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Useful Tips & Information

What is

Leather Working Group?


Founded in 2005, the Leather Working Group (LWG) is a multistakeholder organisation comprised of brands and retailers, leather manufacturers, suppliers, traders and technical experts working towards improving environmental stewardship within the leather manufacturing industry.

The objective of the group is to provide, maintain and develop environmental auditing protocols, which assess the compliance and environmental performance of leather manufacturers across the globe,whilst also promoting sustainable and appropriate environmental business practice. LWG has over 600 members, from leather manufacturers to suppliers, brands, and traders

Who can be a member of

Leather Working Group?


Leather Manufactures

Tanneries or manufacturers who carry out a certain fraction of operations on leather can request a Leather Working Group Environmental Audit from YKC and become a certified member plus achieve a possible medal rating form LWG. After initial communication with your auditor, your facility scope for LWG Audit will be determined and your audit will be scheduled accordingly. Get in touch with us to book your audit and start your journey to LWG.

Leather Traders & Commissioning Manufacturers

Trading companies which deals with processed leather products (except raw hides / skins) with a warehouse can request a LWG Trader Audit for assessment of their LWG supply chain and become a certified LWG-Approved Trader. Companies who buy their own hides and commissions the material in other tanneries on a sub-contracting basis then sells the final product without any operations (except minor mechanical etc.) can be audited with Comissioning Manufacturer Protocol (CMAP) and get a medal rating.

Sub-contractor Leather Manufacturers

Leather manufacturers who works solely on sub-contracting basis and does not own its own material can now be audited according to new LWG Sub-contractor Protocol (SCAP) developed to assess subcontractors to a higher standard and to provide them with their own certification and membership of LWG. In addition, as more subcontractors choose to undergo the SCAP and become LWG-certified, leather manufacturers will be able to choose new subcontractors from a pre-approved list. Furthermore, the SCAP plays an important role in the second new audit protocol for Commissioning Manufacturers, as it allows an entire production chain to be audited and certified by LWG.

Benefits of

Leather Working Group

Continuous Improvement of Environmental Performance

Leather manufacturers can significantly improve their existing environmental systems in terms of documentation, waste management, emissions and overall sustainability by getting a Leather Working Group audit. Preparation phase and efforts to keep up the LWG standards helps companies to enhance the environmental conditions in many areas of the process and more.

Scope of

LWG Environmental Audit Protocol


Operation Permits

Companies must have all related permits ready and viable at all times

Tannery Data

Manufacturing numbers and all related data must be correct and available


Covers the methods to trace the raw materials to the slaughterhouse


Documentation systems used for environmental management (ex: ISO 14001)

Restricted Substances

Examines the company’s ability to manage chemical safety in the products

Energy & Water

Natural resources consumption and conservation methods are audited in these sections

Air Emissions

Includes assessment of all process related & other air emissions (including VOC's and more)

Waste Management

Covers waste data, regulative compliance and minimization technologies

Effluent Treatment

Operation and testing conditions of wastewater treatment plants (including CETP's) and final discharge quality

Emergency Plans

Company emergency management conditions & requirements


General order & cleanliness of facility and safety management conditions in the manufacturing

Manufacturing & Others

Best Technologies and process conditions are assessed in this section

Click here to access all up to date LWG Protocols & Guidance Notes for leather manufacturers, traders and sub-contractors
How to prepare for a

LWG Audit


For Tanneries & Leather Manufacturers

Ensuring the compliance of all permits and EMS documentation control & preparation

Adopting physical & document-based hide / skin traceability to slaughterhouse

Testing for leather, restricted substances, emissions, worker safety, wastes and effluent quality

Metering, recordkeeping, waste management and effluent treatment improvements

Assessment and improvement of safety and housekeeping conditions in the tannery

Adoption of best available technologies and precise preparation according to LWG protocol

For Leather Traders

Separation and improvement of storage conditions for LWG and non-LWG origin materials

Precise record keeping of incoming materials and outgoing products

Compilation of customer / supplier information & shipment documents

Ensuring the distinction between the documents for LWG and non-LWG origin materials

Building a robust supply chain by preferring suppliers with a hide traceability system

Setting up a specific mechanism of communication for customers requiring LWG origin leather

For Subcontractor Manufactures

Having all the permits and licenses for operation and other related activities

Keeping up-to-date records for subcontracted work and the process steps applied on leather

Precise measurement of unit energy and water consumption for the materials processed

Control of air emissions and calculation of VOC emissions generated for unit production

Fullfillment of the requirements for effluent, waste and safety management according to LWG Protocol

Assessment and improvement of safety and housekeeping conditions in the tannery


Tannery of the Future - Are You Ready for an Audit? is a self-assessment questionnaire designed to support tanneries who are looking to embark on their environmental journey but may not yet be ready to undergo the Leather Working Group (LWG) Environmental Audit.

Click here to access Tannery of the Future Assessment Tool