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LWG updates leather manufacturer audit protocol P7.0

23
Feb '21
Pic: Leather Working Group
Pic: Leather Working Group
The Leather Working Group’s flagship environmental certification is evolving, with an updated auditing standard for leather manufacturers, featuring more robust criteria and new social, traceability and chemical management requirements. After a six-month period, protocol 7.0 will replace the existing protocol 6.7 from August 22, 2021.
 
Covering approximately 25 per cent of global finished leather production, and with over 680 leather manufacturers under LWG-certification already, LWG represents the largest network of environmentally audited tanneries across the globe, providing brands with a responsible global supply chain. 
 
Since 2005, the LWG has been a world leader in driving environmental best practice across the leather industry. With the publication of the LWG leather manufacturer audit protocol 7.0 (P7), the group builds on its foundation of robust environmental criteria and adds new requirements for social responsibility, material traceability, and chemical management.
 
“With increasing demands on the leather industry, we felt it was our responsibility to continue to drive change and promote a higher level of excellence,” Christina Trautmann, operations manager at the Leather Working Group, said in a press release. “When we started working on P7, we set out to address some of the key challenges across the industry, as well as anticipate changes on the horizon. With our increased scope and updated requirements, we hope to provide brands with a more secure, end-to-end supply chain, and reassure consumers they are supporting responsible business.”
 
Some of the major changes in protocol 7.0 include: chemical management - the LWG chemical management module, previously a standalone assessment, has been fully integrated into the main audit protocol. LWG’s requirements are fully aligned with AFIRM’s risk based RSL for leather; traceability: the existing traceability section has undergone significant revision and now becomes an integrated scored section, with additional due diligence measures to tackle deforestation risk. This has been developed in collaboration with the National Wildlife Federation; social responsibility: for the first time, LWG will recognise third-party social audit certifications as a scored element in the protocol. It recognises this is a critical element of responsible sourcing and we will now be covering both the environment and social responsibility with the LWG audit. As this is a new requirement, LWG will be gradually increasing the level of importance within the audit, to become more critical in P8, planned for release 12 months after P7; and effluent treatment: management of all waste and discharges to the environment are a critical part of the LWG assessment as they impact the environment directly. LWG therefore strives to ensure a very high standard is met by all tanners, independent of the country they’re in. For P7, it has introduced stricter requirements for the treatment of effluent and differentiate their criteria between direct discharge from on-site effluent treatment plants and indirect discharge from central and municipal effluent treatment plants.
 
“Over the years, our protocols have constantly expanded in conjunction with the demands of our industry and those who consume our industry’s products. This new protocol represents the most important and major evolution in our certification requirements to date. Protocol 7 will set a unique and unmatched bar in terms of providing an all-encompassing surety of supply for those who source from accredited leather manufacturers under our programme,” Ian Scher, VP of procurement at PrimeAsia Leather Corporation and chairman of the LWG executive committee, said in the release.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (JL)


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