Future Plans for the LWG: Protocol 7 and Beyond

We announced at the recent LWG Member’s Webinar what some of our future plans are for the group, particularly in response to the main priorities of the industry as reported by our members in the annual LWG Member Survey earlier this year. 

As a group, we agree that there needs to be more focus on multiple different areas, including: stricter environmental targets; social responsibility; sustainability; effluent treatment; chemicals; and traceability.

What are we doing in response to this? 

Protocol 7 

We are currently working hard to raise the standard of the protocol and broaden the scope. We are launching Version 7 of the LWG Environmental Audit Protocol (P7) in Q1 2021, with stricter environmental targets overall, and especially for effluent treatment and chemical management and compliance. P7 will become effective from mid-2021. 

Traceability 

We have set-up a Traceability Working Group and are starting to develop these requirements to the next level, with the aim to include traceability as a critical section score in the protocol.  

Social Auditing 

We are also researching social auditing standards and will be phasing this in as a new requirement, to become critical in the future. We do not intend to perform social audits but will be developing a system to recognise social audits. Please join us for our webinar on social auditing later this month to find out more. 

Chemical Compliance – Collaboration with ZDHC 

To support the addition of chemical compliance into P7, we have also collaborated with ZDHC. LWG-certified Leather manufacturers will be invited to register on the ZDHC Gateway for free and will be able to use it to demonstrate chemical compliance during their audit. 

Roadmap for Protocol Development 

We understand these are big changes and are setting up a roadmap for P7, P8, and beyond, in order to phase in the new requirements, especially for social auditing and traceability. 

Environmental Footprint of Leather 

We have also been engaging with industry stakeholders on the environmental footprint of leather, with the current focus being on providing technical expertise to improve the Higg MSI for leather, that has been developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.