The World's First | Zhongding Textile achieves Carbon Neutral for cashmere yarn series based on ISO 14068-1 international standard

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Recently, with the assistance of CarbonNewture, Zhongding Textile's 100% cashmere yarn obtained the Carbon Neutral Certification within three weeks (issued by the internationally recognized authority third-party certification body TÜV SÜD), becoming the world's first product to achieve carbon neutrality based on the international standard ISO 14068-1 (including three types of 2/26Nm 100% cashmere yarn: ELEGANCE, LULLABY, and SERENITY).

Carbon Neutral Certification and details of one of the products QR code

The carbon-neutral yarn utilizes 100% high-quality cashmere, image source: Zhongding Textile

01 Zhongding Textile, weaving nature's path

Zhongding Textile was founded in 2001, located in Tongxiang, Zhejiang, in the heart of the Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone. Its business scope includes the production of coarse and semi-fine knitting yarns, covering yarn dyeing, twisting dyeing, and fabric printing and dyeing. Zhongding has always adhered to the path of nature, focusing on high-end cashmere, wool, and other natural fibers. It has established a 35,000-acre Zhongding Natural Ranch in the Alashan area of Inner Mongolia and the hinterland of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Main sources of raw materials for Zhongding, Image source: Zhongding Textile

Zhongding has built a green industrial chain advantage in the knitting apparel sector, starting from raw materials sourced from upstream pastoral areas to the final products, attracting the highest quality and most stable brand customer base. It has established good direct cooperation relationships with well-known domestic and international frontline apparel brands.

"Nature's Path" is the core value that Zhongding has always upheld, with the concept of natural principles and sustainable operations. It crafts and produces high-quality yarn products with ingenuity, emphasizing humanistic care and respect for and protection of the natural environment. Through third-party certifications, it proves the safety and sustainability of its products. Zhongding is committed to jointly promoting sustainable development with fashion brands throughout the production process and continuously strives to create green products.

Development philosophy of Zhongding Textile: Weaving Nature's Path. Image source: Zhongding Textile

In response to carbon reduction in production, Zhongding has been continuously practicing and achieving certain results in the low-carbonization of energy and wastewater treatment.

Currently, all production equipment of the company has been equipped with frequency conversion constant pressure gas supply. The joint research and development project with Siemens on the drive and motor technology transformation of ring spinning machines can achieve energy-saving and efficiency-improving effects. Additionally, Zhongding has been committed to using clean energy to meet its administrative and production electricity needs. By fully utilizing the photovoltaic power generation system on the rooftops of factory buildings, Zhongding maximizes the use of solar energy for power generation, thereby reducing dependence on external power supply. Furthermore, Zhongding fully acknowledges the criticality of water resources in the textile industry and the severity of environmental pollution. The company has been actively promoting wastewater treatment measures to reduce the impact of production on water resources and the environment.

Real scene of Zhongding Textile factory, image source: Zhongding Textile

Photovoltaic roof on the Zhongding Textile factory, image source: Zhongding Textile

Based on green production, from upstream raw materials to final products, Zhongding collaborates with supply chain partners to jointly create a green industrial chain advantage in the knitting apparel sector. It is recognized as "the most influential brand enterprise in the cashmere industry".

02 Zhongding Textile receives the world's first Carbon Neutral Certificate based on ISO 14068-1 standard, continuously exploring the path of sustainable development.

Carbon peak and carbon neutrality are highly scientific and rigorous concepts and goals. Achieving corporate carbon neutrality is a long, difficult, and monumental task. Typically, companies will first establish long-term carbon goals (such as achieving Scope 1&2&3 carbon neutrality by 2050) and short-term carbon goals (such as achieving Scope 1&2 carbon neutrality and reducing Scope 3 emissions by 50% by 2030), and continuously adjust them based on business development and technological advancements. When it comes to individual products, companies typically choose to first achieve partial carbon neutrality for core products, steadily progressing towards the ultimate goal of overall carbon neutrality.

Zhongding Textile verifies product carbon neutrality using the latest international carbon neutrality standard ISO 14068-1

Zhongding Textile has chosen to verify product carbon neutrality using the first international standard on carbon neutrality, ISO 14068-1:2023 "Climate Change Management - Transition to Net Zero - Part 1: Carbon Neutrality", issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO 14068-1 is based on and replaces PAS 2060 (PAS 2060 is the recognized carbon neutrality standard, which will be phased out by the end of 2025 and fully replaced by ISO 14068), specifying principles, requirements, and guidelines for achieving and demonstrating carbon neutrality through quantifying, reducing, and offsetting carbon footprints. It is applicable to organizations (including companies and financial institutions) and products (such as goods and services).

ISO 14068-1, as an internationally agreed-upon standard by experts from various countries worldwide, will be widely utilized to assist businesses in more accurately planning, achieving, and showcasing their carbon neutrality achievements. Published in November 2023, there are currently no instances of carbon neutrality verification based on this standard (based on research across multiple third-party certification bodies and online search results). This means that Zhongding is the first company globally to achieve product carbon neutrality certification based on the ISO 14068-1 international carbon neutrality standard.

ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, is a global non-governmental organization established in 1947. It comprises 167 member countries and over 340 technical committees. By developing internationally recognized standards, ISO facilitates international trade and services, reducing trade barriers and facilitating the exchange of goods and services across borders.

ISO 14068-1:2023 "Climate Change Management - Transition to Net Zero - Part 1: Carbon Neutrality": The standard specifies principles, requirements, and guidelines for achieving and declaring carbon neutrality through the quantification, reduction, and offsetting of carbon footprints, providing a pathway and standardized approach for organizations of all types to transition to net zero. This standard is drafted and compiled by the Greenhouse Gas Management Sub-Technical Committee (ISO/TC207/SC7) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Since its initiation in February 2020, over 90 experts from 21 countries including China, Canada, and the United Kingdom have participated in its development. As an internationally agreed-upon standard, ISO 14068-1 provides a unified method and principles for organizations of all kinds to achieve carbon neutrality. It is noteworthy that the ISO 14068 series of standards holds a central position within the ISO 14060 standard family (such as 14064, 14065, 14066, 14067, etc.), as the ultimate goal of standards in this series, including 14064 and 14067, is to achieve carbon neutrality.

"Full-Process Service Empowered by Digital Technology + Authoritative Third-Party Certification + Transparent Disclosure"

Zhongding Textile's three core 100% cashmere yarn products obtain Carbon Neutrality Certificates and compliant disclosure

Zhongding Textile, in collaboration with CarbonNewture, utilized the CarbonNewture digital carbon management platform to calculate the carbon footprint of three core products (ELEGANCE, LULLABY, and SERENITY) throughout their life cycle, following the ISO 14067:2018 carbon footprint calculation standard. Adhering to the principle of prioritizing emission reduction and offsetting over compensation, they offset "unabated GHG emissions" by purchasing International Renewable Energy Certificates (I-RECs). This ultimately achieved carbon neutrality for the products, leading to the issuance of Carbon Neutral Certificate by the internationally authoritative third-party auditing body TÜV SÜD.

It's worth noting that CarbonNewture provided Zhongding Textile with full-service support, including digital technology empowerment, authoritative third-party certification, and transparent disclosure, all within just three weeks.

Note: [1] Previously, Zhongding Textile has established a strict "Carbon Neutrality Management Plan," with a clear and scientific pathway towards corporate carbon neutrality, including both short-term and long-term carbon goals. [2] The SERENITY cashmere yarn retains the original color of cashmere by using different blends of natural white, gray, and purple cashmere, without any dyeing process.

Photos and traceability QR codes for ELEGANCE, SERENITY, and LULLABY 100% cashmere yarn

Furthermore, to ensure downstream customers and consumers' right to know and enhance the transparency and traceability of carbon data, Zhongding Textile also uploads the carbon data of products certified by authoritative third-party certification to the "Internationa Carbon Information Disclosure Platform for Textile and Apparel".

SERENITY 100% cashmere disclosure page

The International Carbon Information Disclosure Platform for Textile and Apparel utilizes digital technologies such as blockchain to empower carbon management, ensuring the immutability, security, privacy, transparency, traceability, and full process tracking of carbon data. As shown in the above diagram, once uploaded to the blockchain, the carbon information of the three carbon-neutral cashmere yarn products can be traced with a single click, achieving high transparency of product carbon information and maintaining a more virtuous low-carbon consumption market.

The following image shows the blockchain details of Zhongding Textile's SERENITY carbon-neutral cashmere yarn dual carbon information:

03 Conclusion

In recent years, the topic of "greenwashing" has been continuously discussed, and the European Union has successively introduced policies to strictly control declarations and labels without scientific basis (such as uncertified or unofficial labels, unsubstantiated claims, and vague declarations will be strictly prohibited). Only sustainability labels based on official certification schemes or developed by public institutions are allowed.

ISO 14068-1 is a carbon neutrality standard developed jointly by experts from multiple countries globally through consensus negotiations, and it has a significant international impact. It serves as a management and communication tool for companies to develop science-based carbon neutrality plans and declare carbon neutrality adapted to their development stages. Its introduction will to some extent standardize the current confusion in methods and principles for achieving carbon neutrality. Combined with verification from authoritative third-party certification bodies, it may become an effective tool to avoid "greenwashing" and misleading environmental claims.


[1]中国标准化院环资分院,刘玫 杨洁《碳中和标准的推出道阻且长》