We have worked with the independent bluesign standard since 2000 to evaluate and reduce resource consumption and to screen raw materials, including dyes and finishes, used in our supply chain. bluesign technologies, based in Switzerland, audits the energy, water and chemical usage of its system partners and helps them achieve continuous, long-term environmental improvement.
Bluesign system partners agree at the outset to establish management systems for improving environmental performance in five key areas of the production process: resource productivity, consumer safety, water emissions, air emissions, and occupational health and safety. System partners regularly report their progress and must meet improvement goals to maintain their status; bluesign technologies performs regular audits.
In addition, the bluesign standard helps factories implement an input-stream management system for raw materials. This includes screening of chemicals, which are assigned to one of three categories: blue, safe to use; gray, special handling required; and black, forbidden under the standard. The bluesign standard helps factories eliminate black chemicals and find equivalent alternatives.
It's a rigorous standard, but as of spring 2013, 19% of all fabric Patagonia uses in its products is bluesign approved. Our progress has inspired us to work with other suppliers in the outdoor industry to encourage more major textile providers to adopt the bluesign standard. We have established a goal with our suppliers to have all Patagonia fabrics bluesign-approved by 2015.
We partner with bluesign because from the day we met them, they have had the most stringent and progressive protocol available to us for the dyeing and finishing of our fabrics. They have the experience, dedication and drive to continually recruit new members to work at the highest environmental level. There are not any other companies that are able to do this in the textile industry.
Peter Waeber, CEO of bluesign technologies ag explains the certification process for the bluesign standard for environmental health and safety.