A newly-opened £14 million ‘super tannery’ facility that sets new industry standards for leather production will build on world-leading sustainability achievements.

The landmark project, constructed by Scottish Leather Group near Paisley has taken seven years to deliver and was constructed with a goal of low-impact production and incorporates innovative hide processing technology that ensures consistency of quality while further enhancing environmental performance.

Compared with the group’s previous equipment the super tannery will reduce energy and water use by 82 percent and 42 percent respectively.

Scottish Leather Group, which encompasses Bridge of Weir Leather, Lang, and Muirhead, is a leading manufacturer of leather for the global automotive, aviation, rail, furniture, and luxury goods sectors.

It counts global brands including Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), and British Airways among its client list.

The super tannery is the latest in a series of investments by the group in its facilities. Previous initiatives include a Thermal Energy Plant (TEP), which ensures that the company minimises disposal and turns waste into heat, and its Water Treatment & Recycling Plant (WTRP), where water used throughout the processes is recovered.

The group employs more than 750 people and says the recruitment and retention of skilled workers is critical to the super tannery’s successful operation.

Nicholas Muirhead, CEO of Scottish Leather Group, said: “Since 2003, we have continuously invested in strategic initiatives designed to optimise and improve productivity, quality, and sustainability.

“The new super tannery is the latest significant milestone on that journey, a state-of-the-art facility that builds on the considerable savings we have already made in reduced energy and water use, improving our efficiency, and futureproofing our production.

“This will provide our customers with further evidence of our position as the leader in the supply of the world’s lowest carbon leather.”

Dr. Warren Bowden, Head of Innovation & Sustainability, Scottish Leather Group said: “Over the last 20 years, we have pioneered and patented circular manufacturing processes that minimise waste to landfill and radically reduce our carbon footprint, with initiatives such as our Thermal Energy Plant [TEP] and Ultrafiltration plant.”

“The super tannery builds on these sector-leading actions, providing a step change in productivity and environmental savings. Our sustainability journey is continuous, and this new facility will play a vital role in enabling us to achieve net zero leather production.

“We are committed to net zero for our own operations (Scope 1 and 2) by 2025 – ahead of Scotland’s net-zero ambitions – and delivering zero process waste to landfill by the same year, further fortifying our sustainability pledges.”

The group has also launched its 2023 Environmental, Social and Governance report which shows a 90% reduction in the carbon intensity of its leather over the last 20 years, 100% traceability of raw materials, and 77% of waste recycled in 2022.