Chemicals group Lanxess has committed to the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) group.

Bringing together leading global clothing and footwear brands including Adidas, Benetton, C&A, Gap Inc, H&M, and Inditex, the ZDHC group is working to steer the industry towards a goal of reducing the discharge of harmful chemicals to zero by 2020.

Since the group was established in 2011, Lanxess has been working with the organisation, with its leather business group - represented by industry organisation Tegewa - having contributed to the development of the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (ZDHC MRSL).

As a result, all substances identified by ZDHC had already been removed from the Lanxess portfolio when the ZDHC MRSL for leather was published in December 2015.

Now, in a bid to increase visibility and to be directly involved in decision-making processes, the firm has joined as a value chain contributor.

It is also working with UK-based BLC Leather Technology Centre Ltd's BLC Chem-MAP programme to achieve Level 3 conformance and specialises in leather technology and chemicals.

The programme ensures chemical products are sold in accordance with the ZDHC MRSL specification and that chemical manufacturers have adequate management including appropriate control systems to ensure chemical products are manufactured responsibly and to recognised standards. This process involves a solid assessment of Lanxess through an audit and test programme and further downstream validation through plant audits and monitoring tests of the chemical products supplied.

The BLC Chem-MAP is the first system approved by the ZDHC that ultimately leads to a Level 3 certification, the highest achievable level.