The Leather Working Group collaborates with other industry stakeholders wherever there is a direct benefit to our members.


ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals)

The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Programme takes a holistic approach to tackling the issue of hazardous chemicals in the global textile, leather and footwear value chain. Learn more about their roadmap here. 

Their goal is to eliminate the use of priority chemicals by focussing on the following areas: Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) & Conformity Guidance, Wastewater Quality, Audit Protocol, Research, Data and Disclosure, and Training.


Leather Working Group recognise the importance of chemistry in the responsible manufacture of leather material. 

With the desire of our members for improved chemical management and the introduction of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) programme, LWG collaborated with ZDHC to contribute to and endorse the MRSL for Leather. 

As a progression to that work, LWG also developed a Chemical Management Module (CMM) to further drive improvement in chemical management, chemical health & safety and to aid prevention of Chrome VI.  It is hoped that Part A of the CMM will meet equivalency with the ZDHC approved tool, the FEM Higg Index.

Current collaboration with ZDHC is centred around waste water limits and LWG continues to engage with ZDHC to assist them with understanding the leather industry in this regard.


For more information on ZDHC click here:          

UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation)

UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.


One of the objectives of UNIDO is safeguarding the environment.  Pollution, climate change, habitat destruction and over-exploitation of natural resources such as fresh water and fisheries are doing great harm to human health, wellbeing and livelihoods, especially among poorer regions, and is undermining the prospects for a long-term resilient and robust economy. One of the prerequisites for industry to flourish in a sustainable manner is the availability of an assured supply of affordable and clean energy, together with improved resource efficiency. 

The risks of climate change are well documented and its impacts are already affecting people and ecosystems. Meeting the climate challenge requires industries and institutions — both public and private — to be able to assess and understand climate change, design and implement adequate policies and to work towards resource efficient societies and low emission growth. “Decoupling” natural resource use and environmental impacts from economic growth is a key requirement for overcoming the pressing challenge of growing resource consumption levels. 

Against this background, UNIDO supports countries in their environmental management efforts, including the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements and the provision of sustainable energy. It helps create new green industries, establishing national road maps for greening the supply chain, determining benchmarks and indicators, disseminating and sharing best practices, running clean technology programmes, undertaking various capacity-building exercises and contributing to international forums with the necessary research and expertise. 

Leather Working Group is actively working with UNIDO to distribute current training information already created and to jointly create new training materials for our members.

Training materials that are currently available, include:

Introduction to the Treatment of Tannery Effluents

How to Deal with Hydrogen Sulphide Gas

Benchmarking in Tanneries

Framework for Sustainable Leather Manufacture

Occupational Health & Safety Aspects of Tanneries

To access these on-line training modules, free registration is required.

For more information on UNIDO click here:  

SLCP (Social Labor Convergence Project)
The Social & Labor Convergence Project is a multi-stakeholder initiative that is aiming to improve labor conditions in the apparel and footwear industry.


The SLCP aims to bring together unique perspectives to create an efficient, scalable and sustainable solution for social audits. Together, they are working to create the first industry-wide framework to assess social and labor conditions. This framework includes a standard-agnostic tool and verification methodology which collects objective social and labor data that stakeholders can use to identify opportunities for improvement and track progress. One assessment for all, vast amounts of resources saved. 

Leather Working Group recognises that many of our members want to adopt good CSR practices and we therefore signpost any member interested in implementing a social audit tool to the SLCP.

For more information on SLCP click here: