“Customers have made a request: to be at the forefront of environmental sustainability. And we made sure to be ready”. This is how the Tuscan chemical company FGL International SpA announces that it has recently achieved level 3 of the ZDHC Gateway (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) certification, an international project created to orient production processes to respect the environment and sustainability. This milestone, the maximum level foreseen by the platform, represents the culmination of years of commitment and resources dedicated to eco-sustainability, to the improvement of production processes, to the optimisation of business management.
“Getting a certification is not something you can improvise. It was a challenging path that requires a structured company, a trained system that has been directing its choices in a sustainable direction for a while already”, explains Franca Nuti, Head of R&D and Regulatory Affairs.
FGL International has joined ZDHC since its foundation, in 2015, becoming contributor since 2018. “We were among the first to register – says Nuti – by being forerunners in our sector and interpreting the needs of our customers, from whom we have collected a real request. We don’t like being caught unprepared, so our response was timely. Being receptive to the needs of the market is our priority”.
Sacrifices, study and competence. These are the components that the chemical company, with 70 years of history behind it, has put in place to face this challenge. The achievement of level 3 ZDHC, certified by the ICEC certification body, represents in fact a real guarantee of the company’s organisational system: it means that from purchase, to research and development, to production, everything is managed in compliance with the guidelines of the platform, with a qualified Chemical Management.
The currently inserted FGL International products will be progressively increased based on company planning, research developments and customer needs.
“Our research has followed step by step the demands and evolutions of the market and regulations. This has led to a gradual review of our range. Up to having a selection of products that comply with the most stringent regulations and specifications”, specifies Nuti.
Supplier member of LWG
Recently FGL International has become supplier member of LWG (Leather Working Group), a group consisting of various entities and interlocutors in the tanning sector, which is responsible for developing and maintaining a protocol designed to evaluate the sustainability of a tannery, its impact on the environment and the compliance of its work with the regulations that safeguard the environment itself. “Not everyone knows that, recently, LWG has included in its Chemical Management Module (CMM), that is to say in the environmental audit protocol concerning the use of chemical products, the presence of the Gateway ZDHC portal – explains Franca Nuti -. Those who use chemical products included in the ZDHC Gateway platform will be advantaged in obtaining an LWG certification, based on the requirements of Protocol 7.0, as a necessary condition to ensure compliance with the MRSL (Manufacturing Restricted Substances List)”.
This is a novelty of great interest for tanneries that have the LWG certification as their objective.
“To us this membership is a further testimony of knowing how to interpret and foresee the needs of the supply chain”.
“Joining ZDHC was not a sporadic choice, but an ongoing one. A choice to be alongside the customer who has an advanced and innovative attitude. But also a constant presence that passes through discussion tables with the subjects of the supply chain”. Franca Nuti is in fact member of the ZDHC CSAG (Chemical Supplier Advisory Group). “It is a very interesting observatory to discuss, to grasp new market ideas. Through the participation in the various TT (task team) of ZDHC on various themes it is possible to discuss and bring the specificities of the tanning sector considering that leather is still much less represented than the textile sector”, concludes Franca Nuti.