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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 the following 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 In Focus – 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, deforestation due diligence, 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.
     
  • Chain of Custody – To achieve even greater transparency within the leather supply chain, we need to ensure product sustainability claims can be verified. In this session, LWG will announce more details of their upcoming chain of custody project.
     
  • 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.

The Details

Date/Time:
Thursday, September 22, 2022
09:00 - 17:30 CEST

Venue & Location:
Martini Room, Business Centre, (between Halls 7 & 9)
Fiera Milano Exhibition Centre
Milan, Italy

View location on Google Maps

Agenda:
View our web agenda here or Download the full speaker programme here

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.

Fees:

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

Delegate Registration:

Register Here

 

Map of Fiera Milano

Map of FieraMilano

Pre-Conference Networking Reception

All in-person conference attendees are invited to join us for a networking reception the evening before the LWG Member Conference. There is no additional cost to attend this event, as it is included as part of your in-person attendance ticket!

Come along to meet with fellow conference attendees, our speakers, and members of the LWG team in an informal setting. 

Venue: ClubHouse Restaurant, Business Centre, Fiera Milano 
Date/Time: Wednesday, September 21, 2022 @ 18:00-19:30 CEST


Thank you to our sponsor!

Please join us in thanking Piper & Skye for sponsoring the LWG Member Conference 2022! 

Piper & Skye handbags are made with a unique blend of luxurious and responsibly-sourced materials, including exotic fish skins, soft suedes, and buttery leather. They officially joined Leather Working Group as a brand member in early 2022.  Find out more about Piper & Skye on their website below:

Find out more

Speaker Programme

Leather Working Group has always strived to invite the very best industry experts to speak to our membership whenver possible. The speaker programme for the LWG Member Conference 2022 is no exception.

This year, LWG members can join us virtually or in-person to hear from leading authorities in the world of leather sustainability. Our agenda includes guest speakers across our four key themes for the day: 1) continuous improvement, 2) traceability, 3) environmental impact, and 4) responsible chemistry. 

View our full agenda here

Please join us in welcoming our speakers:

Opening Remarks

Ian Scher, PrimeAsia Leather Corporation

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. 

The vision for Leather Working Group

Ian will open the LWG Member Conference, welcoming both in-person and virtual delegates. Ian will then take us through Leather Working Group's journey over the years, including its recent revolution into a truly mission driven organization, leading the sector in sustainability with a focus on responsibly made leather.

Session 1: Continuing Improvement

Christina Trautmann, Leather Working Group

Christina Trautmann 
Head of Leather Working Group  

Christina is the Head of Leather Working Group (LWG), which is an international not-for-profit membership organization that drives collaboration and sustainability improvements in the leather industry.  

She joined the LWG in 2020, coming from adidas where she worked for several years, both at the headquarters in Germany and within the Sourcing organization in Asia. Most recently she was responsible for managing the adidas leather portfolio in the Footwear Material Sourcing team in Hong Kong. She holds a B.Sc (Hons) in Chemical Engineering, and an M.Sc in Sustainable Energy Engineering from the University of Cape Town. 

 

The Road to 2050: How LWG is creating a pathway a to fully responsible leather supply chain

Christina will discuss the Leather Working Group’s strategy for the future, including our mission to drive positive impacts and supply chain transparency.

Guido Zilli, Gruppo Mastrotto

Guido Zilli 
Sustainability & HSE Manager, Gruppo Mastrotto 

Guido Zilli has been working in the leather sector for almost 30 years, both in UNIC (the Italian leather association) and in tanneries. He currently works as the Sustainability & HSE Manager at Gruppo Mastrotto in Italy. 

During his career, Guido has dealt with quality and environment management systems; EU and national research and training projects; sustainability reporting; Life Cycle Assessments; and product environmental labels. 

He holds a degree in Industrial and Labour Economics from Bocconi University and an MBA from CUOA Business School. 

 

The LWG Audit Standard: Bridging the gap between business strategy & environmental operational activities 
 
Drawing on the experience of Gruppo Mastrotto’s sustainability strategy, Guido Zilli will detail the improvements in performance and environmental management that have occurred through the company’s engagement with LWG and give the leather manufacturer perspective on future priorities. 

Stuart Cranfield, Leather Working Group

Stuart Cranfield
Head of Operations, Leather Working Group

Stuart Cranfield joined the LWG team to head up the operations of the group in March 2022.   

Stuart joins us after spending the last 36 years at Clarks, working across multiple different locations and functions.  

In his previous role, Stuart was central in establishing and managing the social audit program at Clarks and has taken active roles in several multi-stakeholder initiatives including SLCP, CGF SSCI and BSI PAS24000.  

Evolution of the LWG Audit Standards 

Driven by the LWG's global membership, our auditing standards change to address important priorities across the leather supply chain. Stuart Cranfield, Head of Operations at LWG, will give an overview of our plans for further developing and optimizing the LWG Global Audit Standards in the future. 

Session 2: Traceability in Focus

Vanessa Brain, Leather Working Group

Vanessa Brain
Traceability Project Manager at Leather Working Group

Vanessa joined LWG as the Traceability Project Manager in 2021 and is responsible for managing LWG’s work on traceability of leather, including developing the chain of custody and deforestation due diligence requirements. Vanessa has over 20 years of commercial fashion and sustainability experience gained through working for organisations including the Fairtrade Foundation, Control Union and Historic Futures. Vanessa is a specialist in sustainable materials, global sourcing, certification and traceability systems.  

Turning targets into action and solutions

How can we, as the leather industry turn our targets for traceability into real, tangible action? Vanessa Brain will detail the goals of the LWG Traceability Roadmap, outlining the targets and objectives set to motivate tangible action and change to drive traceability within the leather industry.

Hillary Fenrich, National Wildlife Federation (NWF)

Hillary Fenrich
Manager, Tropical Forests & Agriculture at National Wildlife Federation (NWF)

As Manager: Tropical Forests & Agriculture on the international team at the National Wildlife Federation, Hillary Fenrich leads team strategy in Paraguay and supports project and partnership management on market-based approaches to conservation throughout Latin America. She is the liaison to the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) Board of Directors, co-moderator of the Joint Working Group on Land Use Change (tasked with supporting the GRSB Nature Positive decade-long goal), and a member of the Mesa Paraguaya de Carne Sostenible (MPCS). Prior to joining the National Wildlife Federation, her career focus of sustainable conservation projects led her to manage a research field station on the edge of Manu Biosphere Reserve in Peru and conduct research in the Brazilian Amazon, Panama, and Costa Rica, observing both the local and global need of tropical forests and native vegetation first-hand. 

A market-based approach to due diligence and traceability 

Hillary Fenrich (National Wildlife Federation) will explain the organization's market-based approach to strengthening sustainable sourcing practices in agricultural supply chains and the context of proposed international import legislation.

Lisa Rausch, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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.

Monitoring, deforestation & due diligence in Brazil

Lisa will present an overview of existing cattle agreements that provide a framework for deforestation due diligence in Brazil. She will also share insights from research into rates of compliance with the agreements and guidance on how to interpret data on deforestation.

Ivens Domingos, Durli Leathers

Ivens Domingos
Sustainability Manager, Durli Leathers

Ivens is currently Sustainability Manager at Durli Leathers and a member of the LWG and CICB Traceability Working Groups. Graduated in Veterinary Medicine, he has more than 19 years of experience working as a specialist in sustainable livestock, contributing to the development and implementation of innovative solutions for organizations such as WWF - Brazil where he worked for more than 14 years, IDH - The Sustainable Trade Initiative and reNature. At Durli Leathers, he works in ESG management, bringing greater transparency and expanding what the company already develops in terms of sustainability, prioritizing advances in the raw materials responsible sourcing, monitoring and traceability. 

The tannery perspective on traceability

Ivens will explain the work of Durli Leathers to prioritize their sustainability efforts and traceability work in both Brazil and Paraguay.  Explaining the challenges and opportunities for implementing rigorous due diligence efforts.

Austin Davidsen, adidas

Austin Davidsen
Director, Footwear Material Sustainability at adidas

Austin is a materials, development, and sustainability leader with more than 10 years of global experience across the footwear value chain. He has worked for 2 different LWG-medal rated tanneries selling leather to many major brands. He joined adidas in 2016 to look after the complete leather material portfolio. He relocated to Germany in 2018 to lead a product development team building iconic products for retail partners like JD, Foot Locker and Zalando. Today he leads a team focused on implementing the corporate sustainability strategy across footwear materials. Austin also represents adidas as a member of the LWG Executive Committee. 

Sustainability at adidas

Austin will present the adidas strategic approach to sustainability, the brand perspective on traceability, and goals for deforestation due diligence.

Tim Wilson, 3P Strategy

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

Panel Facilitator

Tim will facilitate this session and lead the panel debate to explore the challenges and opportunities to drive traceability within the leather sector.

Session 3: Chain of custody

Tim Wilson, 3P Strategy

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

Chain of custody project launch : Developing a framework for credible product claims for the leather industry

In this session we will launch the engagement program for the first phase of LWG’s Chain of Custody development. Tim will explain the innovative plans for this project to deliver the framework for verified claims, on the sustainability performance of leather to be made by LWG members

Session 4: Responsible Chemistry

Dr. Leticia Millward, Leather Working Group

Dr. Leticia Millward
Standards Manager, Leather Working Group

Leticia Millward currently works as the Standards Manager at Leather Working Group, after initially joining the group as a Sustainability Project Manager in June 2021.  

Leticia helps grow our technical offering by contributing to audit developments, providing technical advice and expertise, and developing special topics. 

Leticia has worked with leather manufacturing, research and teaching in Brazil and the UK and has over 10 years’ experience in leather technology. She holds a BSc and MSc in Chemical Engineering and a PhD in Leather Science. 

 

Responsible chemistry within leather manufacturing

Dr. Leticia Millward, Standards Manager at LWG, will detail how LWG drives change through our auditing standards and engagement with our members, and give more detail on how Version 7 of the LWG Leather Manufacturer Audit Protocol (P7) is driving the responsible management of chemicals within leather manufacturing facilities.

Andreas Bayer, TEGEWA

Andreas Bayer
TEGEWA

Andreas joined TEGEWA, a non-profit chemical association based in Germany, as the Senior Manager for Chemicals Policy in 2020, focusing primarily on the leather and textile chemistry sectors. Prior to joining TEGEWA, Andreas worked at the European Chemicals for Textile and Leather Association (EUCTL) and also spent over 20 years in a product safety role at CHT Germany GmbH, a chemical producer for multiple industries. Andreas also holds a degree in chemistry from the University of Stuttgart.  

How EU regulatory activities impact European leather industry

In recent years, the EU regulatory landscape has made several proposals that will impact the leather industry. In his presentation, Andreas will give an overview of the proposed restrictions and potential impacts of regulations on skin sensitizing chemicals, glutaraldehyde, and bisphenols; as well as consider future activities under the EU Textile Strategy for Sustainability and Circularity

Elisa Gavazza, ZDHC

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. 

Sustainable chemical management with the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero programme

During this session, Elisa Gavazza, Southern European Regional Director, will touch upon the most relevant news of the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero like Wastewater Guidance V 2.0 that is entering into force in November 2022, the new MRSL and the new Conformance Guidance that are going to be released in the next weeks.

Session 5: Environmental Impact

Dr. Leticia Millward, Leather Working Group

Dr. Leticia Millward
Standards Manager, Leather Working Group

Leticia Millward currently works as the Standards Manager at Leather Working Group, after initially joining the group as a Sustainability Project Manager in June 2021.  

Leticia helps grow our technical offering by contributing to audit developments, providing technical advice and expertise, and developing special topics. 

Leticia has worked with leather manufacturing, research and teaching in Brazil and the UK and has over 10 years’ experience in leather technology. She holds a BSc and MSc in Chemical Engineering and a PhD in Leather Science. 

 

LWG sustainability initiatives: driving environmental impact reduction in the leather industry

Since 2005 LWG has been helping to implement sustainable leather manufacturing through the LWG Audit Standards. Recently, LWG has been developing projects to give more information on the environmental impact of leather production, allowing the leather supply chain to understand their environmental footprint and support environmental impact reduction plans, as well as substantiate sustainability claims.

Federico Brugnoli, SPIN360

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. 

 

Rosie Wollacott Phillips, Mulberry

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. 

Kim Sena, JBS Couros

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. 

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

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.  

Understanding tannery carbon footprint & energy use with ECO2L

Andreas Meyer will present on the determination of the product carbon footprint for leather as well as the energy consumption at the tannery site compared to the energy benchmark BEET (best energy efficiency for tanning) with the help of the ECO2L 2.0 calculation

The determination of the product carbon footprint for leather is more and more in the focus of interest. This is always based on the energy consumption at the tannery site. But how can we know if the energy consumption of a tannery is efficient? One possibility is to compare with the energy benchmark BEET (best energy efficiency for tanning). To calculate these complex relationships, VDL has developed the ECO2L tool 2.0.