The Phylmar Group, Inc. Newsletter
February 2016
In This Issue
AFIRM Group Publishes Harmonized RSL for Brands, Retailers, and Suppliers
Sustainability Leaders Share Biggest Sustainability Technology Hopes for 2016
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for more information.
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Issue #73: Leading Apparel and Footwear Group AFIRM Publishes Harmonized RSL; Sustainability Leaders Share Hopes for 2016
 February 2016

Dear Subscriber,  

Welcome to the February 2016 edition of the Phylmar Newsletter. 
We begin this issue with the harmonized Restricted Substance List (RSL) recently published by the Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management (AFIRM) Group for brands, retailers and suppliers.  AFIRM consists of several leading brands in the apparel and footwear industry and was formed with the mission "to reduce the use and impact of harmful substances in the apparel and footwear supply chain."  The Phylmar Group hosts AFIRM and facilitates services, communications, projects, and seminars. 

Next, is an article that provides the perspective of several sustainability leaders on their hopes for sustainability technology in 2016.  They include things like improving platforms for gathering and harnessing data as well as a project to attach air quality sensors to cars.     
We also want to remind folks to come visit the PhylmarTV channel on YouTube to find videos covering a variety of topics for the EHS/Sustainability professional.

As always, please provide us with any feedback you might have and let us know if there is a topic that you'd like us t o cover in future newsletters .
Mark Katchen, CIH
Managing Principal 
The Phylmar Group, Inc.
AFIRM Group Publishes Harmonized RSL for Brands, Retailers, and Suppliers
Press Release, , December 21, 2015

Leading brands in the apparel and footwear industry participating in the Apparel & Footwear International RSL Management Group (AFIRM) are pleased to announce the publication of the AFIRM Restricted Substance List (RSL) for brands, retailers and suppliers.

AFIRM developed RSL Guidance in 2011 at the request of suppliers that could be widely used within the supply chain.  The AFIRM RSL provides up-to-date limits based on newest regulations and other agreements; corresponding test methods; and potential uses of the chemicals in an easy-to-read format.

The AFIRM RSL is a tool for suppliers to establish chemical management knowledge and processes, build base compliance with AFIRM member chemical restrictions, and provide a common base for analytical testing.  However, AFIRM member brands determine and communicate to their vendors their testing requirements and acceptance of test reports.

AFIRM continues to be a recognized global center of excellence, providing resources to enable continuous advancement of chemical management best practices.  The Group's programs are based on transparency, science, and collaboration with relevant industries and experts to build safer and more sustainable chemistry within the apparel and footwear supply chains.  In addition, each AFIRM company has developed its own guidelines for managing chemicals in textile supply chains, and some continue to provide training to their own suppliers.  

Current members of the AFIRM Group include: adidas, ASICS, Bestseller, C&A, Carhartt, Esprit, Gap Inc., Gymboree, H&M, Hugo Boss, J. Crew, Lacoste, Levi Strauss & Co., lululemon, New Balance, NIKE Inc., Pentland, PUMA, PVH, and s.Oliver.

The AFIRM RSL is available to download at the AFIRM website  Suppliers at all levels of the apparel and footwear supply chain are encouraged to use the AFIRM RSL as a reference for limits and testing methods of restricted substances possibly found in apparel and footwear raw materials and production processes.  The AFIRM Group intends to update the RSL annually to ensure that it meets legal requirements and also goes further to advance the industry.  The leading brands that created this list expect other brands across the industry to adopt the AFIRM RSL over time, which will significantly reduce confusion in the supply chain.  AFIRM has also published a "RSL Implementation Toolkit" for suppliers which includes additional helpful information on chemicals and their proper management.  
To view the AFIRM RSL, click here.
Sustainability Leaders Share Biggest Sustainability Technology Hopes for 2016
Summary of article by Elaine Hsieh, Program Director and Senior Analyst of VERGE,, December 28, 2015
What's your biggest hope for sustainability technology in 2016?

Kate Brandt, lead for sustainability, Google.  Biggest hope for sustainability in 2016 is the opportunity she sees for businesses like Google to make a difference through leading by example They plan to continue driving sustainability across operations by designing data centers to be as efficient as possible.  They are also working to create sustainable workplaces by developing tools like Portico, which will help with decisions about using healthier materials. Purchasing and investing in renewable energy in ways that can lead to change in how the industry works. And investing in solutions like Project Sunroof and a partnership with a startup named Aclima, to attach air-quality sensors to our Street View cars to measure for hazardous chemicals.

Tom Werner, CEO, SunPower.  He is confident that innovative technology will move sustainability one step closer to "default status" across industries. Similar to the years preceding the IT revolution, these past several years have been a prelude to major advances in sustainability that will fundamentally change how technology is designed, developed and delivered.

Michael Berkowitz, president, 100 Resilient Cities, Rockefeller Foundation.  Has hope that more technology will be created to help cities harness data and feedback from citizens to better understand their true challenges and opportunities. Urban solutions should ideally be created to solve multiple problems and create benefits in one single intervention. It's cost-efficient, effective and a better way of doing business.

Stefan Heck, co-founder and CEO, Nauto.  Hopes that autonomy will "survive" the first bad experiences as Tesla's autopilot upgrade deploys globally, as Google cars venture into limited "public/employee" service, and other manufacturers bring out similar autonomous features. There will be accidents, but he hopes that people focus on the overall benefits, not the outlier examples of crashes.

Robin Chase, co-founder, Veniam, Zipcar.  Hopes there will be more "platforms for participation" created that take the complexities and transactional hurdles out of climate-positive services, making them easy to adopt and ready to be scaled broadly.  Things like more smart transportation, more distributed energy, more smart homes, more efficiency.

Frank Pennisi, VP and general manager, Honeywell Connected Buildings.  One area that shows considerable promise for 2016 is the simple notion of introducing a common platform that can connect smart devices already present in buildings.  Adding ubiquitous wireless connectivity would allow the possibilities to grow. 

To view the complete article, click here.
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability Events

Global Business Summit: REACH and Global Supply Chains, Brussels, Belgium, February 23-24, 2016

Greenbiz 2016, Phoenix, AZ, February 23-25, 2016

Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, New Orleans, LA, March 13-17, 2016

ACGIH Fundamentals in Industrial Ventilation, Cincinnati, OH, April 4-8, 2016

About The Phylmar Group, Inc.
The Phylmar GroupĀ® is an organization that partners with best-in-class companies on their most challenging environmental, health and safety, and social responsibility issues by working in a vertically integrated way from anticipating clients' needs from strategy to implementation. This is achieved through trusted expert client advisors who deliver innovative, responsible, efficient solutions addressing client needs and creating added value. For more information, visit or call 310.474.3937.

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