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In 2021 we released a new version of the LWG audit standard (P7), bringing major changes to how we assess leather manufacturers, and representing a significant step forward to a more sustainable and secure leather supply chain. The audit has evolved to be a holistic, ESG-focused audit, and it now covers all elements of responsible leather manufacturing including environmental management, traceability, chemical management, social responsibility, and governance. 

The LWG Leather Manufacturer Audit Standard covers 17 separate sections:

  • General Facility Details
  • Subcontracted Operations
  • Social Audit
  • Operating Permits
  • Production Data
  • Incoming Material Traceability
  • Outgoing Material Traceability
  • Environment Management Systems (EMS)
  • Restricted Substances, Compliance, and Chromium VI (CrVI) Management
  • Energy Consumption
  • Water Usage
  • Air & Noise Emissions
  • Waste Management
  • Effluent Treatment
  • Health, Safety, & Emergency Preparedness
  • Chemical Management
  • Operations Management

Audit Scope

The LWG Leather Manufacturer Audit Standard was designed to assess facilities processing leather from raw, crust, tanned material into pre-tanned, tanned, crust, or finished leather.

Facilities carrying out operations within the scope of the categories listed in the table below may be eligible for an audit using this audit standard.

Not sure if you are eligilble? Get in touch with our team directly.

Code Category
A Raw hide/skin to tanned
B Raw hide/skin to crust
C Raw hide/skin to finished leather
D Tanned hide/skin to finished leather
E Crust hide/skin to finished leather
F Tanned hide/skin to crust leather
G Raw hide/skin to pickled/pre-tanned material

Undertaking work on a subcontract basis

LWG recently announced changes to the auditing of subcontractors which will come into effect from 1st October 2023. 

To ensure that the correct values for energy, water, and VOC are available and used in subsequent audits, it will become a mandatory requirement for subcontractors to provide this information by each individual operation, rather than as a consolidated overall total. If the information is not provided by operation the audit will be failed.

The values presented by operation must represent the overall total for each measure; for energy and water the value will include both the direct consumption for the operation as well as an allocation for general use by the facility.  Where direct measurement by operation is not available, the total may be allocated in proportion to that used for each operation.

In addition to those facilities who are audited and certified as a subcontractor, this requirement will also apply to leather manufacturers who undertake some of their production on a subcontract basis for other organisations. This will also be applicable from 1st October 2023.

Record of Changes

Changes from P7.2.2 (Rev1) to P7.2.2 (Rev2) — Updated on 29 November 2022
Change effective from 01/04/2023 (1st April 2023)

Leather Working Group will enact a change to the data period required for facilities:

  1. Leather manufacturers undergoing their very first audit will from 01/04/2023 be able to present 12 months of data, in return for a 12-month certification.
  2. Leather manufacturers previously audited under LMAP P5 or earlier, undergoing a re-audit after a period of expiration, will from 01/04/2023 be able to present 12 months of data, in return for a 12-month certification.

If the facilities can present 24-months of data, they must do so to obtain a 24-month certificate.


Change effective immediately




  • Removal of reference to guidance notes.
  • Change of conditions for data period presented when it is first or lapsed audit.
S12 Air & Noise Emissions
  • Removal of reference to Appendix V
S15 Health and Safety Q32
  • Clarification (relates to drum guarding at ground level)
  • Clarification (relates to drum guarding at platform and overhead working area)
Changes from P7.2.2 to P7.2.2 (Rev1) — Updated on 02 August 2022




  • Inclusion of text for the phasing out of the additional Covid-19 exclusion allowances for water and energy with effect from 1 November 2022.
  • Inclusion of text for the auditing of subcontractors who meet the criteria of a full category leather manufacturer and qualify as a micro enterprise under the EU definition using the current subcontractor audit protocol.
  • Inclusion of text for the withdrawal of the mini audit with effect from 1 February 2023.
Changes from P7.2.1 to P7.2.2 — Updated on 01 July 2022
Section Question Change
Scope Removal of requirement for exemption requests to be submitted to the TSG
Introduction Scoring for awards: Additional clarification on the application of threshold questions to subcontractors assessed using this protocol


Restricted Substances

Q13 Levels of testing and points awarded revised
Q13 Threshold for Gold medal rating removed
Q14 Threshold for Gold medal rating removed
Changes from P7.1.0 to P7.2.1 — Updated on 11 February 2022
Section Question Change


pp ii, iii, v, vi, vii iii Text clarified
Opening statement Q3 new question relating to completeness of data presented
S1 General Facility Details Q15 Inclusion of transferable data (those who also undertake subcontracting)
S2 Subcontract Operations Q5 Modified weighting table
S3 Social Audit Q2 Modified requirements (current validity)
S4 Operating Permits Q4 Amendment made from P7.2.0 to P7.2.1: Modification to penalties for serious violations
& for the non-reporting of violations.
S6 Traceability (Incoming)   Reference to the requirement to enter data into the Excel spreadsheet.


Traceability (Outgoing)

Q2 Scoring correction
Q2 No longer a threshold question


Restricted Substances

Q6 limits correction (chlorinated paraffins)
Q13 Amendment made from P7.2.0 to P7.2.1: Clarification of the scoring for CrVI testing
Q19 RSL for incoming chemicals removed
Q20 Score modification (due to q19 change)
Q21 Incoming chemicals RSL. Deleted. Subsequent questions renumbered


Air Emissions

Q8 Scoring correction
Q19 Relaxed VOC emissions allowance


Effluent Treatment

Q1 10 m3 volume limit requirement for metering extended to all ETPs
Q5 Modification to analysis requirements (laboratory) based on treatment capacity of ETP
Q7 Exemption for leathers that specifically require long-float processing
Q13 - 24 Standardised discharge limits irrespective of treatment facility


Chemical Management

Q23 Clarification (relates to chemicals stored in production department)
Q23 No longer a threshold question
S17 Operations Management Q5 Clarification. Relates to chemicals in immediate vicinity of process vessel etc