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ISA Tan Tec opens eco-friendly tannery

02
Feb '10
With great expectations, more than 350 guests of the China-based German leather producer ISA Tan Tec attended the opening of its new tannery in Vietnam in late January. Can the team behind CEO Tom Schneider really set, as announced, a new standard for sustainability best practices combining environment and socially responsible leather production? The customers, partners and friends of the company present at the event unanimously agreed: Yes, they can! "It is surprising to see solutions for so many challenging issues taken into action by the company," said Tran Van Lieu, Head of Binh Duong Industrial and Export Processing Zones Authority.

Whether it be the innovative use of renewable energy or the consistent utilization of waste heat from production, ISA Tan Tec once again lives up to its reputation as a pioneer in the industry -because, among other things, the company applies German standards to the working conditions, efficiency and environmental technology. "For many years, we have been working on the vision of fundamentally overhauling leather production in a bid to make it green. We have now achieved that goal. With this tannery, we show how economic success goes hand in hand with ecologically and socially sustainable economic practices," says Schneider.

The ISA TanTec team would like to see the efforts put into this project serving as an example for future enterprises expanding not only into Vietnamese territory but other major Asian countries. At the new tannery, a total of 250 employees will treat twenty million square feet of leather every year for customers like Timberland, New Balance, Keen, Patagonia and Merrell.

The guests - among them Conrad Cappell, Consul General of Germany and Aneta Nikolova of UNESCAP - showed enthusiasm about the achievements ISA Tan Tec made: "I'm passionate about finding strong solutions which were thought not easy to implement, but ISA turned into a successful tool," Aneta Nikolova said.

Guests were particularly impressed with the creative atmosphere and the ingenious economical use of resources, like the windmill used for pumping water and the waste water cleaned in an engineered constructed wetland and subsequently reused. Likewise, the tannery also collects rainwater for use in production processes and water is heated in a solar thermal system without CO2 emissions. A half-open bamboo wall ensures natural cooling and a pleasant temperature inside the production building.

CEO Schneider took the opportunity to thank customers and partners for their support: "We know that many of our friends share our vision. Without the generous support of government officials from both international and local community, the science and financial sectors, we would not have been able to achieve our goals so fast and comprehensively!"

ISA Tan Tec


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