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  • hammaad saghir

Scottish Leather Group's £14 Million Investment Unveils Net-Zero 'Super Tannery'

Image: Scottish Leather Group

Today, the Scottish Leather Group, the iconic supplier to luxury automobile brands like Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover and aviation giant British Airways, launched its trailblazing £14 million 'super tannery.' Situated in the picturesque locale of Bridge of Weir near Paisley, Scotland, the state-of-the-art establishment has set its eyes on churning out leather with a net-zero carbon footprint, meeting the needs of industries as diverse as automotive, aviation, and even luxury goods.

Eclipsing their previous setup, this modernized tannery isn't just about scale; it's about sustainability at its core. The technology integrated within promises a colossal 82% and 42% reduction in energy and water consumption, respectively. Oh, but that's just scratching the surface.

This latest development is a feather in the cap for the Scottish Leather Group's ongoing commitment to eco-friendly investments. It dovetails perfectly with their broader initiatives, which span thermal energy plants—designed to repurpose waste heat—to state-of-the-art water treatment facilities that take recycling to a whole new level.

Nicholas Muirhead, chief executive at the company, said the project is the latest in a series of green investments from the group designed to improve productivity, enhance quality, and reduce environmental impacts.

"The new super tannery is the latest significant milestone on that journey, a state-of-the-art facility that builds on the considerable savings we have already made in reduced energy and water use, improving our efficiency, and futureproofing our production," he said.

"This will provide our customers with further evidence of our position as the leader in the supply of the world's lowest carbon leather.'

Dr. Warren Bowden, the Group's head of innovation and sustainability, added that over the last 20 years, Scottish Leather has pioneered and patented circular manufacturing processes that minimize waste to landfill and radically reduce our carbon footprint.

"The super tannery builds on these sector-leading actions, providing a step change in productivity and environmental savings," he explained. "Our sustainability journey is continuous, and this new facility will play a vital role in enabling us to achieve net zero leather production.

"We are committed to net zero for our own operations (Scopes 1 and 2) by 2025 - ahead of Scotland's net zero ambitions - and delivering zero process waste to landfill by the same year, further fortifying our sustainability pledges."

Alongside the super tannery launch, Scottish Leather Group published its 2023 Environmental, Social, and Governance report today, revealing that it had cut the carbon intensity of its leather by 90 percent over the last 20 years.

Moreover, the Group announced that it had achieved 100 percent traceability of raw materials in the past year and recycled 77 percent of its waste.

The opening of Scottish Leather Group's sustainable super tannery and publication of its latest ESG report comes after brands including Adidas, BMW Group, H&M Group, Marks & Spencer, and PUMA signed a Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather earlier this summer.

Even educational institutions and NGOs are getting in on the act. This past June, the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Conservation International rolled out the fashion industry's maiden guide focusing on Science-Based Nature Targets. It's a bold move to mitigate the ecological degradation linked to leather and cotton supply chains.

The Scottish Leather Group isn't just setting the bar; they're redefining it. And as they forge ahead toward 2025 with net-zero emissions in sight, the question isn't whether they'll change the game; it's how far the ripple effects will reach.


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