Bart Sights, Vice President of Technical Innovation and the head of Eureka—Levi Strauss & Co.’s (LS&Co.) Innovation Lab—was feeling excited after a biannual meeting in late 2015 with ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals), an apparel industry collaboration of various brands such as LS&Co., Nike, and H&M. At the meeting, LS&Co. had briefed the 26 ZDHC brands on its new Screened Chemistry Program, developed in 2013 to shift the company and the industry from a risk-based approach towards a hazard-based approach on chemicals. The program screened chemical formulations (a mixture of chemical ingredients) against human and environmental health hazard endpoints before chemicals entered the supply chain, managing chemistry upfront during the design phase instead of in the middle or at the end of the manufacturing process. This shift represented a radical departure—by screening chemicals for hazard before they entered the supply chain, LS&Co. was attempting to change the status quo of the relationship among brands, manufacturers, and chemical providers.
July 15, 2016
Mulvihill, M.J., Strand, R. (2016) Levi Strauss: Driving Adoption of Green Chemistry. Berkeley-Haas Case Series: California Management Review. UC Berkeley Press.