Choose options with reduced toxicity potential and work with suppliers that follow pollutant regulations


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SDG Alignment

12. Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns

UN SDG Target


Target Description

By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment

Level of Effort

Level of Effort Scale


1 -Quick Wins: solution involves adding criteria for the good or service being purchased (ex: certifications), minimal internal process changes.

2 -Long Term Adoption: solution requires some changes to internal processes and/or more capital investment (ex: digital transformation to reduce paper use).

3 – Disruptive Opportunities: requires significant investment and changes to internal processes (ex: retrofitting building)

Category Assessment


• Request existing and new suppliers for valid proof of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) compliance.

• Evaluate all viable options that are less waste intensive.

• Consider and calculate the Perchloroethylene Air Emission parameter, as it is vital to keep track of initiative progress.

Opportunity Identification 

Increased supplier diversity and foster long-term supplier relationship which is aligned with your SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) targets. Reduced risk of toxic chemicals for end-users. Scope to invest in commercial cleaning IoT and automation.

Reduced toxic chemicals and conflict minerals (if present) usage leads to a decline in associated global impacts and improved indoor air quality. A study of IAQ (See resource section) showed a 52% decrease in airborne dust, a 42% decrease in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), a 40% decrease in bacteria growth, and a 61% decrease in fungi colony formations by following thorough cleaning procedures including technologically advanced cleaning equipment and greener cleaning supplies.

Strategy Build & Execution

• Align with the appropriate management teams to decide on the requirements for the product (what is required for the product to work?) and budget requirements for commercial needs (volume and budget).

• Request suppliers to provide their ISO certifications, RCAC certifications, and related specifications.

• Evaluate the benefit and impact on the safety of sourcing alternatives (products with a longer lifespan and better quality), which fit the requirements set out by management teams.

• Create a proposal for procedure change on the decision criteria for purchase, which includes:
a) search of databases for energy-efficient alternatives when sourcing,
b) ensure minimum performance standards maintained in technical RFPs,
c) request suppliers for visibility into their waste management reporting and initiatives, to maximize clean chemical usage in their laundry, dry-cleaning processes.

Supplier Negotiation & Contract

• Negotiate with suppliers on value-added elements, including cleaning chemical lists, regular progress reporting.

• Establish in the contract the various supplier performance measures which would be tracked.

• Request supplier for visibility into conflict chemical reporting, RCRA compliance.

• If commercially feasible, consider the negotiation of a downstream product end-of-life recuperation program with the supplier and incorporate it into the contract.

• Identify suppliers who find value in receiving end-of-life fabric processing and dry-cleaning machine recycling. Include quality assurance and warranty clauses in the contract to ensure the product's extended higher quality life.

• Consider contract length extension to maximize leverage.

Supplier Performance & Management

• Based on the measures to be tracked in the contract, monitor the toxic chemical usage specifically in monthly supplier reporting. This is standard practice and should be regularly checked. The list of compounds used during manufacturing process should not have any of the restricted chemicals agreed upon by all parties. This is critical for the initiative success.

• Gather feedback from internal stakeholders especially direct users of the products on the benefits, challenges or areas of improvements expected as a user.

• Ensure to share such company efforts and progress in your annual CSR reporting (internal and external) to suppliers and stakeholders.

Resource Links

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