Trusted Partnerships

We believe cooperation throughout the supply chain is essential in achieving the desired sustainability and transparency changes in the industry. By stimulating cooperation in the supply chain, we believe sustainability evolves as a consequence.

Some of our trusted partners are:

Solidaridad is an international solution-oriented civil society organization working through nine regional expertise centers on transforming markets to make them more inclusive and sustainable. We bring together supply chain players and engage them with innovative solutions to improve production, ensuring the transition to a sustainable and inclusive economy that maximizes the benefit for all. 

Solidaridad and Stahl are working together towards a sustainable leather supply chain. The kick-off of this partnership is a five-year project in the Indian region Kanpur and was launched on 13 November 2017. In cooperation with PUM Netherlands senior experts and a number of Indian partners, we aim to address several challenges related to overall water use and pollution from the Kanpur leather cluster. This sector is partly responsible for pollution loads in the Ganges. The overall objectives of the five-year project are a reduction by at least 40% in the effluent water discharged, and the introduction of more environmentally-friendly alternative technologies and processes at tanneries. 

The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Foundation (ZDHC)
In 2011 a group of major apparel and footwear brands and retailers made a shared commitment to help lead the clothing industry towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020. The apparel and footwear chain is long and complex and the ZDHC foundation is cooperating closely with its members to drive industry-wide change. Stahl became an affiliate in October of 2016 and has since officially joined the foundation in its commitment. 

bluesign® system partnership
In 2017 Stahl achieved the bluesign® system partner status. The bluesign® system helps its partners to properly manage chemicals and to replace hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives in the manufacturing of textile and related products. The system sets and controls standards for an environmentally friendly and safe production. As a system partner, Stahl will report regularly based on on-site audits on the five key areas: resource productivity, consumer safety, water emissions, and occupational health and safety.

Educational initiatives

Through Stahl Campus® we are continuously promoting good practices in the industry by training invited third parties at our state-of-the-art facilities. Effective water management is a critical factor in achieving a more sustainable leather industry and this will require water technology expertise. As Stahl recognizes this, we have initiated water related projects with the University of Wageningen (The Netherlands) and the University of Stuttgart (Germany). Furthermore, Stahl cooperates with over thirty different universities and colleges around the world, on a wide range of projects. Another great educational partnership is with the University of Northampton (United Kingdom). Together we developed a 12 months Post Graduate course for the Automotive industry in Leather Finishing which is taught at Stahl Campus® in Mexico. We actively promote cooperation with higher education institutions in order to secure talent for the future and maintain our leadership position in technology.

Transparency events
Stahl aims to bring full transparency and traceability to the leather supply chain. Therefore, we organize events in close cooperation with partners. In 2016 we started with ‘ReVeal’, an event that focused on all stages of the production process, from hides to designer bag. In 2017, we initiated a second transparency-focused event, ‘Crystal Clear’. During the event we, together with leather experts and decision makers of consumer brands, shared knowledge focused on water management in leather production. We shared our thoughts and concerns and elaborated on new ways to continue towards a transparent industry.

The Leather Working Group

We are part of this multi-stakeholder group that is aiming to develop and maintain an audit protocol that assesses the environmental compliance of tanners and also aims at promoting sustainable practices in the leather processing industry. It is the group’s objective to work transparently, involving brands, suppliers, retailers, leading technical experts within the leather industry, NGOs and other stakeholders. Stahl is an active member of this group and committed itself to the same goals of promoting transparency and best practices to the leather industry. Meetings are held twice a year.

Tannery of the Future
Stahl sponsors the ‘Tannery of the Future’, a free and comprehensive checklist for tanneries, wholesalers, fashion brands and retailers. Fourteen CSR criteria related to leather, including safety, housekeeping, waste management and working conditions, are elaborated and explained. The goal is to help the tannery to improve its performance.

Stahl is an active member of TEGEWA; a group of chemical manufacturers supplying the leather, textile and paper industries. TEGEWA’s purpose is to identify, review and make recommendations on topics relevant for the industry. In 2016 members took action regarding the topic of safety, health and chemical management by launching the Safety Guidelines for Chemicals at Tanneries in order to reduce incidents and improve the working conditions of leather tannery workers around the world. This campaign continues in 2017.
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