ISA Tan Tec celebrate opening of new eco-tannery

29 January 2010

More than 350 invited guests of the China based German leather producer ISA Tan Tec attended the opening of its new tannery in Vietnam on January 22. ISA Tan Tec are aiming to provide a new standard for sustainability in leather making combining environmental and socially responsible leather production. ‘It is surprising to see solutions for so many challenging issues put into action by the company’, said Tran Van Lieu head of Binh Duong Industrial and Export Processing Zones Authority (BDIZA), Vietnam.

The new tannery features innovative use of renewable energy and utilisation of waste heat from production processes and the company has applied German standards to working conditions, efficiency and environmental technology with the new plant. ‘For many years, we have been working on the vision of fundamentally overhauling leather production in a bid to make it green. We have now achieved that goal. With this tannery, we show how economic success goes hand in hand with ecologically and socially sustainable economic practices’, says Tom Schneider, ceo, ISA Tan Tec.
The ISA Tan Tec team would like to see the efforts put into this project serving as an example for future enterprises expanding not only into Vietnam but also other major Asian countries. At the new tannery a total of 250 employees will process twenty million square feet of leather every year for customers such as Timberland, New Balance, Keen, Patagonia and Merrell.
The guests attending the opening ceremony included Conrad Cappell, Consul General of Germany and Aneta Nikolova of UNESCAP. ‘I’m passionate about finding strong solutions which were thought not easy to implement, but ISA have managed to turn into a successful tool’, Aneta Nikolova said.
Guests at the opening were shown the creative atmosphere and the ingenious, economical use of resources, such as a windmill used for pumping water and that the wastewater is cleaned in an engineered constructed wetland and subsequently reused. Likewise, the tannery also collects rainwater for use in production processes and water is heated in a solar thermal system without CO2 emissions. A half-open bamboo wall ensures natural cooling and a pleasant temperature inside the production building.
Tom Schneider took the opportunity to thank customers and partners for their support: ‘We know that many of our friends share our vision. Without the generous support of government officials from both international and local community, the science and financial sectors, we would not have been able to achieve our goals so fast and comprehensively.’

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