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Footwear brands use ISA Tan tool to calculate CO2 emissions for their products
13
Oct '08
The leading manufacturer of high-quality leather, ISA Tan Tec, is the first company in the industry to disclose information on the environmental footprint of each and every one of its products.

An environmental pioneer, the company will now specify how much CO2 is generated and how much water is consumed per square meter of leather for all of its products. ISA Tan Tec's customers, which include renowned shoe and fashion brands including Timberland, Keen, Hush Puppies, Simple Shoes, and New Balance, will now be able to use this data to calculate the CO2 emissions for their own products and inform their customers, allowing them to improve their environmental image.

"Especially with brand-name products, increasing numbers of consumers are paying attention to whether they are manufactured in an environmentally friendly manner. That's why we've become the first leather manufacture to make CO2 emissions and water consumption visible. With this move, we're setting a standard for the entire industry. We hope that other tanneries will follow us on this path," remarked Thomas Schneider, founder and CEO of ISA Tan Tec.

To ascertain how environmentally friendly a product is, ISA Tan Tec uses an innovative color scale based on benchmark data from the British Leather Technology Center. The BLC publishes average energy and water consumption data for the industry. How far below the BLC's figures ISA Tan Tec products fall determines how the different types of leather are categorized on the scale.

These designations are the logical next step of the green tanning strategy that ISA Tan Tec has been following for years. The company reduced energy and water consumption at its main factory in the Chinese town of Guangzhou by up to 50 percent compared to conventional tanneries. Measures such as using solar energy to warm process water and drying the leather at low temperatures allowed ISA Tan Tec to achieve this result.

ISA Tan Tec recently broke ground on a factory in Vietnam that meets even higher environmental standards. "Our goal is to build a factory that will still be state-of-the-art with respect to energy efficiency, productivity, and sustainability in the year 2030," Thomas Schneider explained. ISA Tan Tec is succeeding at this by comprehensively utilizing the latest technology in an intelligent way.

In addition to a solar heating system, a wind turbine is also used to drive the pumps for the water supply. Wherever possible, ISA Tan Tec utilizes waste heat from the production process. The new tannery will start operations in June of 2009 with 280 employees producing two million square meters of high-quality leather each year.

ISA Tan Tec

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