14 November 2021

Lifecycle Assessment - Spin 360 and LWG embark on largest ever leather LCA

Multi-stakeholder organisation the Leather Working Group (LWG) is to work with Milan-based sustainability consultancy Spin 360 to launch “the largest lifecycle assessment (LCA) for the leather industry” to date, reports Leatherbiz.

Federico Brugnoli speaking at Micam in September 2021

The aim of the exercise is for LWG to provide the tools for the leather manufacturers it works with to calculate the environmental impact of their leather.

Working with Milan-based sustainability consultancy Spin360, the LWG kicks off the first phase of their lifecycle assessment of leather, which will be based on the material made in LWG-certified leather manufacturing facilities.

In the first phase of the project, LWG and Spin360 will define the study’s goal and scope. This will include defining the type of leather that the study will consider, as well as factors such as geographical origin, animal type, tanning technologies and the market segments for which the leather is destined.

During the data collection phase, the study will draw on information about raw material, energy usage, chemicals, water consumption, water and air emissions, and waste management. It will collect and analyse data from at least 40 leather manufacturers in different parts of the world, making this the largest ever LCA conducted for the leather industry.

Commenting on this, Fernando Bellese, chief sustainability officer at PrimeAsia Leather Company, who has worked with LWG for many years and with Spin 360 on a recent LCA exercise for PrimeAsia, said he thought this was an exciting initiative and one that would generate updated, scientific-based data about the industry. He explained: “Discussions around the impact of leather have often been based on outdated information and assumptions.”

Earlier this year, the founder and chief executive of Spin 360, Federico Brugnoli, told World Leather: “LCA is a complex discipline and is based on science. It has to be done by professionals. Just to communicate a number doesn’t mean much. The amount of data required to carry out a proper assessment is vast, and data quality is very important.”

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