6 October 2021
Dear Board of VOLVO,
Your recent announcement to make VOLVO cars leather-free to contribute to CO2 reduction needs a closer look at background facts.
Over the last years, industries introduce recycled plastic products arguing that this is recycled and sustainable. But by doing this you provide an argument to the oil and plastic industry to increase the usage of fossil materials globally.
The plastic industry is producing tons of CO2 by drilling for oil and by using this material will encourage more exploration.
In addition, plastic is not decomposable; the material you are using will pollute our drinking water, it will kill marine life. Have you seen sea turtles in a death struggle in plastic garbage or fish killed by the plastic in their stomach?
So why does this happen? The material you are using and selling as economically friendly, is cheaper than any other material. Commercial reasons are disguised by a “Vegan story”.
A vegan will not use leather, an ethical decision that must be respected. But environmental reasons are simply fake. I invite you to visit a tannery to see how the leftovers of the meat industry are converted into a modern, durable and sustainable material. If this upcycling process is not made, the waste of the dairy and meat industries goes to landfill. Leather is durable and decomposable.
Customers are not stupid and will realize that they are fooled sooner or later.
**Andreas Kindermann is CEO of Wolldorf Leather in Asutria and former President of COTANCE – the Association of the European Leather industries.