15 Sep 2022
The leather industry’s main representative body in Europe, COTANCE, has announced a new project through which it aims to establish a clear connection between leather and the European Union’s Green Deal and Circular Economy Action Plan, writes Leatherbiz.
The Green Deal is part of a €1 trillion investment plan and is central to the EU’s aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The Circular Economy Action Plan is part of the Green Deal.
COTANCE and trade union organisation industriAll Europe held a launch meeting for the new project, Green Deal Leather, on September 9 and have arranged an initial meeting of the project’s steering group in Milan on September 22.
They said on launching the project that the European Union had identified the wider textiles sector, including the leather industry, as one of the priority sector for making Europe’s economy circular.
There will be support for the sector from the EU to help it recover from the effects of the covid-19 pandemic, COTANCE said and, in the longer term, make this transition. It said it would work with industriAll to make sure this included investment in protecting jobs in the leather sector in Europe and in creating new employment in the industry.
It said that driving sustainability and building a fairer, greener and more resilient European tanning industry would be the key to this.
From the outset, Green Deal Leather will drive home the message that Europe can have a leather manufacturing industry that causes “zero adverse impact”. It will focus on two aspects of this and strive to show that tanneries are safe workplaces and that leather’s carbon footprint makes it a sustainable material for brands and finished product manufacturers to use.
National industry bodies from Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Portugal and Austria, which, together, have more than 80% of the industry’s workforce in the European Union, will be the project partners for Green Deal Leather. They will collect the necessary data on workplace safety and carbon footprint from official information sources, surveys, interviews and other channels.
There will be two international workshops on Green Deal Leather and the project will conclude with a final conference in Brussels in 2024.