ISA TanTec said the “Tannery 2030” conference took place in Shanghai, China last week. The Conference focused on the future direction of the leather industry, featured presentations from experts across the whole leather supply chain ranging from traders, tanners, chemical/machinery suppliers to representatives of brands and retailers.

Thomas Schneider, executive chairman ISA TanTec, participated in the conference as one of the key speakers to address “LITE Leather after 15 years. What about the next 15?”

Thomas presented the trademarked LITE (Low Impact To the Environment) brand which was started in 2003 with the vision to offer environmental sustainable leather. He explained the concept was built to support the rest of the stakeholders in the leather industry. “Initially it was an internal measurement to reduce energy and water consumption. We are able to provide customer every leather type an individual energy and water footprint so they are able to choose one with lowest footprint. The measurements also tell us where we are standing so we know how to move forward.”

Thomas suggested that the environmental protection is not a cost center but a profit center, “Why do we need to consume a lot of water and then spend a lot on waste water treatment? We should reduce the usage of water. Too long have the industries viewed green initiatives as money killers; the LITE is here to change this view.”

Thomas also outlined his vision on the trend of environmental sustainability practices in the global tanning industry in the upcoming 15 years. He highlighted the importance of the collaboration of industry stakeholders in preparing a better future, claiming that a closer cooperation between all stakeholders within the industry is essential to come up with real sustainable solutions.