Our commitment to sustainability, summarized in the Group strategy “Sustainability, next level,” embraces the issue of supply chain traceability. For companies operating in the tanning sector, leather represents the main raw material and the basis of transformation processes and, as such, a pivotal point on which we should focus our commitment to improving our and our suppliers’ environmental and social performance. In this context, it is essential to ensure a reliable traceability system for our supply chain.

Our work is based on the recovery of a by-product of the food industry which, through the process of tanning, we enhance and transform it into the qualifying element of products at the centre of our everyday life.

The use of this material makes it possible to save it from disposal as waste. As a matter of fact, the processing of hides and skins is part of a virtuous circular economy process, aimed at the recovery and promotion of a slaughterhouse waste product that becomes a valuable asset.

To ensure the highest standards of quality, safety and sustainability of our products, control of our supply chain is crucial. The Leather Working Group (LWG) 1 international organization evaluates companies in the leather supply chain based on environmental, social, health and safety, and governance criteria, including the traceability of raw materials. Gruppo Mastrotto has been active in improving leather traceability and supply chain control for years. Our management has been Gold-Rated by LWG, which is the highest rating, with traceability scores of up to 85 percent among the highest in the tanning industry.

Our commitment on improving the environmental and social performance of the supply chain is also embedded within our Code of Conduct, the signing of which commits our suppliers of hides, chemicals, materials, and services to ethical, social, and environmental standards. Recognizing the particular importance of the supply of hides and skins to our business, our Code of Conduct also requires suppliers of hides and skins to:

  • Compliance with the reference legislation applied in their country in the field of animal welfare.

  • If specific legislation on the subject is not present and applicable, suppliers undertake to ensure respect for the five basic freedoms of animals (freedom from hunger and thirst; from discomfort; from pain, injury, and disease; to express normal behaviour; from fear and distress).

  • A guarantee that the hides and skins do not come from animals raised on farms associated with illegal deforestation in the Amazon and other protected areas of South America.

This desire is confirmed by our decision, following an initial warning from a non-governmental organisation, to refrain from purchasing leather from Paraguayan suppliers which, according to rules of reasonable traceability, comes directly or indirectly from ranches located in the PNCAT (Patrimonio Natural y Cultural Ayoreo Totobiegosode) territory, the ancestral homeland of the Ayoreo Totobiegosode people.

The decision was made with a view to countering illegal deforestation activities in the Paraguayan area of the PNCAT and to help protect the survival and rights of the threatened Ayoreo people, who inhabit the area and are the last surviving uncontacted tribe in South America outside the Amazon basin.

Our commitment on the control of our supply chain does not stop there. As a matter of fact, the corporate sustainability plan includes a series of short-, medium- and long-term goals, with a view to increasing transparency:

  • Adopting the UN Global Compact, the UN initiative aimed at creating a more inclusive and sustainable global economy (short-term).
  • Voluntary disclosure through the “Forest” module of the CDP2 rating to share and make transparent our commitment against deforestation (medium-term)
  • The definition of a specific protocol for the selection and evaluation of leather suppliers according to “ESG/ traceability/animal welfare” criteria (medium-term)
  • The development of a periodic monitoring and rating system for the environmental and social performance of our leather suppliers, with a focus on animal welfare and traceability (long-term)

Short-term = within 6 months; medium-term = within 1 year; long-term = within 2 years

We undertake to review the level of achievement of these goals at least annually and update them based on the results obtained with a view to continuous improvement.

Arzignano, August 2023

1 LWG is a multi-stakeholder organization that has developed a protocol to assess compliance and business practices on sets of sustainability criteria in the leather supply chain. It is now considered the world’s most influential reference in the field.

2 CDP (formerly, Carbon Disclosure Project) is a non-profit organisation that manages the global disclosure system for investors, companies, municipalities, States and Regions to manage their environmental impacts. CDP is considered the environmental reporting standard with the finest and most comprehensive dataset worldwide.