BASELINE ASSESSMENTS

To start the process of a Detox roadmap, wet processing facilities such as fabric mills, dyehouses, garment laundries and printing units – where maximum use and discharge of chemicals is done – should be evaluated for chemical management performance in terms of systems to manage and eliminate restricted substances in their processes.

The Baseline Assessment is done through a one- day on-site visit to the facility by a NimkarTek expert. An Audit Protocol has been developed by NimkarTek, based on the guiding principles of ISO 19001 and the textile experience of the NimkarTek team.

The Protocol covers the assessment of a facility in 7 areas using a rating system for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) assigned to each area:

  1. Regulatory compliance and permits
  2. Procurement Practices
  3. Documentation and Records Control
  4. Risk Assessment of chemical inventory
  5. Chemical Management organization
  6. Work Practices for chemical storage, handling, disposal and emergency response measures for chemical accidents
  7. Wastewater and hazardous solid waste management

The assessment aims at identifying the areas of improvement in chemical management practices with the aim of achieving the Detox goals.

Based on the rating system, a facility is graded as:

Red   Has poor chemical management practices
Orange   Has basic practices, but needs improvement
Green   Has good chemical management practices

 

A Corrective Action Plan (CAP) is provided after the baseline assessment that can be implemented voluntarily by the audited facility.

IMPLEMENTATION OF A CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM:

NimkarTek provides support to a supplier facility in implementation of a basic Chemical Management System at the facility so that it can meet the Detox goals for use of hazardous chemicals in their processes.

The support is given online in the form of ‘Guidance Documents’ covering key elements of chemical management such as:

  • Chemical Management Team roles and responsibilities
  • Chemical Inventory mapping and hazard identification for precautions in storage and handling
  • Procurement practices to screen input chemicals for restricted substances, including Supplier declarations
  • Preparing Standard Operating Procedures for use, storage, handling and disposal of chemicals
  • ‘Smart’ testing to check input raw materials and chemicals for restricted substances
  • Testing plan to monitor residues of restricted chemicals in finished goods and wastewater/sludge
  • Check-list for internal audit of chemical management systems
  • MIS Reports on chemical management

These ‘Guidance Documents’ are in the form of MS Word or Excel sheets and contain detailed explanation, alongwith standard formats, wherever required.

The implementation of these guideline documents is done by the facility with advice from NimkarTek through e-mail, phone calls or webinars with the key personnel from the facility.

MONITORING OF DETOX:

A Detox Project at a supply chain facility should aim to eliminate hazardous substances – as defined in the Brand’s Detox Strategy – from all pathways at the supplier facility. This needs to be monitored, once the input chemical management systems are implemented and the inventory & processes are screened for restricted substances.

For this, finished articles, wastewater and sludge must be tested at regular intervals to confirm the conformance of each pathway to the limit values of Detox.

NimkarTek offers testing of each matrix for these restricted substances through its state-of- the- art ‘Detox Laboratory’. The laboratory has high end equipment such as GC-MS, LC-MS, ICP-OES, UV-Vis. The laboratory is accredited to ISO/IEC- 17025:2005.