The Leather Working Group is a multi-stakeholder organisation founded in 2005 which today unites about 400 members including fashion brands, retailers, manufacturing companies, tanneries, suppliers of chemical products and technical experts in the leather sector. Its main mission is to develop and maintain a protocol that assesses the environmental compliance that promotes the so-called best practices in terms of sustainability. In essence, LWG seeks to reduce the environmental impact of the leather sector by standardising environmental priorities providing specific guidelines.
The LWG protocol is an approach in steps that includes three certification degrees, represented in medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze. Until the company reaches one of these stages, it remains only "audited". Over 500 tanneries worldwide have activated the procedure to deal with the various steps of the LWG environmental audit.
Currently the ranking of the LWG sustainability champions is led by India with 123 assessed tanneries, of which 80 have already achieved Gold recognition (65%). China follows with 99 tanneries, Brazil with 65, Italy with 55 and Vietnam with 14.