The Brazilian leather sector has a new historical reference in the field of sustainability: the first Gold-level recognition of the Brazilian Leather Certification of Sustainability (CSCB) was recently given to the Curtume Courovale by BCM from Portão (RS). This is the second company to be certified in 2018 (the first was Fuga Couros, Silver-level), which attests to their positive practices in the economic, societal, and environmental tripod in accordance with the norm ABNT NBR 16.296 and audited by an INMETRO accredited organization.
The award ceremony was held at Courovale by BCM with the participation of collaborators, managers, and directors in addition to local press and representatives from the Centre for the Brazilian Tannery Industry (CICB). José Fernando Bello, the executive president of the CICB, highlighted the importance for Brazil to have its own certification that's promoted around the world in trade fairs and through clients. Director of the Curtume Courovale, Rafael Emílio Collet, together with business managers Solange Pauletti and Verônica Meurer, reinforced this sentiment, affirming that "the CSCB is our principle cause" as it aims to strengthen the industry with continued improvements.
For the next three years there is a schedule of audits, evaluations, and recertification to maintain the Gold-level or reach the Diamond-level, assuring Courovale's commitment to continual improvements to their processes. Currently, 18 Brazilian tanneries are in the process of preparing for audits to ensure they meet the norm (ABNT NBR 16.296 - Leathers - Principles, criteria, and indicators for sustainable production).
In addition to being the first company to be Gold Certified, Courovale is also the first to be certified since the signing of a partnership agreement between Brazil and Italy for certifications. The document was signed in Hong Kong on the eve of the APLF fair (the sector's largest fair) between the CSCB and ICEC (Institute of Quality Certification for the Leather Sector), with major repercussions in specialized media. The agreement recognizes both certifications mutually, which should further promote certified tanneries in the international scenario.
What is the CSCB
The Brazilian Leather Certification of Sustainability was constructed by the chain that integrates the Brazilian leather industry and is supported by the Brazilian Leather project - an initiative of the CICB and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) to incentivize participation in foreign markets. The CSCB promotes and recognizes positive practices from tanneries that seek economic results, a reduction in environmental impact, and relations with collaborators and communities. There are 173 indicators for tanneries seeking the CSCB to work on, such as:
-reducing water consumption
-reducing energy consumption
-product quality control
-origins of natural resources
-worker health and safety
How to obtain certification
After adhering to the CSCB, each company passes through a consulting and training phase, in which all 173 indicators are worked on. The consulting instructs and verifies the continuous meeting and registration of each indicator and, once this phase is complete, the tannery can solicit and audit from an organization accredited by INMETRO for certification. There are four levels:
- Bronze (for meeting up to 50% of applicable indicators in each of the certification’s four dimensions)
- Silver (75%)
- Gold (90%)
- Diamond (100%)