• cotance@euroleather.com

Social Partners and Steering Committee hold first meeting in Milan

23 September 2022

This week, the steering group for the new EU funded social dialogue project, Green Deal Leather (GDL) met in Milan to kick off the project with affiliates from Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The two-year project aims to generate representative reference data at sector level on workplace safety and the carbon footprint of leather for the European tanning industry.

Although small in size, Europe’s leather industry is the world leader in generating value for the economy through the transformation of a residue of the milk and meat ecosystem. With some 20-25% of the total turnover of the global tanning industry, Europe’s leather industry and its workforce do not want to be only recognised for their excellence in producing the most beautiful and requested leathers in the world, but also for doing it under optimal workplace safety conditions and leaving behind the lowest carbon footprint possible.

The project aims for ‘’zero impact’’. This may seem impossible, but it is the ambition of the European Social Partners, seconded by ACEXPIEL (Spain), APIC (Portugal), FFTM (France), FVTBSL (Austria), MKSZ (Hungary), UNIC-Concerie Italiane (Italy) and VDL (Germany). The European social partners hope that the project will pave the way to minimising both accidents and injuries in the workplace and the carbon footprint of the leather.

The project’s Steering Committee met in Milan on 22 September at the Lineapelle Fairgrounds, where the leather industry has the opportunity to exhibit their best products. The Committee reviewed the project’s programme of activities, milestones and deliverables which include the organisation of two workshops and a final conference to present the project’s results to stakeholders, regulators and the general public.

Gustavo Gonzalez-Quijano, Secretary General of COTANCE, said: The image of the leather industry in the general public isn’t good. Leather is too often associated with the worst ills such as miserable working conditions or polluting emissions to the environment. Unfortunately, this is a reality in certain third countries. But the people should know that in Europe, tanners care for their employees and for the planet. This project will bring the data that sustain this claim.

Judith Kirton-Darling, industriAll-Europe, said: Following our previous social dialogue project, ERICA, which set up the leather industry’s first database of collective agreements, we are delighted to continue our positive joint work together. This project feeds into our goal to make the European tanning industry a more attractive sector which is engaged with their communities, and employees work in safe and clean environments.   



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This project has received funding from the European Union. Sole responsability lies within the author and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.