TIL participates in Leather Working Group meeting
April 27, 2014
The annual meeting of the Leather Working Group (LWG) was organised around the Asia Pacific Leather Fair in Hong Kong on April 3. Tata International (TIL) is a member of this apex industry body focused on environmental management and best practices promotion across the leather supply chain since 2005. LWG rigorously audits the way tanneries manage their environmental impact, process control, and water and energy consumption.
The number of major brands aligned with LWG has increased significantly in the last two years. Membership of the LWG plays a crucial role in customer engagement of large tanneries, in addition to bringing their internal environmental management practices into focus. TIL has been audited for LWG Environmental Standards and has qualified with a Gold Rating. The number of Indian tanneries that underwent environmental audits this year increased to 28 per cent of the total audits. This is an indication that the Indian leather industry is the focus of attention of global brands. The need to comply with customers’ requests for LWG audits initially drives tanneries to complex compliance.
According to Mr Jon Hopper, Global Head of Sales and Marketing Finished Leathers, TIL, “There is a general consensus that participation in the LWG process has not only reduced the environmental footprint of the participating tanneries but also contributed to an improvement in quality as a result of the greater control and more rigorous analysis that members exercise in order to ensure compliance with the requirements of the audit system. Understanding their water, power and chemical consumptions and what drives changes in these critical measures helps tanneries understand their own processes and improve control and with it quality.”
As one of India’s leading tanners and a champion of sound environmental practices, TIL welcomes this higher focus on India as a supplier to global brands. LWG represents an opportunity for customer engagement based on the quality and service aspects of the supply chain rather than price. TIL is hopeful that greater Indian participation in this system will help improve quality and benefit of the entire leather supply chain.