JBS Couros chose Hong Kong’s APLF stage to launch a new range of sustainable leathers, the result of a two-year research and development activity. “Kind Leather will revolutionise the industry, changing the way leather is produced in the world and building a closer relationship with consumers” announced Roberto Motta, CEO of the Brazilian tanning giant. “This is not a product but a concept – adds Fernando Bellese, Marketing and Sustainability manager – What makes this leather truly sustainable is the way it is processed, starting from the use of only the most suitable part of raw hides, thus creating a higher quality product that produces less waste”.

If we have understood correctly the secret of this type of production would lie, therefore, in a different and more efficient use of the raw material whose best part is selected before the beginning of the tanning process. The resulting benefits seem very interesting. According to what was declared by JBS Couros, the processing of Kind Leather implies respectively 54% and 20% in water and energy savings, a 28% reduction in the use of chemical products for finishing and a 65% reduction of CO2 emissions related to wet-blue transport. Also important is the decrease in waste during cutting, which was estimated at around 45%.

The processing of Kind Leather makes use of the traceability system implemented for years by JBS Couros which in recent years has made sustainability the cornerstone of its business by reviewing the entire process step by step from animal husbandry to the finished product. Unique in the world, JBS monitors over 80,000 Brazilian farmers ensuring that they operate in accordance with its social and environmental standards, which include a wide variety of topics, from combating deforestation to the prohibition of child labour.

JBS claims to have performed productivity tests on Kind Leather with companies specialised in the leather cutting phase, particularly in the automotive sector, verifying a higher leather yield by up to 10% compared to traditional systems. The waste of this ecological tanning process can also be reused in the food and cosmetic industry.

Founded in 2009, the leather division of JBS – which, as we all know, is in the first place a giant of the food industry – is today the largest tannery in the world with 21 production sites and 5 distribution centres spread over four continents. JBS Couros produces finished and semi-finished leathers for all sectors and target markets, employing around nine thousand people worldwide.