LWG Member Conference - September 2022

Our hybrid 2022 LWG Member Conference will address key sustainability challenges within the leather industry.

Our 1-day hybrid Member Conference will allow members of our group to meet in person for the first time in three years, with virtual attendance options available for those unable to travel. Our conference will take place at the Fiera Milano exhibition centre in Milan, Italy on Thursday September 22, 2022 in parallel with the Lineapelle Leather Fair.

 → Get your tickets here

The landscape of the fashion industry has undergone tremendous change over the past five years. Sustainability is now the beating heart of every organization, and the preservation of the planet, communities, and nature are resounding values in many organizations. Both brands and manufacturers are actively cultivating projects to support this ethos and address major fashion and textile industry issues head-on with time-pressured goals.

But one question remains - what about leather?

At Leather Working Group, our membership drives our work and provides us with a wealth of expertise to help us navigate these challenges in a responsible way. From this, we have designed the LWG Member Conference to focus on four core areas:

  • Continuing Improvement – As a world leader in the leather industry, we recognize the need to evolve, grow and change in ways that drive positive impact. The LWG Member Conference explores our strategy for change and key areas that need action.
     
  • Traceability & Supply Chain Due Diligence – Mapping your leather supply chain is just the start. Our conference will give a deep dive into the realities of developing a robust global due diligence framework for the leather industry to facilitate better traceability, tackle deforestation, and address other crucial issues across the leather supply chain, involving all actors that have a key role to play in supporting this global movement.
     
  • Environmental Impact – Monitoring and quantifying the environmental impact of leather as a material is crucial for setting and meeting goals for the future. Our conference will showcase how leather industry leaders are paving the way to zero through lifecycle assessments, innovation, circularity and more.
     
  • Responsible Chemistry – Chemicals are part of our lives. This event calls for a greater understanding of chemical management and how we can all play our part in the responsible use of chemicals within the leather industry.

Date/Time:
Thursday, September 22, 2022
09:00 - 17:00 CEST

Venue & Location
Fiera Milano (Business Centre, Martini Room)
Milan, Italy

We are also offering virtual attendance ticketing for those unable to travel. Virtual attendees will be able to join online, see all of our talks and take part in panel discussions.

Agenda:
We will announce the LWG Member Conference agenda soon, but we will hear from industry experts including:

  • Andreas Meyer: Managing Director at Verband der Deutschen Lederindustrie e.V. (VDL)
  • Elisa Gavazza: Southern Europe Director at ZDHC
  • Fernando Bellese: Chief Sustainability Officer at PrimeAsia
  • Ian Scher: VP Procurement at PrimeAsia
  • Lisa Rausch: Associate Researcher at University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Rosie Wollacott-Phillips: Head of Group Sustainability at Mulberry
  • Tim Wilson: Director at 3P Strategy

Eligibility:
Only personnel employed by an LWG Member Company are eligible to join the LWG Member Conference. If you are not sure about your eligibility, please contact our team directly: info(@)leatherworkinggroup.com

Fees:

  • €200 EUR per person -- In person general admission ticket
  • €150 EUR per person -- Virtual attendance

Ticket Registration:
Click here to register to attend the LWG Member Conference this September!

Speakers:

Find out more about the industry experts who will be speaking at our member conference this year below. More speakers to be added shortly.

Session 1: Continuing Improvement

Ian Scher 
Vice President Procurement, PrimeAsia Leather Company 

Ian Scher has over 50 years of experience in the hide, skin and leather industry. Ian began his career in a family wool, hide and skin business in Australia, and he has been actively involved in a multitude of capacities mainly centered around raw materials. Over this professional career, Ian has worked with some of the world’s most prominent organizations in the raw hide and tanning sectors. In Ian’s current role as Vice President Procurement with PrimeAsia Leather Company, he manages the purchasing of raw material for the group’s tanneries in China and Vietnam, in conjunction with his team in Taiwan. Ian has also been actively involved in other organizations within the global industry, such as ICHSLTA and others. Furthermore, Ian has been an active member of the LWG Technical Sub-Group since 2007, and currently serves as the Chair of the LWG Executive Committee. 

Session 2: Traceability & Supply Chain Due Diligence

Fernando Bellese 
Chief Sustainability Officer, PrimeAsia Leather Corporation 

Fernando Bellese is a Marketing and Sustainability professional with more than 12 years of experience in the leather industry. In his role as Chief Sustainability Officer at PrimeAsia Leather Corporation, Fernando is constantly working in projects to develop Cleaner Production approaches, looking at creating more efficient and sustainable outcomes. He has also been engaged actively in different national and international initiatives and organizations such as Leather Naturally, Leather Working Group, ZDHC, UNECE and the Brazilian Roundtable of Sustainable Livestock, participating directly in important discussions involving the worldwide leather industry about innovation, supply-chain, traceability, carbon footprint, environment, transparency, animal welfare, responsible chemical management and the global promotion of sustainable leather.  

Lisa Rausch 
Scientist, University of Wisconsin-Madison  

Dr. Lisa Rausch is a Scientist in the Gibbs Land Use and Environment Lab in the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She has over two decades of experience investigating environmental compliance in major commodity supply chains in Latin America. She has been the recipient of several prestigious grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright for her doctoral research in Brazil. Her research has been published in numerous high profile scientific publications, including Science, Nature Food, Nature Sustainability, Journal of Peasant Studies, Conservation Letters, Environmental Research Letters, Global Environmental Change, and others. Her research is regularly covered by major media outlets, such as The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Mongabay, and Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Tim Wilson
Director, 3P Strategy

Tim Wilson is an experienced entrepreneur, business leader, analyst and consultant. He has worked on supply chain traceability, transparency, and trust for over 25 years. In 2003 he founded the world's first 'traceability as a service' technology platform that was designed for use by global brands and retailers and deployed globally. Tim founded 3P Strategy in 2018 to support organisations and groups in their mission to improve the sustainability performance of their supply chains through improved transparency and robust environmental and social impact claims

Session 3: Environmental Impact

Andreas Meyer 
Managing Director, Verband der Deutschen Lederindustrie e.V. (VDL)

Andreas Meyer took over as Managing Director at the Verband der Deutschen Lederindustrie e.V. in October 2018. After school and A-levels, he completed an apprenticeship as a farmer. He then studied agricultural sciences in Weihenstephan, graduating as an agricultural engineer. Afterwards he started as a trainee at Westfleisch AG in Münster (slaughterhouse) before moving to the by-products and quality department. He continued with animal fats at Gebr. Smilde in Gelsenkirchen (fat melting). From there he moved to the Friedrich Sturm company, a hide trading company near Hamburg. Mr Meyer has kept his residence in Pinneberg, where his wife and three grown-up children live. He was not able to keep his local political involvement as a city councillor, as the seat of the association is Frankfurt/Main.  

 

Federico Brugnoli 
CEO, SPIN 360 

Federico is the founder and sole director of SPIN 360, a Milan-based consultancy working to develop new sustainable business models and innovative solutions from a technological and organisational point of view, dedicated to luxury companies all over the world. Federico has coordinated European projects with international partnerships in the fields of product and process innovation, international cooperation, development of export markets, energy efficiency of industrial production.

Since 2008, Federico has been a lecturer in Sustainability in Industrial Production at the SUPSI University in Lugano. He currently works alongside international luxury groups, tanning and fashion companies, as well as Italian and European business associations. His most recent partnerships concern the chemical industry and focus on the integrated management of the sustainable supply chain in the fashion industry. Federico holds an honours degree in Environmental Sciences from the Polytechnic University of Milan. 

 

Kim Sena
Sustainability Manager, JBS Couros

Kim is currently Sustainability Manager for JBS Couros and member of Leather Naturally's Management Board. With a background in Chemical Engineering, Business Administration and Sustainability, he has always worked with process optimization and research in the leather and petrochemical industries. Responsible for JBS Couros’ sustainability strategy, he worked on the development of the supply chain transparency and traceability interfaces for leather through the JBS360 platform and the material utilization platform Kind Leather. As part of a vertically integrated business, he is also engaged with connecting the demands from consumer-facing brands to sustainable cattle raising practices. 

Rosie Wollacott-Phillips
Head of Group Sustainability, Mulberry

With over 10 years of in-brand experience at luxury leather goods brand Mulberry, Rosie is a pioneer for change and improvement across the company’s entire sustainable spectrum. Her role as Head of Sustainability includes Board level reporting, strategy development, sourcing management and communications scrutiny. Rosie has been integral in setting and managing sourcing thresholds and targets to improve environmental leather metrics, seeing a >30% improvement across the last 4 seasons, with a target to source 100% of leather from environmentally accredited tanneries by 2023. This work is pushing Mulberry into a pioneering space as a sustainable luxury leather brand. In January, Rosie was named as one of the 50 Most Influential People in British Luxury by Walpole. 

Session 4: Responsible Chemistry

Elisa Gavazza
Southern Europe Director, ZDHC

As ZDHC Southern Europe Director, Elisa is responsible for the representation and implementation of the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme in the Southern European region (Italy, Spain, Portugal and France), engaging stakeholders and being in touch with all the relevant stakeholders.  

She holds a master's degree in environmental sciences from Milano Bicocca University. After graduation, she joined ICQs, then acquired by UL a global service provider, taking several managerial roles dealing with ecotoxicological and environmental requirements, chemical regulations, product certification, laboratory quality, and chemical management. 

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