UNIDO's MED TEST III Project Pioneers Sustainable Practices in Southern Mediterranean Industries

In collaboration with the ZDHC Foundation, as part of the regional EU-funded SwitchMed programme, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) spearheads the MED TEST III project. This initiative is a catalyst for advancing environmental performance and enhancing the competitive advantage of textile industry and the associated value chain in the Southern Mediterranean region, with a primary focus on Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.

Project Attribute:

  • Project Name: MED TEST III, part of the regional EU-funded SwitchMed programme
  • Project Timeline: 2021 - 2022
  • Number of Participated Supplier: 37 Suppliers
  • Countries: Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia

Phasing Out Hazardous Chemicals: A Collaborative Endeavour

The MED TEST III project, aligned with ZDHC's mission-driven approach for the textile, apparel, leather, and footwear industry, showcases pioneering efforts to eliminate hazardous chemicals from the textile industry's value chain. UNIDO, in partnership with the ZDHC Foundation, has executed impactful pilot projects, setting the stage for a sustainable future.

Demonstrating the Business Case: Sustainable Chemical Management System (CMS) Implementation

At its core, the project seeks to exemplify and meticulously document the business case for adopting a sustainable Chemical Management System (CMS) in the textile-finishing industry, adhering to the stringent ZDHC Guidelines. The journey commenced with an initial training session on ZDHC Sustainable Chemical Management and Wastewater Management for staff across 37 production facilities in Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia between 2020 and 2021.

Piloting Progress: Industry-Wide Transformation

Building on this foundation, the subsequent phase (2021-2022) witnessed the launch of six industry pilot projects, strategically designed to provide technical assistance. These projects aimed to enhance chemical and wastewater management systems within production facilities, setting a precedent for industry-wide transformation. A total of 15 additional companies were actively supported through targeted training and capacity-building initiatives, culminating in the development of comprehensive country roadmaps.

Toward Sustainable Horizons: Extending ZDHC Guidelines Adoption

UNIDO's MED TEST III project not only pioneers change at the grassroots level but also aspires to create a lasting impact. The culmination of efforts resulted in the preparation of country roadmaps, strategically outlining the path for an extended adoption of ZDHC guidelines within the textile-finishing sector. This forward-looking approach ensures that the positive transformation catalyzed by the project continues to ripple across the industry, fostering a culture of sustainability and responsible chemical management.

In summary, the collaborative endeavors of UNIDO, ZDHC, and the regional EU-funded SwitchMed programme through the MED TEST III project signify a decisive stride toward a cleaner, safer, and more sustainable future for the Southern Mediterranean industries.

Extended Reading

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