Automotive leather – a modern and sustainable industry

Worldwide
Published:  31 January, 2019

Last year, a stakeholder group called Drive Sustainability, which is made up of leading global OEMs, published a report called Material Change. The report assessed what it considered to be 37 risk materials used in the automotive industry, including leather. Inspired by the excellence delivered by the automotive tanneries, theSauerReport and ILM commissioned an in-depth report to assess and redress some of the concerns raised in the Material Change report and the negative portrayal of the leather industry as a high-risk material in a number of categories.

The automotive leather sector is considered to be some of the most advanced among leather makers. The technical specification of automotive leather is the highest in the world, and the standards both of performance as well as corporate behaviour that the vehicle manufacturers require of their suppliers serve to continually raise the bar. The popular press and social media often shows tanneries as informal pits in developing nations that place an unacceptable burden on their local ecosystems and the people working in them. The development of clean technologies and improved knowledge and systems have given rise to a new breed of tannery; these tanneries are claiming the space of clean, responsible, and future-oriented businesses.

Available to purchase now, 'Automotive leather - a modern and sustainable industry' is an in-depth online report which tells their story - the progress they've made and the reality as it stands today, the opportunities and challenges ahead of them, and the areas where collaborative work with chemical companies, customers, machinery suppliers, and tanneries can work together to grow the sustainability of leather. To read sample content from the report click here.

Why buy this report?

There is an increasing interest from consumers and from manufacturers for truly sustainable materials and supply chains. Drive Sustainability, a partnership of vehicle manufacturers, is one such group which is looking at the sustainability of the leather and other materials used in vehicle manufacture. The sustainability agenda for automotive leather has expanded to include business ethics, people and working conditions, as well as environmental performance. This report seeks to demonstrate where the automotive leather sector has risen to the challenge, and where there is yet more work to do.

Commissioned by International Leather Maker (ILM) and theSauerReport, and written by independent leather industry consultants, this 60-page report looks into the issues raised by manufacturers and consumers to address where the automotive leather sector excels, and where the opportunities lie, and to contribute towards the ongoing discussion between the public, vehicle manufacturers, automotive leather tanners and their supply chain.

The report highlights key synchronicities between sustainability criteria raised by consumers and manufacturers and existing certification and management schemes in the automotive leather sector to identify where existing systems can be used identify tanneries that are operating sustainability. The purpose is to provide a document that gives evidence for the positive aspects of the automotive leather industry, to identify failings, and to propose opportunities for further benefits - such as collaborative opportunities.

The tanning industry as a whole is being challenged by mis-information that is available regarding leather. This report aims to provide factual information about leather, helping to address some of the misconceptions that are out there.

This report focusses specifically on the automotive leather sector and is inspired by the excellence delivered by the automotive tanneries who have contributed to the report, as well as by "Material Change; a study of the risks and opportunities for collective action in the material supply chains of the automotive and electronic industries", compiled by Drive Sustainability, the Responsible Minerals Initiative and The Dragonfly Initiative.

The cost of the report is US$970 / £750 / €845. To purchase click here or email clare@edifydigitalmedia.com.