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Leather Industry Protocol : Gold/Silver/Bronze Rating For Tanneries


TANNING INDUSTRY-ENVIRONMENTAL RELEVANCE: The Tanning Industry is a potentially pollution-intensive industry. Environmental Concerns in a Tannery include Waste Water, Solid Waste, Air Pollution, Soil Protection and Health and Safety Aspects. Contamination of Soil and Groundwater can be caused through accidental releases, spillages and leakages of certain agents as well as by the treatment of Effluents and Waste. About 80-95% of world Tanneries use Chromium (III) as their tanning agent and it is proved to be toxic for the aquatic life and Chromium(VI) is furthermore harmful since its carcinogenic and cause adverse effects in Human, Plant and Aquatic Life.


LWG PROTOCOL: The Critical Sections of LWG include Restricted Substance Management, Operating Permits, Energy Consumption, Air Emissions, Waste Management, Environmental Management Systems, Water Usage, Chrome Management And Effluent Treatment. Participation in the LWG Process has not only reduced the Environmental Footprint of the participating Tanneries but also contributed to an improvement in Quality as a result of the greater control and more rigorous analysis that members exercise in order to ensure LWG Compliance.

 Improved Business Performance  Improved Environmental Performance
 Reduced Operating Costs  Greater International Acceptance & Competitive Advantage
 Improved  Risk Management  Reduced cost of compliance with Customer  Specifications
 Improved Stakeholder Relationships  Continual Improvement & Customer  Satisfaction
 Improves Business Performance  Business Sustainability & Continuity

CLEANER PRODUCTION THROUGH 4R CONCEPT: Cleaner Production is one of the tools which has lot of bearing on Environmental Pollution Control. It is also seen that the approach is changing with time that is  dumping-to-control-to-recycle-to prevention implicating Resource Conservation, Waste Treatment and Disposal. We can initiate a cleaner production technology through the 4R concept which endorses utilization of waste as by products to the extent possible that is Reduce, Recycle, Recover, Reuse and Recharge.


POLLUTION PREVENTION AND WASTE MINIMIZATION: Pollution Prevention and Waste Minimization are terms that refer to the practices that reduce or eliminate the amount of pollutants which would have entered any waste stream or that would have been released into the environment prior to recycling, treatment, or disposal. 


SOURCE REDUCTION: Source Reduction is the first line of defence in the battle of increasing waste generation and fewer waste management options. Key components of Source Reduction include Environmentally Preferable Purchasing, Reuse of Materials, Waste Exchanges and Management Practices that create less waste. The adoption of Source Reduction approach is usually encouraged because it is often the most cost-effective option as it may reduce Raw Material Losses, Energy and Water Consumption, the reliance on expensive "end-of-pipe" treatment technologies and disposal practices.


WHY GLOBAL BRANDS ARE SUPPORTING LWG: All the global brands intend to reduce their environmental impact by making better manufacturing choices and producing durable products that meet the consumers' needs. The Production of Leather is an Energy, Water and Chemical Intensive Process hence their commitment to reduce the environmental footprint.  Most of the Global Brands believe in sourcing leather from a supply chain that values creating long-term environmental, social, and economic benefits.  In support of this, they commit to source Leather from Tanneries that achieve LWG Certification and demonstrate Environmental Best Practices. All these Global Brands works with the Leather Working Group on improving hide traceability. Their goal is to ensure that the hides sourced to produce Leather do not come from newly deforested lands in endangered forests. Through individual agreements from their suppliers and improved traceability audits through the Leather Working Group Assessment, they are improving their capabilities to ensure that their hide sourcing does not support environmentally-destructive practices.