About Us

Leather Working Group is an international, not-for-profit membership organisation and responsible for the world’s largest leather sustainability program. As a multi-stakeholder group, our members hail from across the global leather industry, including: 

  • Manufacturers of leather (aka, tanneries) 

  • Traders of part-processed and finished leather 

  • Manufacturers of leather garments, footwear and furniture 

  • Suppliers of chemicals, machinery and testing for the leather industry 

  • Brands and retailers that sell leather products to consumers 

  • Associations within and related to the leather industry. 

Since 2005, LWG has identified environmental best practices in the industry and provided guidelines for continual improvement. In fact, we offer a suite of auditing tools to assess the environmental performance of leather manufacturing facilities – and we certify those that meet our standards. 

Our Mission 

LWG aims to improve the environmental impact of the leather industry by assessing and certifying leather manufacturers. Additionally, we aim to engage with members of the leather supply chain and give them the knowledge to be able to make informed, sustainable choices in their businesses. 

Our History 

Created in 2005, the Leather Working Group was the brainchild of a group of well-known brands and leading leather manufacturers that came together to focus on sustainability within the leather industry.  

Our Founding Members included brands such as Adidas, Clarks, Ikea, Nike, Marks & Spencer, New Balance, and Timberland, as well as key leather manufacturing companies from across the globe. 

The cornerstone of the group is the LWG Environmental Audit Protocol – first launched in 2006 to assess the environmental performance and practical capabilities of leather manufacturing facilities. Now on Version 6.7.0. of the protocol, the audit has grown in scope and depth to assess the most important areas of environmental impact within the manufacturing process. 

We also launched the LWG Trader Audit Protocol in 2015, in recognition that traders of leather material play an important part in the global leather industry. This protocol has the added benefit of further enabling traceability across the leather supply chain and ensures the security 

In 2017, we launched the LWG Chemical Management Module (CMM), designed to assess a leather manufacturer’s use, management and disposal of chemicals within their facility. The CMM is also designed to align with the ZDHC MRSL for leather, minimising duplicative effort for our members.  

Today LWG boasts over 800 members from across the supply chain and offers multiple certification standards for different stakeholders in the leather manufacturing industry. 

Our Services

  • LWG Environmental Audit Protocol - assesses the environmental performance and compliance of leather manufacturing facilities (aka, tanneries).  
  • LWG Trader Audit Protocol - assesses traders of part-processed & finished material and facilitates traceability through the supply chain.
  • LWG Chemical Management Module - assesses the ability of leather manufacturing facilities to perform good chemical management and compliance.
  • LWG Tannery of the Future self-assessment - a learning tool to allow leather manufacturers outside of the LWG membership to gain an understanding of the core principles of our auditing programme.
  • Coming soon:
    • LWG Subcontractor Audit Protocol
    • LWG Commissioning Manufacturer Audit Protocol