27 January 2021
The Leather Working Group has achieved their thousandth member company from across the leather supply chain.
The Leather Working Group (LWG) announces a membership milestone, as their one thousandth member company has just joined the group. Established in 2005, the LWG was created as a non-profit organization, where brands and leather manufacturers collaborate to drive environmental best practice in leather production and sourcing.
“Reaching this milestone is a significant achievement that reinforces LWG’s position as one of the leather industry’s leading certification programmes,” commented Christina Trautmann, Operations Manager of the Leather Working Group.
“We have spearheaded the drive for environmental excellence in leather manufacturing by developing our own audit standard, and there has been extraordinary growth in the number of LWG-certified companies. We’ve also seen an increasing number of brands requiring that their suppliers become LWG-certified as part of their responsible sourcing strategies.”
By listening to their members, as well as collaborating with industry experts and NGOs, the Leather Working Group has been able to grow its membership base across the globe and bring additional stakeholders to the table in the 15 years since its launch.
LWG has boosted its portfolio of standards to connect the full leather supply chain and allow leather traders, subcontractors, and commissioning manufacturers to become certified – in addition to the keystone LWG Environmental Audit Protocol that assesses leather manufacturers on crucial environmental factors, such as energy and water usage, and effluent treatment.
The most significant change is coming shortly, with the release of Protocol 7 in February 2021. The LWG Environmental Audit Protocol will be renamed to the LWG Leather Manufacturer Audit Protocol, to reflect the evolution and expansion of its scope, to include full integration of chemical management, scoring for traceability of raw material, increased requirements to manage deforestation risk, and social auditing.
“We have some really ambitious plans for the future that tie into the next version of our audit protocol, with our eyes already set on P8, planned to be released 12 months later. Our goal is to become holistic in our approach, addressing all elements in the leather supply chain, to enable even stronger consumer messaging about responsible leather manufacturing and sourcing,” added Christina Trautmann.
The Leather Working Group (LWG) is a membership organisation composed of over 1000 members across the leather value chain, including leather manufacturers, brands and retailers, suppliers, traders, and associations. The group develops and maintains audit certification standards to assess the environmental performance of leather manufacturing facilities and helps to promote responsible business practices throughout the leather supply chain.