A document for each leather tanner
The Sustainibility Report by UNIC – Unione Nazionale Industria Conciaria (the Italian national association of Tanning Industries) has been recently published and it contains many interesting information about the results achieved by leather industry as far as the environment protection is concerned. A very useful report for each leather tanner and in general for all companies working in the leather sector, and a report that is meant to make people more conscious about the environmental issue and more willing to do something to increase sustainability in this field.
A growing commitment
First of all, the report reveals that there is an ever-growing interest of leather companies for sustainability, as evidenced by the fact that in 2014 the average expenses made by Italian companies to manage and decrease their impact on environment have increased and amount to 4% of total incomes.
There are various variables to keep in mind dealing with sustainability in leather industry. Here are some of the most important ones, which have been analyzed by UNIC:
- Water: water supply has always been an important voice in the environmental balance of each company. Many types of leather finishing processes are carried on in an aqueous environment; for this reason one of the main companies’ commitments is reducing wastes, trying to find new technologies and processes that allow them to do that. Since 2011, this commitment has resulted in a decrease as far as water consumption is concerned, and also in 2014 the trend has been positive (105,4 l/m2).
- Energy: also the energy consumption of tanneries has decreased in 2014 (with 1,20 TEP/1000 m2). The report also points out that energy consumption is one of the fields where there is more room for improvement.
- Wastes: good results have been achieved also as far as wastes are concerned, thanks to the companies’ organization but also to the organic nature of many of the wastes produced in leather industry. In general, in 2014 there have been fewer wastes.
- Emissions: some processes in leather working produce emissions, but they are treated in the proper way thanks to specific plants, like purification plants. In 2014 there has been a slight improvement in the ratio between the concentration of pollutants going in and out of purification plants.
In conclusion, many improvements have been made, and expectations are high also for the future.