The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) foundation has launched an online portal offering chemical management training. The ZDHC Academy will be available to the industry on a permanent basis, enabling brands and manufacturers to improve their knowledge of responsible chemical management and to receive certified training. The ZDHC Program is a group of apparel and footwear brands and retailers who are working together towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals for all products across all pathways by 2020.

The ZDHC foundation said that the release of the online training platform is particularly significant for its program as ZHDC shifts its focus from the development of tools to the critical phase of collaborative implementation.

The first training sessions will start in February in countries including India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Italy and Turkey. The first course of the Academy, which is aimed at manufacturers and suppliers, is entitled “An Introduction to Chemical Management in the Textile Industry.”

Meanwhile, six new companies have joined the ZDHC program, bringing the number of signatories to 56, including brands, value chain affiliates and associates. The new value chain affiliates are Icec and TÜV Süd, two certification bodies, as well as Mas Holdings – the apparel maker based in Sri-Lanka - and Siam Pro Group, a Thai chemical company. The new associates are the Fibre and Textile Chemicals Technology division of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and Oeko-Tex, the certification body based in Zurich.

Oeko-Tex had recently announced its decision to join the ZDHC Program, describing it as a logical step for an organisation that has been working to help companies produce safer textiles and operate more sustainably since 1992. The International Oeko-Tex Association itself works with around 10,000 manufacturers, brands, and retailers in nearly 100 countries for enhanced product safety and sustainable production in the textile value chain.