Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Certification & Testing Programs


Reducing the discharge of hazardous chemicals in the manufacturing process is vital for the health of communities and the protection of the environment. In today’s transparent global marketplace, any release of harmful toxins in wastewater, accidental or otherwise, is a highly scrutinized issue by regulators and the public at large.

With extensive environmental and safety science expertise in textile, apparel and footwear industries, UL can help retailers and buyers identify potential issues within the supply chain and assist in determining sustainable solutions.


UL provides both conformance certification to ZDHC Program’s  to the Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MSRL), as well as services to reduce  discharge of hazardous chemicals, including wastewater testing, on-site assessments and training based on the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) and priority chemical substance groups. This comprehensive and customizable service includes:

  • Wastewater testing with sophisticated analytical instrumentation and benchmarked limits of detection based on a customer’s unique needs.
  • Wastewater sampling and pre-sampling co-ordination.
  • Posting of test results to public platforms including the preparation, data input and data verification.
  • On-site assessments that cover management systems, chemicals and hazardous substances, water use, quality and monitoring, wastewater treatment and emergency responsiveness, as well as supply chain training and education.
  • Conformance certification to ZDHC MRSL Level 1, which requires a 3rd party review of the documentation or analytical test report, data needs to meet the requirements; Documentation Review (formulation disclosure, MSDS, chemical inventory, test reports); and in the case of lack of data, verification testing will be performed.

As an experienced industry partner and ZDHC MRSL Conformance accepted certification body, UL can help protect and advance the valuable reputation of a textile, apparel and footwear brands by minimizing risk and reducing liability of harmful wastewater discharge into surrounding ecosystems and communities.

Backed by the independent rigor and integrity of UL services, brands are able to demonstrate their commitment to the protection of people and the environment by complying with safety and environmental regulations, including Greenpeace’s global Detox campaign. By signaling a willingness to invest in the future through sustainable and ethical practices, brands can also differentiate themselves in local and globalized markets.

UL is a contributor of ZDHC since early 2017 and counts eight laboratories which are provisionally accepted for wastewater and sludge analysis in connection with the ZDHC Gateway — Wastewater Module and six laboratories performing analysis on chemicals in Italy, China, India and Bangladesh.

In addition, UL is a ZDHC accredited training provider and we are officially recognized by ZDHC to present their official trainings.

UL team is committed to helping retailers and buyers gain greater visibility into every aspect of the supply chain for greater confidence and control. This includes a comprehensive range of education services for all employee levels.

Our experts across the globe have the capacity to custom design and deliver trainings in multiple languages, and UL’s trainings are interactive with case studies and exercises.

We advise on how to understand and integrate the ZDHC initiative by providing comprehensive training on common textile production processes and associated use of hazardous chemicals, and guidance on occurrence of priority substances, use of Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL), etc.

As part of a broader UL offering, we are also able to help customers implement the full range of sustainable chemistry and supply chain management service.