visit to the chemical supplier. Evaluate product management first hand.

ZDHC MRSL Compliance Level Elements

Chemical suppliers can demonstrate compliance of a chemical formulation with the ZDHC MRSL requirements through third-party analytical testing or certification that the formulation meets one of the following levels.

Certification bodies may be assessed for ZDHC acceptance by providing information that supports appropriate business and management practices and a description of how their certification validates the requirements for one or more compliance levels.

It is recognized that these systems are better developed for textiles than leather and coatings, but by publishing this guide, the ZDHC Program sends a signal to certifiers that there is a gap in this industry and hopes to encourage the development of these systems.

This means that a chemical formulation does not need to first obtain a Level 1 certification in order to obtain a Level 2 certification. In the future, ZDHC plans to develop a compliance level beyond Level 3.

This Level "3+" will include a full review of a formulation and aim to encourage continuous improvement and innovation towards safer chemistry and the development of such systems.

Currently, no certification system performs a full recipe formulation and a full Product Management review that includes a site visit as part of the review process.




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