Our Detox Commitment with Greenpeace

Together with Greenpeace, we advocate a toxin-free future for textile production. We have established clear rules for our suppliers to drive forward the switch to non-hazardous chemicals within a realistic timeframe.

Pioneer in toxin-free production

In 2013 we were the first Swiss company to sign the Detox Commitment and have already done much to comply with it. This prompted Greenpeace to cite us in its interim report as as «trendsetter» in toxin-free textiles. This is both confirmation and motivation for us. In the next few years too we will continue to take further key steps to make our production of conventional textiles even more sustainable.

To fulfil the Detox Commitment to clean textile and leather production, we are taking measures in these areas:

Zum Detox-Commitment von Greenpeace und Coop

1. Blacklist for the use of chemicals

The Coop Blacklist for Textiles and Leather summarizes the chemicals that, by 2020 at the latest, may no longer be used anywhere in the supply chain for our own-label textile brands. The list covers more than the eleven chemical groups rated as hazardous by Greenpeace, and is regularly reviewed. Our business partners are obliged to adhere to this blacklist and to switch to non-hazardous chemicals in their textile production.

2. Local support/Coop Detox Manual

We continually support suppliers making the switch to more environmentally-friendly chemicals and assist them with bespoke training courses. The Coop Detox Manual provides guidance for our suppliers and their upstream suppliers on Coop-compliant textile production. It contains a holistic approach to chemical management throughout the textile supply chain with the aim of minimizing the use of toxic chemicals at all stages of production.

3. Measurement and publication of environmental data

We arrange for environmental data to be recorded and reviewed at our textile suppliers on an annual basis, to determine whether they are complying with the requirements and documenting progress. Dye works and printers are our primary focus. These businesses undergo inspections by external audit firms for the presence of undesirable chemicals on the blacklist in, for example, their waste water and sewage sludge.

4. Publication in the IPE database

The results of these environmental tests at our key suppliers are publicly accessible in the database of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE). The environmental data of 80 percent of our suppliers (in terms of sales) are publicly accessible.

Coop's main finishers and dye works including the following companies:

5. Transparent supply chain

Coop publishes the names of textile suppliers of Coop own-label brand textiles in addition to the main suppliers. The list shows our suppliers by country in which they have the Coop merchandise produced.

6. Product testing at product level

We carry out regular random checks across the textile range and test the products for hazardous chemicals. These are the records of the latest tests:

7. International cooperation and creation of standards

In October 2015, we signed up to the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) programme. Together with other retailers and brand suppliers, it is our aim to establish new environmental standards in the global textile, leather and shoe industries. These industries are strongly interdependent on an international scale and we therefore firmly believe that actively eliminating hazardous chemicals can only be achieved by working together.

Coop has also taken on a pioneering role in developing the BEPI Chemical Management Audit together with amfori BEPI. This audit is based on the ZDHC programme and highlights the areas in which our textile suppliers have chemical management under control and where there is scope for further action. The BEPI Chemical Management Audit process also entails a self-assessment questionnaire and training, promoting greater awareness among textile suppliers and ensuring they receive practical help to enable toxin-free textile production.

8. Textiles and Leather working group and Chemicals specialist team

Our Textiles and Leather working group is a forum for regular discussion of progress and challenges in the implementation of the guideline and for identifying the necessary measures. The group comprises specialists from Purchasing, Quality Management, Sustainability and own-label brand Coop Naturaline. Our Chemicals specialist team discusses topics such as the use of chemicals, suppliers' environmental data, compiling the blacklist and running and evaluating product testing at the product level.