CHEM-IQ℠

CHEM-IQ is VF's innovative chemical management program. It provides a simple, cost-effective and scalable method for identifying and eliminating unwanted chemistries before they enter our manufacturing process.

Through CHEM-IQ℠, VF is more proactive in our chemical management efforts, and the program simplifies chemical management for our contract suppliers so they can make better choices regarding the use of chemicals in their own facilities.

CHEM-IQ was developed in partnership with the University of Leeds in England and the University of Massachusetts Lowell in the U.S. both known for their expertise in green chemistry – and with strong support from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Modern Testing Services, a global network of chemical laboratories.

Five-Step Process

CHEM-IQ℠ features a five-step process that provides actionable information on chemical selection for VF and our suppliers. Here’s how it works:

1.     All VF-owned and operated factories, as well as most of our contract supplier factories, submit a chemical inventory.

2.     VF’s CHEM-IQ℠ program manager determines which chemicals from each factory require screening and informs the factory.

3.     The factories submit a small sample of each chemical to a third-party chemical laboratory.

4.     The laboratory analyzes each submitted chemical for over 400 hazardous substances, giving the chemical a rating of preferred (green), allowed (yellow), due diligence required (orange), or prohibited (red).

5.     Each factory receives a report on all chemicals submitted and is required to phase out use of any chemicals rated prohibited.

Learn more about the CHEM-IQ℠ Chemical Screening Method.

CHEM-IQ℠ Program Manual

At VF, we believe the best ideas are those that are shared with others. We hope that by making the CHEM-IQ℠ Program Manual available to others, we can inspire additional innovations and advance the pursuit of chemical management improvements across all industries.

The downloadable Manual below provides in-depth information on the program, VF's CHEM-IQ℠ ratings and screening analysis, as well as a table of Substances to Avoid.  

Measurable progress has been made, however, we remain grounded in the reality that the job of actively managing chemicals in our supply chain is never done. We are always working diligently to identify the safest alternatives that will serve as the new building blocks for our innovative products.
— Sean Cady, Vice President, Global Responsible Sourcing

CHEM-IQ℠ Appendix: Substances to Avoid List