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The EU’s Single Market initiative is driving the standardization of regulations across the European retail and consumer services market to support innovation and safety. Nevertheless, regulations still vary between member states, with some states adding additional requirements to the EU rules. Europe’s strongest markets include luxury brands, toys, children’s apparel and care items, textiles and leather.

UL is an official Contributor of the ZDHC program and supports the initiative’s vision of widespread implementation of sustainable chemistry and best practices to protect consumers, workers and the environment.

Responsible sourcing is receiving increased attention in the European Union. Environment and sustainability issues are also gaining increased focus.

A courtyard in a European retail complex

Market Challenges

Value chains that extend across European member states and to emerging markets are increasingly common. Responsible sourcing is receiving increased attention in the EU, particularly in the southern member states, to address issues of raw materials traceability, migrant labor, and unauthorized subcontracting.

Environment and sustainability issues are also front and center. Manufacturers who source goods from water intensive operations must address the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Program which requires the removal of hazardous chemicals.

Keys to Success

  • Sustainability audits to assist in compliance with initiatives such as the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Program.
  • Utilize sustainability management solutions. UL’s cr360 is recognized for its easy-to-use interface, enhanced performance analysis and ability to incorporate EHS, Compliance, Sustainability, and Supply Chain information into one single platform.
  • Responsible sourcing services to establish, assess, track and measure supply chain sustainability programs, including: 
    • Capacity building and continuous improvement
    • Environmental responsibility
    • Extractives and raw materials sourcing
    • Risk identification and management
    • Security and brand protection
    • Social responsibility and accountability audits for insight into suppliers’ compliance with national and international labor standards. UL can also assess compliance with company-specific standards such as a supplier code of conduct or a variety of industry standards.