During the latest APFL fair (Hong Kong) JBS Couros, the world’s largest leather processing company, announced a great innovation called Kind Leather. After a two year research, this new leather range is ready to revolutionize the industry and change the leather’s production worldwide.
The concept behind Kind Leather is based on the efficient use of raw material and resources, and it aims to achieve several environmental, social, and economic benefits. According to Roberto Motta (CEO of JBS Couros) and Fernando Bellese (Marketing and Sustainability manager), the most distinctive feature of Kind Leather lies in its processing: by selecting the parts of the hide which are best suited to leather production it is possible to obtain high-end leather while reducing waste and using fewer products. Thanks to this smart approach, Kind Leather achieved excellent results such as 54.2% water reduction, a 20% drop in energy during the tanning process, and a 28% reduction in the use of finishing chemicals. Moreover, JBS Couros managed to reduce CO2 emissions in wet-blue leather transportation by 65%, and it decreased trimming waste by 45%. Then, the unused parts of the manufactured hides can be sold to other industries for further processing.
Kind Leather embraces all-round innovation: JBS Couros is currently pursuing the goal of maximum sustainability also through an end-to-end traceability program. The system used by the company gathers data throughout the production chain, from the farm to the end product, while a state-of-the-art monitoring system oversees and scrutinizes more than 80 thousand cattle suppliers in order to make sure that they comply with the social and environmental standards prescribed by JBS Couros‘ Responsible Raw Material Procurement Policy. The program monitors animal welfare, safeguards native forests, contrast the invasion of indigenous land or environmental conservation areas, and makes sure that suppliers do not exploit child or slave labour. For the time being, JBS Couros is the only company in the leather industry offering such a large-scale supply chain visibility.
But JBS Curos has not confined itself to sustainability: the solutions implemented by the company in order to achieve its green goals turned out to be unexpected productivity enhancers. Boosting the performance of leather cutting machines and finishing plants translated into better working conditions, and natural hide components that otherwise would be discarded can now be sent elsewhere to generate extra profit (e.g. bovine collagen for beauty products).
The company’s CEO recently stated that “Kind Leather will revolutionise the industry, changing the way leather is made globally and building a closer connection to consumers”, and data seem to be proving him right.