Skip to content

Why is Traceability of leather important?

Driving the implementation of systems and processes which enable transparency in the leather industry is a strategic priority for LWG members.  Visibility within the supply chain provides brands and stakeholders the opportunity to understand their full global footprint and to assess, monitor and make improvements across diverse issues and risks.  From deforestation, animal welfare and biodiversity to water and carbon foot-printing, these topics can only be accurately understood with full visibility of where materials originate from and how they were produced.

Chain of custody: Knowing exactly where your leather comes from

Leather Working Group’s suite of standards continue to drive best practice in leather production including assessing the level of traceability of materials to the slaughterhouse or equivalent stage. LWG certification is focused on leather manufacturing and manages the chain of custody for this part of the value chain.  For LWG members to make claims regarding the sustainability credentials of products made with leather from LWG certified sources all stages of the value chain need to be connected and the flow of materials monitored.

Extending LWG certification to complete the chain of custody

LWG plans to extend the chain of custody building the system from a site-based certification, to monitoring transactions and enable verified product claims to be made.  As part of the LWG Traceability Roadmap, LWG has set an aim for verified product claims to be possible for members by 2025. 

Be a part of shaping this project to secure the chain of custody for certified leather….

The project will only be successful if stakeholders representing the full value chain for leather are actively involved throughout. We have defined (and will continue to develop) three levels of participation - designed to allow everybody to stay informed, to ask questions and to help shape the outcome of LWG's Chain of Custody system.

To get involved, please send an email to chainofcustody@leatherworkinggroup.com indicating which engagement level (see below) you would like to participate at.
Level 1: Stay informed

The project team will produce regular updates and seek opinions on key design decisions through carefully designed questions and voting mechanisms. Participation at this level does not require any specific time commitment and is open to all - including non-members.

Level 2: Be heard

Join the Chain of Custody Steering Committee – This specialist sub-group of the LWG Traceability Working Group is the opportunity for members be more closely involved with the project. 

  • LWG will organize periodic meetings and create discussion forums to gather input and insights from across the global leather supply chain and the wider environment in which it operates (especially in relation to legislation and standards in adjacent sectors).
  • Being involved at this level will require attendance at some online meetings, reviewing and commenting on technical docum,ents and contributing to discussion groups. This will need some time every month and a commitment to participate in online meetings.
  • Membership of this group is limited to LWG members and relevant invited 'guest contributors' (e.g. representatives of regulatory bodies, international standards etc).
Level 3: Shape the future

Become a project partner - LWG will create technical forums and mechanisms - focusing on topics from system design through to data standards - to draft, refine and test our Chain of Custody system.

  • We expect this level of engagement to have some interaction with the project every 1-2 weeks and may require in the region of 1-2 hours.
  • Membership of this group will be strictly limited and carefully managed by LWG to ensure a balance of views and expertise while retaining agility and responsiveness.