by Jürgen Hannak
In Bangladesh, a team of PREMA© trainers is presently supporting a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the GIZ Programme for Promotion of Special and Environmental Standards in Industry (GIZ PSES) and Huntsman (a major international chemical manufacturer and supplier) in the implementation of Resource Efficient Management of Chemicals. With the help of the three local master trainers, 15 representatives of local resource efficiency/CSR service providers as well as five staff members of Huntsman have received training and coaching support in practically assisting 10 medium- and large-scale textile companies in addressing chemical management related issues. As part of this joint initiative, the PREMA© practitioners (on behalf of GIZ PSES) focus on the implementation of the management system angles of chemical management, while the Huntsman team complements these efforts with technical inputs on process changes, recipes (e.g. water-free textile dyeing).
So far, the teams have completed the Chemical Management (CM) quick checks, using the revised quick check tool (thanks to Jurgen Hannak and Martin Felipe Wohlgemuth) in 10 large-scale textile units (all of them suppliers to well-known European and American buyers), followed by a 3-day CM training for company representatives. At this moment, the joint company and consulting teams are engaged in on-site improvement activities and interventions, which probably will be completed by September/October 2014. One interesting challenge in this initiative is the need to adapt the existing approaches, which were originally meant for SMEs, to the requirements in large-scale companies as well as to link these to the requirements of the “Zero Discharge of Hazardous Substances” (ZDHC) initiative. ZDHC is an effort by a group of major apparel and footwear brands and retailers to help lead the industry towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals in their supply chains by 2020.