Brazilian tanning industry has been demonstrating its commitment to business sustainable management. The industry is continuously motivated to develop its sustainability tools and strategies for the improvement of its activities.
The country’s environmental legislation resulted in industrial procedures of great quality inside the leather companies, whose investments in improving their production, with focus on sustainability, are widely consecrated attributes in both domestic and internationally markets.
The evolution achieved over the years in the application of these concepts can be seen along the production chain and is recognised internationally. Examples of this acknowledgment are the varieties of high-scale certifications such as ISO, LWG, specific certifications for the automotive sector, among others.
Brazil is the country with the highest number of tanneries certified by the Leather Working Group (LWG), a multi-stakeholder group aimed at the development of best environmental practises through a protocol to assess the performance of the certified tanneries. The country has 33 companies highlighted among gold, silver and bronze rates.
Awarded tanneries in Brazil:
Behind Brazil, comes China, with 32 certified companies. Currently there are over 140 member companies from 21 different countries participating in the program. “It is a panorama that reaffirms the commitment of the country with environmental issues”, says José Fernando Bello, executive president of the Centre for the Brazilian Tanning Industry (CICB).
One of LWG’s main views is to create alignment on environmental priorities, bringing visibility to best practices and providing suggested guidelines for continual improvement. “The benefit of creating cohesion on environmental issues is great. The sector is continuously improving its environmental performance in areas such water consumption, management, treatment of wastewater effluents, emission reduction, raw materials traceability and waste disposal among others”, he adds
Not forgetting to mention that most of the certified plants in Brazil have grade A for traceability the highest grade possible, a challenge for other countries around the world, which have difficulties in achieving the same success.
LWG latest election held in September reflected the importance of the Brazilian companies in this initiative. Three new members were elected to the Group’s Executive Committee and JBS S/A was named as the representative of the Leather Manufacturers.
Currently, the sector employs more than 50 thousand workers, and part of the team, dedicates its time exclusively in actions related to sustainability. National tanneries have been working on a series of improvements and systematic training focused on radically reduction of the environmental impacts, contributing to the nation's economic and social development. The preparation addresses issues relating to chemical safety, legislation, product safety, cleaner technologies, environmental and eco issues. The training also converges with regular seminars, forums and congresses to discuss and explain the best practices being used in sector around the world.