Work Groups

To structure and purposefully address the complex tasks of cads, work groups geared to different subjects were formed so cads members can contribute their centers of interest and actively take part in them.

The following working groups are involved in these topics:

1: Safe handling of process chemicals

Solvents as process chemicals are used, among others, in the manufacturing of shoes and shoe materials but they can leave residues in the material or product. The objective of the work group is the development and provision of suitable methods and training documentation to facilitate the safe handling of such process chemicals in the supply chain. To achieve this, the work group develops suitable testing methods and testing plans to measure solvent contents in the surrounding air and in the products.

2: Chemical substances in finished products and raw materials

cads supports restricting or avoiding unwanted chemical substances in shoes and shoe materials. To this end, the work group meets regularly to discuss current legal regulations and verify whether new SVHC (substances of very high concern) are being used in the supply chain. The joint directory of chemical substances is also regularly updated (at least once a year), based on the minimum voluntary requirements suggested by the work group. cads members have committed themselves to implement the requirements in the supply chain through suitable measures and to monitor compliance through regular testing.

3: Testing procedures and standardization

The objective of this work group is the provision of suitable methods to ensure compliance with the minimum requirements set by work group 2. The experts of the work group develop suitable testing methods and also participate in the international standardization committees of these testing methods. In this context, the test results of chemical analyses depend on different factors such as the solvent used for the extraction, the duration of the extraction, and the temperature, for example. If individual parameters are changed, the high concentrations of chemical substances can differ when they are dissolved out of the analyzed materials. Therefore, a harmonization of the test methods is important and a main task of this work group. To test and ensure quality, the participating testing institutes perform round robin tests on a regular basis. If there is no standardized method available for a chemical substance, cads provides the participating testing institutes a detailed description of a harmonized method.

4: Leather

This work group deals with preventing the unwanted formation of chromium VI in leather and leather goods. To accomplish this, cads published a guide for leather manufacturers for the first time in 2015. This guide constitutes the basis for conducting the corresponding training sessions for employees of the leather sector. The experts also provide advice about new insights about chromium VI prevention and work on the toxicological evaluation of chromium VI in leather.

5: Wet processes in textile and coating

Work group 5 deals with the manufacturing of textiles coated with consumer- and environmentally-friendly polyurethane produced in compliance with current occupational safety and environmental protection regulations. In particular, but not exclusively, the content of the solvents used in the materials and products should be reduced. For this purpose, the work group creates the corresponding training documentation and a testing and certification system. With it, cads members can monitor the production facilities of these materials according to a uniform standard.

6: Safe handling and use of biocide agents

The European Regulation on Biocide Products governs the market placement and use of biocide active ingredients that, owing to their activity, are used to protect human beings, animals, materials or products from harmful organisms such as pests or bacteria. For this, the work group prepares a usage guideline that considers the active ingredients already authorized in the EU.

7 – cads Compliance System

The reliability and comparability of test results is very important for globally active cads members and their suppliers. For this purpose, a cads Code of Conduct for Testing Institutes, which ensures the uniform implementation of cads's requirements and test methods worldwide, is developed. The locations of the test institutes are regularly checked for compliance with the cads Code of Conduct and included in a list of recognized test laboratories.

8 – Social

The aim of Working Group 8 is to help cads members to reach their corporate goals in compliance with internationally accepted standards. Based on the conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the working group will work on the development and drafting of a Code of Conduct and provide guidelines for the ongoing development of this topic. The work of AG8 aims to create transparency regarding the social requirements in the supply chain. In addition, WG 8 will support the members in being able to develop at their individual level of implementation.