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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

LEATHER SMART LCA

Sustainability Metrics & Automation for the Reduction of Impacts of the Tanning industry, through Life cycle assessment

Sectors covered
Technology innovation in footwear & leather
Innovation priority
Circular economy and resource efficiency
LEATHER SMART LCA banner

 

Introduction

The project proposal seeks to address one of the most important topics for the entire leather value chain: sustainability and minimisation of environmental impacts from the leather supply chain.

The partners share basic background considerations including

  • the fashion market recognising the importance of the leather sustainability
  • specific interest of customers of tanning in life cycle assessment (LCA) performances of leather, with special emphasis in carbon footprint
  • Conceria Gaiera SpA intending to differentiate itself in the market through sustainability messages and seeks to apply an LCA based approach to environmental impacts minimisation
  • SPIN360 having developed a technology called 'SMART DRUM', combining systems for data acquisition (sensors) software for data elaboration (life cycle assessment - LCA, life cycle costing - LCC) and automation features
  • a prototype of the SMART DRUM currently installed in the GAIERA factory

The technology is protected by an European Patent Application and all claims are considered novel and inventive.
In this context, SPIN360 has proposed that GAIERA exploit and further develop the SMART DRUM technologies and software, therefore allowing an LCA based process of continuous improvement of tanning processes and products.

Through the SMART DRUM technology, technicians of tanneries can scientifically analyse the performance of their processes, formulate hypothesis for improvement, test their ideas and validate the results, therefore leading to a process that leads to continuous environmental improvements in tanning production.

Objectives

Main strategic objectives

  • Introduction of a scientific approach to process development, based on scientific high-quality LCA and LCC data.
  • Process environmental improvement and product innovation.
  • Economic savings through minimisation of the use of resources.
  • Clear positioning of the company on sustainability targets and messages.
  • Involvement and engagement of new customers.
  • Validation of the technologies, developed at the pilot stage, in a real-world industrial environment.
  • Development of a specific business model to be applied also in other tanneries worldwide.

Technical objectives

  • Validate the algorithms and software functionalities.
  • Further develop the process simulation engine and models.
  • Develop a structured process database, to be used for future process development, also through AI techniques.
  • Development of a specific tool for 'real-time LCA assessment and communication'.

Outcome of ELIIT project support

Impact (to date): Not yet available.

Partners

SME: Conceria Gaiera Giovanni Spa

Country: Italy
Year of creation: 1946
Background: GAIERA deals with the production of linings on sheepskin, goat and kidskin. The tannery is at present a reference point for sheep and calfskin of the highest quality, mainly destined for high-end luxury consumption.
More information: company website, Facebook

Technical provider: spin360 srl

Country: Italy
Year of creation: 2009
Background: SPIN360 is a company offering advanced, innovative services that promote sustainable business models and develops/manages projects for the strategic development of skills (in particular young people) and the design of innovative employment models.
More information: company website