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. In 2015 Greenpeace designated us a «Trendsetter» in the field of toxin-free textiles in its interim report. Since then we have continued to take further key steps to make our production of conventional textiles even more sustainable. We have developed a structured Detox Management System for the textile supply chain involved in the production of our own-label brands, and we implement this rigorously.

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. 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 we are thus establishing 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.

We have 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 enables us to promote greater awareness among textile suppliers and give them access to practical help and tools, thus facilitating toxin-free textile production.

2. Blacklist for the use of chemicals

The key component of our supply chain detox work is the negative list of chemicals. This documents all the chemicals that must no longer be used anywhere in the supply chain for our own-label textile brands. We use the ZDHC negative list because doing so creates a common set of requirements to be met by brand manufacturers and retailers, thus facilitating the implementation of toxin-free textile production. The ZDHC negative list covers more than the eleven chemical groups rated as hazardous by Greenpeace, and is regularly reviewed in collaboration with experts from the chemical industry.

The negative list of chemicals is enshrined in our «Guideline on the Use of Chemicals, Supply Chain Transparency and Quality of Textiles». Our business partners are thus obliged to adhere to this negative list and to switch to non-hazardous chemicals in their textile production.

3. 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.

4. 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.

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. 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 detox requirements throughout the supply chains and for identifying the necessary measures. The group comprises specialists from Purchasing, Quality Management, Sustainability and our own-label brand Coop Naturaline.