Managing Chemicals Responsibly

Our journey to eliminate hazardous chemicals.

Chemicals are used throughout the apparel value chain – from growing cotton to dyeing, treating and finishing fabrics, to consumer use and disposal. At every stage, there is a risk that chemicals entering the environment could potentially pollute waterways, damage ecosystems or harm human health. PVH seeks to manage chemicals responsibly and we have committed to zero discharge of hazardous chemicals from our supply chain by 2020. We made this commitment in 2013 and began implementing our Chemical Commitment and Action Plan in 2014. Our global Chemical Management program guides our efforts on compliance, auditing, remediation, resource development, training and stakeholder partnerships.

This year, we launched an updated Restricted Substance List (“RSL”) that applies to all PVH businesses and licensees. All of our suppliers sign on to comply with the new RSL through their supplier agreements and our licensees commit through their license agreements. The RSL establishes concentration limits for substances found in our finished products. While the RSL helps us stay compliant in a complex regulatory environment, it also serves as an indicator to stakeholders of the chemicals we believe need to be limited and phased out.

Additionally, we conducted training for over 50% of our suppliers(1) and sourcing divisions on responsible chemical management, reaching over 720 participants. Through our training, we shared our approach to chemical management, reviewed the impacts of restricted chemicals and provided guidance on best practices.

At an industry level, we continued to support collaborative initiatives addressing shared challenges. We are members of the ZDHC Programme, which this year became an official independent non-profit entity called the ZDHC Foundation. Our Chief Risk Officer participated in the governance committee to set up the foundation’s structure and find an executive director. The ZDHC joint roadmap sets a path to eliminate discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020 through development of foundational tools such as the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (“MRSL”) and waste water guidance. We also collaborated with the Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management (“AFIRM”) group to advance the creation of a global RSL for the industry.

Looking ahead, we are working toward expanding our understanding of chemicals risks among our level 2(2) supplier base. This exercise will also inform the development of our global sustainable materials strategy and the build-out of our broader environmental program. We plan to train 100% of our level 1 suppliers by the end of 2016, and continue to engage with ZDHC and AFIRM to make sure that our program is aligned with industry efforts.

  • (1)Level 1 suppliers, by volume.
  • (2)Raw material suppliers and wet processing units, including fabric mills (weavers/knitters), dye houses, printers, laundry/wash/finishing units, trim suppliers, embroidery units, converters/agents, molders and tanneries.

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