Promoted BATs and benefits

As a direct result of the project, the following BATs have been promoted for implementation in 17 European footwear and leather companies:

  • Replacement of halogenated organic compounds in the degreasing of hides and skins.
  • Computer-aided footwear design.
  • Computer-aided cutting.
  • Use of water-based adhesives.
  • Use of 100% solid or hotmelt adhesives.
  • Replacement of metal complex pigments and dyes.
  • Replacement of nitrogenous compounds in the post-tanning phase.
  • Prevention of the formation of hexavalent chromium in the post-tanning phase.
  • Use of biocides approved by the European Union.
  • Utilisation of rainwater.

The following environmental and socio-economic benefits have been obtained:

  • Prevention of risks at work thanks to the reduction in solvent emissions.
  • Less process stages in footwear cementing, and the consequent savings in time and energy consumption in the footwear production process.
  • Time and material savings in the cutting process, compared with the traditional hand cutting process.
  • Reduction in nitrogen discharge in tannery wastewater.
  • Reduction in wastewater toxicity caused by biocides.
  • Reduction in Chromium VI and metals content in finished leather.
  • Reduction in skin sensitising problems caused by contact with leather products.
  • Absence of chlorides from the degreasing phase of the tanning process.
  • Reduction by 20% of water consumption in the tanning process.
  • Reduction by 20% of the pollutant load of tannery wastewater.
  • Reduction by 80% of sulphide content in effluents.
  • Reduction by 60% of chromium salt content in effluents.
  • Potential job creation due to the increasing demand for metal-free leather.
  • Higher environmental awareness among companies.