Leather Working Group
The objective of this multi-stakeholder group is to develop and maintain a protocol that assesses the compliance and environmental performance of tanners and promotes sustainable and appropriate environmental business practices within the leather industry.
The group seeks to improve the tanning industry by creating alignment on environmental priorities, bringing visibility to best practices and providing suggested guidelines for continual improvement.
It is the group‟s objective to work transparently, involving suppliers, brands, retailers, leading technical experts within the leather industry, NGOs, academic institutions and other stakeholder organizations.
Benefits of the group
Offers the use of guidelines, consistent across the tanning industry
Provides regular dialogue and updates with industry peers and leather experts
Demonstrates public commitment towards environmental protection
Gives access to a list of audited tanneries (voluntary listing)
Leather industry protocol
The protocol is intended to provide suggested guidelines for the environmental performance of tanneries
The protocol was developed and reviewed by tanners, brands and industry experts to ensure adequacy and technical feasibility
A recent version of the environmental auditing protocol has been peer reviewed by the World Wildlife Fund US and further NGO input will be requested as budget allows
The leather working group has adopted a guidance document that gives tanners information on suggested best environmental practices
The purpose of this tannery auditing protocol is to evaluate the environmental performance of tannery operations. The tannery being audited is required to provide the auditor with full and accurate data during the audited in order to support the audit findings. The tannery is required not to withhold information nor to mislead or attempt to mislead the auditor. The tannery is required to present all operating permits, plus all additional data or documentation that may be required, to confirm that the tannery is operating in accordance with all operating permits. The auditor will be required to assess whether the tannery is in compliance with its operating permits, however the audit process is a not a full legal compliance investigation and is not expected to prove that the tannery is fully compliant, that is the responsibility of the tannery. There may be issues that addressed in this audit protocol that might be considered to fall within the remit of a Health and Safety audit or review and others that fall within the remit of a quality audit or review. This audit protocol is not intended to address health and safety or quality issues other than to the extent that they impact on environmental issues. It is expected that auditors would be knowledgeable with regard to health and safety or quality issues in tanneries and would draw attention to any issues that require urgent attention. In the event that any data or information is found to have been withheld or presented in a way designed to mislead the auditor the entire audit will be reclassified “Gross Failure”.
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