Responsible Chemical Management

Our journey to zero discharge
of hazardous chemicals.


discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020


priority chemical classes


hours of training on chemical management

Responsible Chemical Management

Our Commitment: Practice responsible chemical management by reducing and eventually phasing out hazardous chemicals from our supply chain by 2020

Chemicals are used throughout the apparel manufacturing process. Managing these chemicals effectively and identifying safer substances is central to protecting human health and the environment. PVH is committed to using safer substances in materials used to manufacture our products and within the manufacturing processes themselves to protect the consumer, workers, sourcing communities and the natural environment. This commitment will move us towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals across our supply chain by 2020. We will start by focusing on zero discharge of 11 chemical classes that we, along with others in our industry, have prioritized. Our journey to manage chemicals responsibly is guided by our Chemical Management Commitment and Action Plan.

We manage chemicals within our products through our Restricted Substance List (“RSL”), which sets concentration limits for substances found in our finished products. Our RSL covers the 11 priority chemical classes and serves to phase-out intentional use of these chemicals by our suppliers.

We also aim to address chemicals in the manufacturing process by using the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Programme’s (“ZDHC”) MRSL and Wastewater Guidelines. Adopting and rolling out the ZDHC MRSL and Wastewater Guidelines, will further ensure the elimination of unintentional traces of the 11 priority chemical classes in our supply chain.

To monitor compliance with our chemical management program, we take a risk-based approach to auditing suppliers and testing products, focusing on the 11 priority chemical classes. We are increasingly requiring our suppliers at Level 2 of our supply chain (where the most significant chemical impacts occur) to raise their standards on chemical management and are expanding the scope of our environmental assessments to include these suppliers. We encourage suppliers at all levels to achieve sustainability certifications such as Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex , STeP or Bluesign. These certifications are fundamental indicators of performance and we take them into consideration when identifying which suppliers are the highest priorities for undergoing our chemical management testing.

To reinforce our supplier efforts, we also deliver training for our design, product development and supply chain teams on managing chemicals responsibly, improving their knowledge of the impacts of restricted chemicals, as well as best practices.

To help raise standards at an industry level, we collaborate with industry stakeholders to address challenges such as developing shared goals, guidelines and measurement tools. We support the ZDHC’s roadmap for eliminating the discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020. We are also participating in the Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management Group to help our industry develop a shared RSL, so that suppliers are subject to one standard across the industry. Finally, we are working collectively with our peers and other responsible businesses to share best practices through our commitment to the United Nation’s CEO Water Mandate and our participation in the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

11 Priority Chemical Classes

  1. APs and APEOs*
  2. Azo Dyes
  3. Chlorinated Paraffin's
  4. Chlorophenols
  5. Chlorinated Solvents
  6. Chlorinated Benzenes
  7. Heavy Metals
  8. Organotins
  9. Per- and Poly-Fluorinated Chemicals (including PFOS and PFOA)*
  10. Ortho-phthalates
  11. Halogenated Flame Retardants

2016 Highlights

We are preparing to roll out the Higg Facilities Environmental Module and the ZDHC wastewater guidelines to understand our suppliers’ chemical management practices and verify their compliance with the MRSL.

We trained all of our Level 1 suppliers and our supply chain teams on responsible chemical management and our RSL, providing a total of approximately 6,300 hours of training.

We mapped the majority of our Level 2 suppliers and undertook an analysis of the chemicals used in wet processing (such as dyeing and finishing). We will use this information to inform our approach to managing chemical risk and our environmental practices at this level in our supply chain.

We are partnering with our business divisions to help them adopt a risk-based testing methodology to confirm whether suppliers are actually complying with our RSL and are working to roll this methodology out across all divisions.

We started the process of requiring key Level 2 suppliers to have Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex certification, in order to confirm that the components they supply are free from hazardous chemicals and comply with our RSL. We have advised all our Level 1 suppliers who select their own raw material sources to use either Oeko-tex or Bluesign-certified suppliers or materials.

We are preparing to roll out the SAC’s Higg Facilities Environmental Module and the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines to understand our suppliers’ chemical management practices and verify their compliance with the MRSL.

Our Commitments