Monitoring chemicals management's impact in Chinese footwear sector

The footwear industry plays an important role in the development of China’s livelihood economy. As the available income of China’s huge population continues to rise, the consumer demand for footwear products grows. The value of mainland footwear in China shows a stable 2% year-on-year increase. However, along with the rapid economic growth, environmental problems and pollution are also increasing dramatically. Along with the stringent environmental regulations, the exposure of media and the surveillance of public, more and more brands get down to help their suppliers to eliminate the emission of hazardous chemicals and other restricted substances by assuming responsibility through sustainable production.

Under the framework of the development partnership approach develoPPP, zLabels, a wholly owned subsidiary of Zalando, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, and their Chinese Partners worked together towards improving chemical management systems and practices in Chinese footwear factories. The three-year joint project (from 2018 to 2021) specifically focused on eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals, improving the handling of chemicals, and creating safer working conditions in selected supplier factories of zLabels. Building on the insights and results, the advisory and training approaches were anchored with Chinese Counterpart institutions to make these available to a wider range of companies in this sector.

As part of the efforts under the partnership project adelphi supported the develoPPP partners and external training provider in setting up a monitoring system and defining indicators to monitor and report project success.