ICEC and CSCB join forces for sustainability certification in the leather industryThe two institutions of Italy and Brazil have signed a partnership agreement regarding environmental, social and economic issues in leather production.
ICEC – Quality Certification Institute for the Leather Industry and CSCB – Brazilian Leather Certification of Sustainability have joined forces to further enhance and reinforce the “mutual recognition of voluntary certifications able to provide solid assurances to the leather sector with regard to sustainability issues”.
The partnership agreement was signed on 13 March 2018 in Hong King during the ICT – International Council of Tanners annual meeting to highlight the union of intentions with respect to the certification schemes mutually recognised in the agreement, which are an expression of what has been actually developed and implemented in the tanning sector and that represent an important benchmark for qualifications in the leather industry. The agreement – which has been defined as “inclusive” because it is also open to future partners who want to align themselves with the entry rules – focuses on three different areas that ICEC and CSCB already cover with their services: environmental, social and economic issues in leather production.
“We have been working on sustainability issues for several years now, while the idea of creating a mutual recognition agreement on certifications between Italy and Brazil is more recent,” says Sabrina Frontini, ICEC director. She continues: “Since there are many self-referential certifications, many different protocols and schemes on the subject of sustainability, we want to start giving ourselves shared rules, under the banner of ICT and leather associations. The aim is also to simplify the qualification logic of the leather chain, doing away with some redundant controls in tanneries that are a waste of time and money.”
Rafael Andrade, CSCB spokesman, stresses:
The agreement will enable a profitable sector upgrading and responds to the request of the largest fashion labels to find simple and reliable ways to qualify the tanneries they collaborate with. Our approach is eco-pragmatic in the sense that, aware of the ever-increasing difficulties with the issue of sustainability, we do not want to react to them passively, but rather focus strongly on searching for solutions. This profound change of mentality aims at anticipating future problems in order to place the leather sector at the forefront and to create awareness on the advantages connected with the use of leather and the professionalism of tanneries that produce it.
The work on certifications does not seem to be the only point at stake:
We will go even further – concludes Frontini – by carrying out a joint process of talks with NGOs and other important organisations of reference, dealing with issues such as traceability, animal welfare, environmental impacts (for example, deforestation). The collaboration between Italy and Brazil is also interesting because it allows us to share complementary experiences.