JBS Couros achieve seven LWG gold awards

24 December 2012

After almost a month of audits in 7 of their 14 plants in Brazil, JBS Couros achieved the top rated gold award from the Leather Working Group in all assessed plants.

The Leather Working Group is an international initiative, formed by leading brands, tanneries and suppliers, working together to promote the best environmental practices within the worldwide leather industry.

This excellent result crowns a continuous and exhaustive work done by JBS’ team and reflects the approach taken by the company.

In 2012, JBS Couros created a Certification Working Group, within its sustainability committee, to oversee all the certification programs and standardise the best practices throughout the leather division.

The group was able to identify the most efficient process being used within its units, replicating the best cases, and consequently, promoting considerable improvement in the daily operations. In addition, the team have also worked to benchmark new environmental solutions in order to be in line with the international market.

The new approach from the working group brought significant improvements since the last audits performed at JBS, which can be seen in the results achieved this year. Chrome management and water usage are among the items, which experienced the best improvement, impacting positively in the new awards.

JBS Couros also demonstrate a serious commitment in restricted substances management. A strict policy, clearly informed to customers and partners; periodic tests to the inputs used and leather produced; and the engagement of chemicals suppliers with JBS’ policy contributed for the achievement of the highest score possible on this item by all the assessed plants. 

Another area where the Brazilian tanners are keen to mention is LWG grades for traceability. This an area that environmental pressure groups have criticised the company in the past with regards to Amazon deforestation.

At the previous audit made, grade A was awarded to all of JBS Couros facilities in Brazil. A result repeated in the re-audits performed in the last few weeks, confirming their traceability program, which allows the company full control over the origin of the leather used in its processes, providing security to customers through supply chain management. Traceability is still a challenging process for many tanneries all around the world.

During these audits, JBS participated in a parallel analysis of LWG protocol 6.0, due to roll out in 2014. This work will allow the anticipation and understanding of the challenges and opportunities that the new protocol may offer and keep the company focused on further improvements in order to maintain the gold standards.

The attainment of LWG gold awards for all audited units demonstrates an ongoing commitment by JBS Couros on the sustainability of their processes, being a catalyst for the development of the company’s activities in harmony with the communities and environment where it is located.

In 2013, JBS is organising another seven audits, featuring four retanning/finishing tanneries and three more wet-blue plants, aiming at having all JBS tanneries audited and certified before the end of 2013.

JBS Couros plants with LWG medal for traceability: Barra do Garças/MT - Gold A, Cacoal/RO - Gold A, Gurupi/TO  - Gold A, Marabá/PA - Gold A, Naviraí/MS Gold A, Porangatu/GO Gold A and São Luis de Montes Belos/GO - Gold A.

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