HCMC – Saigon Tan Tec Leather Limited, a subsidiary of German high-quality leather manufacturer ISA Tan Tec, on Saturday opened the first ecological tannery in the southern province of Binh Duong.
First eco-tannery comes online in Binh Duong
By Quoc Hung - The Saigon Times Daily
An employee of Saigon Tan Tec Leather Limited at work in the tannery in Binh Duong Province - Photo: Quoc Hung HCMC – Saigon Tan Tec Leather Limited, a subsidiary of German high-quality leather manufacturer ISA Tan Tec, on Saturday opened the first ecological tannery in the southern province of Binh Duong.
The facility in Viet Huong 2 industrial park of the province will produce two million square meters of high-quality leather annually for major shoes brand names worldwide, such as Timberland, Rockport, Merrell, New Balance, Keen, Simple and Hush Puppies, according to the company.
The company said the 4.4 hectare plant would employ some 300 workers and supply products for shoemakers here in the country as well, which are processing for world shoes brands, and export markets outside China.
The leather producer has invested a total of almost US$12 million into the project, higher than its original plan of US$8.7 million.
“In this way, we want to make it clear that companies with ‘green’ values, such as managing resources efficientlyand sustainably, will make it through the global crisis in significantly better shape,” said Thomas Schneider, founder and chairman of ISA Tan Tec. “The demand for leather produced in an environmentally-friendly way is growing rapidly. Our new tannery means we can optimally answer this need.”
At a topping out ceremony of Saigon Tan Tec Leather Limited in July last year, Schneider said, “The demand from clients such as Timberland, New Balance, Keen, and Hush Puppies for ecologically friendly leather is increasing rapidly. That is why, in addition to our new ecological factory in China, we’re building a second factory where our environmental concept will be even more thoroughly implemented.”
To protect the environment, this tannery continuously monitors and reduces chemical, water and energy use. For the leather produced at the new tannery, 35% less energy and 50% less water is required compared with the industry average.
This is documented by the “LITE” label (“Low Impact to Environment”) which makes the carbon dioxide emissions for each square meter of leather produced transparent. LITE standards are based on calculations by the British Leather Technology Center for average energy and water consumption in the industry.
According to ISA Tan Tec, in the coming time, shoe manufacturers including Timberland, New Balance, Keen, Reef, Hush Puppies, and Simple shoes will be launching models made with the company’s LITE leather.
ISA Tan Tec fulfills LITE requirements by employing a number of individual measures. For instance, the tannery uses renewable energy whenever possible.
The company has installed a solar thermal system to heat the water required for the tanning process. A wind turbine is used to drive the pumps for the water supply. ISA Tan Tec also recycles energy and water. The warmth of the machines is utilized to heat water; the condensate water that occurs during the leather drying process is recycled and re-used as process water.
The company is also innovating in the area of waste water treatment. The facility is surrounded by a wall of bamboo that not only secures its perimeter but also treats waste water.
“There is no other factory of this size in the entire industry which sets such ambitious targets for climate protection,” said Schneider. “We are very happy with the results we have obtained from the test run over the last few weeks. Of course, we need to improve things here and there, but it has already become clear that our concept works.”