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Sustainable development

EU Meetings for the Leather Industry
The EU Leather and Tanning Industry and Sustainable Development

On the 27th May 2004 a Conference on Sustainability and the Leather sector took place at the premises of the European Commission.
It was organized by DG ENTR, the European Leather Association (COTANCE) and the Trade Union (ETUF-TCL) and it was attended by numerous members of the European Institutions, leather sector and annexed industries representatives (leather goods, textiles, chemicals).


Strategy for Africa


Cooperation and Trade

COTANCE and its member associations,

* Proclaiming that free and fair trade in the leather sector and the reduction and eventual elimination of protectionisms of all kinds should guide all the efforts devoted in EU-Africa relations as this is in the mutual interest and in the interest of the international leather industry community,

* Affirming that

* COTANCE and its member leather trade associations can substantially contribute to the goal of economic integration of the EU-African leather industries and that the European leather industry has an economically and environmentally valid model to offer Africa
* the European Leather Industry's strive for a EU-African partnership can be developed in many areas of mutual concern and interest and at many levels of cooperation
* a framework in which these relations could evolve positively and increase the chances of a successful partnership between European and African operators is of strategic importance for maximising the positive effects of sectoral initiatives at all levels of intervention
* COTANCE should take the role that corresponds to its objectives and competencies, guiding, encouraging and supporting the initiatives arising from the European Leather Industry, notably through its member associations and aiming at the establishment of a fruitful EU-African partnership in various fields
* COTANCE as such should take part in as many initiatives as possible associated in the most appropriated way so as to symbolise the continuing commitment of the European Leather Industry to improve trade and cooperation relations with Africa


Environmental Communication from UNIC

Environmental Communication from UNIC

In December 2003, in the framework of the Italian Presidency of the European Union, Milan hosted the 9th Conference of the Parties on Climate Changes, the most important international summit on environment after the one in Johannesburg in Autumn 2002. The conference was organised by the UN and the Italian Ministry of Environment.

On December 12th, 2003, closing date of the summit, the Italian government presented the environmental policies of the Italian tanning sector as an international example of excellence in environmental management. Contents of the first Environmental Report of the Italian tanning industry and results of efforts and investments of the past years were presented, together with possible future objectives.

The event represented a part of wider strategies of environmental communication, which aim at the valorisation of the ethic and environmental content of leather correctly produced and at the comparison with international competitors.


1. COTANCE signs UNEP's declaration on cleaner production

On 29 April 2002, in Prague, Mr Gonzalez-Quijano, Secretary General of COTANCE, signed the International Declaration on Cleaner Production on behalf of his association.

The International Declaration on Cleaner Production is a commitment to the goal of sustainable development by the bodies who are signatories to it. It was formulated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in order to eliminate pollution before it is created, rather than clean up the damage caused.

Following a Council decision taken in 2000, COTANCE had decided to become a signatory to the UNEP declaration. In signing up, the European Tanning Industry makes public its commitment to favour pollution prevention and cleaner production. Indeed this is already a reality in most of the European Tanneries and should therefore be communicated to the general public by all available means, first by signing the UNEP declaration and then, by further implementing and widely disseminating its principles.

2. COTANCE submits a report on sustainability to UNEP

The COTANCE report for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg) is an unprecedented achievement of the leather industry. Europe's tanners participate in the reporting exercise of UNEP with regard to the three pillars of sustainability. This is a contribution to the global leather industry because it sets a benchmark against which to measure achievements in terms of sustainability and a yardstick in the quest for sustainability of the tanning industry