Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the environmental goal set by the largest countries in the world to contain global warming and combat climate change. But of course the industry must do its part. JBS, the Brazilian meat giant, announced a commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040. The commitment spans the company’s global operations, as well as its diverse value chain of agricultural producer partners, suppliers and customers in their activities of meat production, but of course also leather production managed by the JBS Couros division.
JBS is the first major company in its sector to set a net-zero target. The ambition reflects the company’s goal to meet the health and nutritional needs of the growing global population in a sustainable manner that preserves the planet’s resources for future generations. As part of its commitment, the company has signed on to the United Nations Global Compact’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C initiative, which aligns with the most ambitious aim of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming.
The company will develop GHG emission reduction targets across its global operations and value chains in South America, North America, Europe, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. JBS will provide a time-bound roadmap that provides interim targets consistent with the criteria set forth by the Science Based Targets initiative on climate change. The company’s announcement is a continuation of its longstanding commitment to sustainability and ongoing efforts to reduce emissions. In Brazil, JBS currently monitors 100% of its direct cattle suppliers for illegal Amazon deforestation and is leveraging blockchain technology to monitor the suppliers of its suppliers. In North America, JBS operations have reduced GHG emission intensity by nearly 20% since 2015.

KIND LEATHER’s environmental benefits
JBS has already achieved important objectives of reducing the environmental impact in the tanning sector by developing Kind Leather, the leather produced according to an innovative and more efficient processing system that saves natural resources and chemicals by reducing waste and tanning residues. Recently Kind Leather was submitted to a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in partnership with Asiatan which confirmed the numerous environmental benefits of this production system. It is not by chance that Kind Leather received the best score in the leather sector in the Higg Materials Sustainability Index (Higg MSI) set up by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to improve the environmental performance of the fashion industry. As we know, the Higg MSI index is a global index that evaluates different materials used in the fashion industry, like cotton, leather, plastics, textiles, metal and rubber. The production of these materials is analysed in categories like Global Warming Potential, Water Usage, Fuels Usage and the Use of Chemical Products. The lower the number on the index, the smaller the impact on the environment. To have an idea, in the Global Warming Potential category, Kind Leather scores 8, while the global average for the industry is 34.3, wool scores 45.2 points and cotton 8.8.

The LCA study showed that Kind Leather:
– emits 43% less CO2, when compared with a standard leather production (Wet Blue)
– reduces water consumption in the tanning phase by 52%
– reduces solid waste generation throughout the production chain by 93%
– reduces power consumption by 62%.
These results obviously already represent a more than respectable goal in guaranteeing the sustainability of the tanning sector.

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