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Leather Impact Accelerator (LIA)

What is the Leather Impact Accelerator?

The Leather Impact Accelerator (LIA) is a framework that sets existing industry tools into a coherent package and enables leather supply chain members – from farmers to retailers – to contribute to a more responsible leather supply chain.

LIA is not a standard – instead, it is a program that uses benchmarks and protocols to set a minimum threshold for practices at the farm and leather production levels and gives recognition to those who meet or exceed them. Brands can use Impact Incentives to provide direct financial support to farmers that meet LIA benchmarks, and the LIA Claims Guide provides support for all LIA participants to make credible claims.

LIA Components

The LIA components serve as tools that actors in the leather supply chain – from farmers up to retailers – may utilize to meet their company’s needs and contribute to a more sustainable leather supply chain. Click on each component to learn more.

Benchmarking

The industry already has many standards, so a benchmark approach has been adopted to leverage and add value to the standards and programs that are already in use. In addition to benchmarking, we will evaluate traceability programs and the verification protocols.

Benchmarks set a minimum threshold for practices and give recognition to those who meet or exceed them. The LIA benchmarks will be included in the regular review process of LIA and the threshold levels may be adjusted to drive continuous improvement in the sector.

The Leather Impact Accelerator (LIA) uses benchmarks to address the areas of Animal Welfare, Deforestation/Conversion-Free (DCF), and Leather Production.

How to Participate

Brands & Retailers

Brands and retailers may work with LIA in several different ways. They may choose to source directly from LIA-approved suppliers or farms (when available), purchase Impact Incentives, or participate in the LIA Corporate Commitment and map their supply chains. Brands and retailers may also use the LIA Claims Guide to communicate about their work with LIA.

Brand & Retailer Documents

Resources

Leather Production Supply Chain

Leather production supply chain facilities may become LIA-approved through being certified to standards that meets both the environmental and social benchmarks for LIA. In addition to certification, supply chain members are also required to be participating in a hide traceability system; guidelines for traceability are included in the Leather Production Supply Chain Mapping & Traceability Guidelines document below.

When available, a list of LIA-approved leather production standards will be shared.

Leather Production Supply Chain Documents

Resources

Farmers

In order to become a LIA-approved farm, a farm must be certified to a standard that is approved to the LIA Animal Welfare Standards Benchmark and/or be verified to the DCF Protocol. The farm must also be participating in a live animal traceability system that tracks the purchase and sale of individual cattle, guidelines for which are included in both farm-level documents below.

When available, a list of LIA-approved animal welfare standards will be shared.

Farm Level Documents

Resources

Standards Owners

Schemes may apply to have their standard’s criteria benchmarked against the applicable LIA benchmark document for either animal welfare or leather production*.

The overall process for being benchmarked is outlined through the Standards Benchmark Approval Process, during which the standard’s management protocols will be assessed through the Standards Management Criteria.

*Leather production supply chain facilities must meet both environmental and social benchmarks

Partner Programs

Partner Programs are on-the-ground projects or initiatives that support a farms or farm groups to improve their practices by helping them meet the DCF Protocol and/or the Animal Welfare Standards Benchmark. Partner Programs may join Impact Partnerships with brands and sell Impact Incentives to aid their work in helping farmers meet LIA.

Partner Program Documents

Resources

Third-Party Verifiers

Third-party verifiers confirm that the criteria for the Deforestation/Conversion-Free (DCF) Protocol are met. They are also responsible for verifying the required Farm Questions, confirming the traceability system used, and registering qualifying Impact Incentives onto the Incentive Trading Platform.

Note: Requirements for third-party verifiers/certifiers for animal welfare are determined by the individual standards approved to the Animal Welfare Standards Benchmark. These verifiers may also register Impact Incentives associated with animal welfare on the Incentives Trading Platform.

Documents for Third-Party Verifiers

Resources

Brands & Retailers

Brands and retailers may work with LIA in several different ways. They may choose to source directly from LIA-approved suppliers or farms (when available), purchase Impact Incentives, or participate in the LIA Corporate Commitment and map their supply chains. Brands and retailers may also use the LIA Claims Guide to communicate about their work with LIA.

Brand & Retailer Documents

Resources

Leather Production Supply Chain

Leather production supply chain facilities may become LIA-approved through being certified to standards that meets both the environmental and social benchmarks for LIA. In addition to certification, supply chain members are also required to be participating in a hide traceability system; guidelines for traceability are included in the Leather Production Supply Chain Mapping & Traceability Guidelines document below.

When available, a list of LIA-approved leather production standards will be shared.

Leather Production Supply Chain Documents

Resources

Farmers

In order to become a LIA-approved farm, a farm must be certified to a standard that is approved to the LIA Animal Welfare Standards Benchmark and/or be verified to the DCF Protocol. The farm must also be participating in a live animal traceability system that tracks the purchase and sale of individual cattle, guidelines for which are included in both farm-level documents below.

When available, a list of LIA-approved animal welfare standards will be shared.

Farm Level Documents

Resources

Standards Owners

Schemes may apply to have their standard’s criteria benchmarked against the applicable LIA benchmark document for either animal welfare or leather production*.

The overall process for being benchmarked is outlined through the Standards Benchmark Approval Process, during which the standard’s management protocols will be assessed through the Standards Management Criteria.

*Leather production supply chain facilities must meet both environmental and social benchmarks

Partner Programs

Partner Programs are on-the-ground projects or initiatives that support a farms or farm groups to improve their practices by helping them meet the DCF Protocol and/or the Animal Welfare Standards Benchmark. Partner Programs may join Impact Partnerships with brands and sell Impact Incentives to aid their work in helping farmers meet LIA.

Partner Program Documents

Resources

Third-Party Verifiers

Third-party verifiers confirm that the criteria for the Deforestation/Conversion-Free (DCF) Protocol are met. They are also responsible for verifying the required Farm Questions, confirming the traceability system used, and registering qualifying Impact Incentives onto the Incentive Trading Platform.

Note: Requirements for third-party verifiers/certifiers for animal welfare are determined by the individual standards approved to the Animal Welfare Standards Benchmark. These verifiers may also register Impact Incentives associated with animal welfare on the Incentives Trading Platform.

Documents for Third-Party Verifiers

Resources

LIA Revision

Introduction 

The Leather Impact Accelerator (LIA) was launched in January 2021 under its version 0.1. pilot phase and will continue throughout 2022. The pilot phase is a period that allows us to test out tools, program requirements, protocols, processes, and deliverables.  

 In May 2022, we began a revision of the LIA to take it from draft 0.1 to version 1.0. Textile Exchange’s LIA Team will be leading this revision process in close collaboration with the LIA International Working Group and the public will have several opportunities to provide feedback throughout the revision process.  The learnings and feedback collected will be used to adjust and improve the tools.

Goals and Objectives 

The objective of the revision process is to:  

  • Incorporate learnings from the pilot year   
  • Ensure alignment with Textile Exchange’s Climate + objectives and strategy for leather  
  • Provide an opportunity for the industry and the IWG to give feedback 
  • Transition from “draft” version 0.1 to fully implemented LIA 1.0 

Scope 

The LIA revision will be primarily based on learnings and feedback collected over the pilot period to make sure that the tools developed are best suited to achieving the objectives of LIA and any issues are solved.  

The revision will also be strongly linked to our Climate + goals and ensuring that LIA is a means for the industry to achieve them. 

The revision scope includes the following documents: 

Timeline 

The revision process will officially be launched in May 2022 with the first public consultation period of 4 weeks where open feedback on the LIA documents included in the revision scope will be collected. 

We are aiming to release LIA 1.0 in the first quarter of 2023. 

Leather Impact Accelerator 6

Decision Making Process 

Textile Exchange will embark on this journey in collaboration with a LIA-revision international working group. The IWG charter and member list will be made public on this webpage in June 2022.
 

How to Participate 

Our LIA team is leading this revision process in close collaboration with the IWG. The public will have multiple opportunities to provide feedback throughout the revision process. The first pubic consultation will run from May 4th through June 3d.

Please note that feedback provided on topics outside of the scope of this revision will not be considered. 

 Any questions or comments can be directed to lia@textileexchange.org 

 

How does LIA Align with Textile Exchange’s 2030 Climate+ Strategy?

Climate+ sets a direction for urgent climate action with a goal of 45% reduced CO2 emissions from textile fiber and material production by 2030. Forests are one of the world’s best carbon stores, and deforestation accelerates climate change, and cattle ranching is linked to agricultural expansion in some of the most important biomes on this planet. LIA addresses deforestation through its DCF Protocol, compliance with which enables farmers and farm groups to sell Impact Incentives to brands and be financially rewarded for their commitment to preserving the land. As LIA evolves, our aim is to add more scopes that will work towards meeting our Climate+ goals.