Truths about Leather – 2nd edition


Simona working to build a brighter future for this amazing natural material!

What is LWG?

The Leather Working Group is an international non-profit organization working to improve the environmental impact of the leather supply chain through audit certification. Since its inception in 2005, the LWG has grown to 1,200 members/stakeholders, becoming the most globally recognized and accepted standard for responsible leather sourcing and manufacturing.

How LWG Audit Works?

A comprehensive protocol outlining industry best practices the audit was created with input from tannery/leather manufacturers, farmers, leather consumers/brands and various NGO including: Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals, United States Department of Agriculture, United States Forest Service and Brazilian Forest Service to name a few. The audit and outlined protocols remain fluid to our ever- changing environment and industry, continuously driving for growth and evolution.

The tannery/leather manufacturer is scored for each critical section of the audit culminating in a medal grade; Bronze, Silver or Gold (where Gold represents the highest achievable grade). The tannery/leather manufacturer must reach or exceed gold score levels for each critical section in order to be accredited a gold rating. Failure to reach or exceed gold score levels for one critical section would result in a lower medal score (or no medal score).

Simona Tanning has proudly maintained Gold rating status for 4 consecutive audits.

1. General Facility Details

Outlines the size and layout of the primary facilities and overall site. Reviews the site location with regard to surrounding habitats to ensure no nature reserves, national parks, wetlands, important waterways, etc. are within close proximity. Reviews the site location with regard to nearby towns/villages/cities to ensure proper distance from densely populated areas. Documents the labor force including – if applicable – contract employment to ensure there are no underage labor practices.

2. Operating Permits

Ensures that the tannery/leather manufacturers have all necessary local and country-specific permits, including but not limited to; general operating permit, water discharge to the environment, air emissions, solid waste disposal, boiler use and chemical purchase/storage. Additionally, the tannery/leather manufacturer acknowledges that they are subject to regular and random auditing from local authorities to ensure proper practices and alignment with permits.

3. Tannery Data

Ensures proper documentation of tannery data including but not limited to; animal species processed, processing partners and accompanying accreditations, amount of material obtained and processed, weight/substance processed, end-use of product, etc.

Simona Tanning scored 90.6% on this section.

4. Environmental Management Systems

Reviews the tannery/leather manufacturer’s commitment (outside of the LWG audit) to environmentally conscious practices. Each manufacturing site must demonstrate documented environmental procedures, staff must be trained on these procedures and tannery must undertake regular internal audits to ensure these best practices are being maintained.

Simona Tanning scored 100% on this section.

5. Restricted Substances

Ensures that the tannery/leather manufacturer adheres to all of their customers’ restricted substance list and have created its own comprehensive restricted substance guidelines which include regular compliance testing.

Simona Tanning scored 100% on this section.

6. Raw Material Traceability

Hides (marked or unmarked) with accompanying documentation indicating the country of origin and slaughterhouse are credited as traceable. The tannery must then demonstrate proper documentation of this data in their system, enabling them to track each hide to finished product and finished good PO number.

Note: For all hides originating from high-risk areas (such as Brazil) traceability to the slaughterhouse is mandatory.

87% of the hides used by Simona Tanning are clearly marked identifying the slaughterhouse and 7% of the hides are unmarked resulting in a 94% traceability score (87% = Gold).

Additionally, Simona Tanning has incorporated their own marking system identifying the purchase number, processing batch number and processing status.

It is important to note that as a “Tanned to Finished” tannery, all of Simona Tanning Inc.’s tanned hides are processed through LWG compliant sources – all of which have received Silver or Gold accreditation.

7. Energy Consumption

Assesses the energy consumption by the tannery/leather manufacturer for all aspects of operation, including but not limited to administration, engineering, space heating or cooling, fork lifts/trucks, wastewater treatment facility, etc. All manner of energy use to power these operations are accounted for, including but not limited to; fuels (natural gas, fuel oil, LPG, coal, diesel, petrol, steam), renewable energy (wood, tallow, biomass) and self-generated renewable energy (wind turbine, solar panel, geothermal well, steam capture, etc.). Tannery/leather manufactures are accredited for use of greenhouse gas emissions reduction technology.

Simona Tanning scored 87.9% for this section.

8. Waste Managment

Demonstrates proper collection, storage and disposal of solid waste (hazardous and non-hazardous) in accordance to local regulatory standards, including but not limited to; waste associated with food, plastic, metal, wood/palette, paper, raw hide/wet blue/finished leather trimming, buffing dust, sludge (post water treatment), chemicals, etc. The tannery/leather manufacturer must identify the external agent/carrier(s) that remove the waste and the manner of disposal.

Simona Tanning scored 95.47% on this section.

9. Water Consumption

Assesses the fresh water consumption by the tannery/leather manufacturer’s complete operation including but not limited to; process/manufacturing (for leather production), utility (boilers, cooling towers), sanitary/domestic, drinking water, fire water. The tannery/leather manufacturer is credited for recycled water usage maintained within the operational system – water recovered from water treatment and cycled back through an onsite reservoir for future use.

Simona Tanning scored 85.8% for this section being credited with recycling/recovering 66% of their water processed through their water treatment facility. 95% of the water used by the tannery is derived from the onsite pond and rainwater/runoff collection. 5% of fresh-water is pulled from market for drinking and sanitary/domestic water for onsite employees.

10. Emergency Plan

Ensures the tannery/leather manufacturer and facility are properly equipped to manage health emergency and safety risks. All personnel are properly trained in emergency response and evacuation plans.

Simona Tanning scored 98% for this section

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