Leather Production

Leather Production

The Leather Production Benchmark assesses current standards and programs covering hide transformation operations from beamhouse to finished leather. Two distinctive scopes have been developed for the Leather Production Benchmark: one addressing environmental challenges and one addressing social challenges. 


To meet the LIA requirements, a supplier must be certified to standards that meet the environmental and social benchmarks set by LIA. Brands that are officially participating in LIA must commit to sourcing from suppliers certified to LIA Approved Standard according to the timeframe set out in the Brand Commitment.

Standards listed on the LIA website as approved will have been assessed by a third-party to confirm that they meet the applicable benchmark. This will simplify sourcing; brands can be confident that the supplier is meeting the minimum practices established by LIA, regardless of which standard they are using.

Leather Production Environmental Benchmark

The environmental benchmark requirements are based on the LWG’s Environmental Audit Protocol – Issue 6.6.2, June 2019. The benchmark requirements are specific to the leather production industry and its environmental and chemical management challenges.

A standard owner has the possibility to apply for a benchmark assessment through the LIA benchmarking process. Under this process the standard requirements will be assessed against the benchmark requirements. To date only the LWG bronze level is known to meet this benchmark.

The leather production environmental benchmark addresses the following topics:

  • Operating permits 
  • Tannery data 
  • Environmental management systems 
  • Restricted substances 
  • Energy consumption 
  • Water usage 
  • Air and noise emissions 
  • Waste management 
  • Effluent treatment 
  • Emergency plans 
  • Housekeeping
“A benchmark is a reference point against which something is evaluated.” (iseal)
leather chart

Leather Production Social Benchmark

As with the other components of LIA, social concerns related to the leather production value chain are addressed through a standards benchmark.

The social benchmark sets a threshold to identify existing standards that meet a minimum level of best social practices in leather production facilities. It addresses human rights, working conditions and livelihood related to employment in the leather production supply chain.

In the first version of LIA, the leather production social requirements are aligned with SSCI Benchmarking Requirements, Version 1.0, PART III – AI: Processing and Manufacturing scope (social), developed by the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) from the Consumer Goods Forum and launched in 2019. The benchmarking requirements have been developed to assess social standards for processing/manufacturing facilities from all sectors and not specifically for the leather production sector.

The social topics addressed in the SSCI’s benchmark are:

  • Social policy
  • Legal compliance
  • Forced labor
  • Child labor
  • Freedom of association
  • Discrimination/Fair treatment of workers
  • Operational health and safety
  • Building safety and emergency preparedness
  • Wages
  • Working hours
  • Grievance mechanisms
    Business ethics

A standard owner has the possibility to apply for a benchmark assessment through the LIA benchmarking process or the SCCI benchmarking process.

Want to learn more?

We welcome you to contact us  with any questions you may have about LIA. If you would like to play a role in the development and review of LIA, we invite you to join the International Working Group. 

Pilot Programs

Piloting will soon begin for LIA benchmarking and Impact Incentives. For more information on participating in a pilot, please get in touch.

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