Marks & Spencer (M&S) has today published a new set of chemical commitments agreed in conjunction with Greenpeace.

The commitments relate to the safe use of chemicals in textile production. They are now part of the M&S approach to managing chemicals in its supply chain and will support its existing Environmental & Chemical Policy (ECP) – the environmental standards that all dyehouses have to meet in order to work with M&S suppliers. The commitments will also form the basis for M&S’ future research and developments in this field.

The new commitments include:

  • Launching a training and education programme for dyehouses on APEOs to help strengthen the M&S APEO ban issued in 1998;
  • Strengthening and improving the management of PFCs in the M&S supply chain, including a commitment to eliminate the use of all PFCs by July 2016;
  • Conducting a trial with five mills in China to assess the feasibility of publicly disclosing dyehouse chemical discharge data;
  • Continuing to review and update the M&S chemical policy and commit to eliminate any chemicals found to be hazardous in the future.

The full ECP and list of M&S restricted substances has also been published as part of the agreement with Greenpeace.

Mark Sumner, Sustainable Raw Materials Manager at Marks & Spencer said: “These new commitments push the boundaries of the technology used in the textile industry and cement M&S’ position as a leader in the management of chemicals in the textile industry. We’ve worked closely with Greenpeace over the past three months to construct them and both parties agree that they will push us and our partners to new levels of knowledge and research.

“As well as implementing ECP and our compliance systems, we are constantly working with universities, chemical manufacturers, machine builders and dyehouses to develop innovative ways to produce our products. As a result, processes are now being used in the M&S supply chain that reduce the impact on the environment such as Cold Batch Dyeing, a process that, on average, uses 50% less water and reduces carbon by 30%. 1.3 million M&S products have now been made using Cold Batch Dyeing.”

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