Where Does Leather Come From?

It comes from Upcycling! 
  • Refining a by-product of the milk and meat industry into a high-value areal material
  • Leather manufacturers depend on the agricultural industry.
  • The disposal of hides and the associated environmental burden is avoided.
 Leather production is a perfect example of upcycling and manufacturing sustainable and valuable products.

Animal Welfare

  • The quality of the leather depends on the quality of hides.
  • The quality of hides depends on species-appropriate animal husbandry.
  • Stringent European standards as a minimum requirement for suppliers in all sales markets

We are committed to animal welfare.

Legal standards as a minimum requirement
EU animal welfare policy:
Basic principle based on the 5 freedoms of animal welfare

  • Freedom from hunger, malnutrition, and thirst
  • Freedom from fear and distress
  • Freedom from physical discomfort and discomfort due to cold or heat
  • Freedom from pain, injury, and illness
  • Freedom to live out normal behavioral patterns

Legal standards as a minimum requirement
 Directive (EC) No.1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport (EU 2005)

  • Limited transport times
  • Controlled transports
Directive (EC) No.1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing (EU 2009)
  • Avoidance of stress and pain
  • Slaughtering only by qualified personnel
 Standardized slaughter regulation (1099/2009/EU in force from 2013)
  • Type of killing or stunning
  • Veterinary medicine control
  • No processing of hides from wild animals according to the Washington Convention (1983)
 Adherence to animal welfare in the supply chain:
  • Active control of our suppliers
  • We only use suppliers who are committed to animal welfare
  • Regular auditing of suppliers by Wollsdorf
  • Adherence up to the slaughterhouse is ensured.
Responsibility toward our customers and employees
Traceability and product safety of utilized raw materials:
  • Goods receiving controls, supplier audits, chemical assessments, ongoing emission measurements and risk analyses in product development
  • Tracing raw materials, semi-finished and finished products by labelling
  • Pure-batch usage of chemicals
  • Ongoing analyses and random sampling to ensure adherence


  1. Avoiding-Avoiding harmful chemicals
  2. Reducing-Reducing water and energy consumption
  3. Recovering-By-products of leather production provide valuable raw materials for other industries.
  4. Eliminating-Thermal recovery of residual substances for energy production


  • Examination of all chemicals for possible negative impacts on employees, customers, and the environment
  • Replacing critical chemicals with ecologically harmless chemicals
  • Potentially environmentally hazardous and harmful substances are excluded (REACH candidate list, customer requirements, wastewater treatment plant, occupational safety)
  • Reduction of chrome tanning by 90 %, customer-dependent usage
  • Minimizing the usage of chemicals in the area of finishing (raster application instead of spray technology, new nozzle technology)
  • Converting solvent-containing finishing to a water-based system: Thereby reducing solvent emissions to 15 % (significantly below the current BAT-EU 2013)
  • Reduction of water usage and wastewater cleaning as important items of ecological awareness
  • Process optimization in recent years has led to a strong reduction of water and chemical usage: We are almost 50 % below the EU-BAT criteria (EU 2013) with 30 m³/t of raw material induction based on our current consumption of less than 13-16 m³ of water/t of raw material.


Introduction into bodies of water does not have a negative biological impact.
Wastewater is optimally cleaned.

  • Since 2009, ongoing adaptation of our biological effluent treatment plant –according to the latest state of the art
  • 29 external examination per year
  • Significant dissidence of most threshold values at the effluent treatment plant as e.g., nitrogen elimination > 90 % –threshold value 75 %, ammonium nitrogen < 2 mg/l –threshold value 12 mg/l

Energy –CO2 Footprint
CO2-neutral since 2016

  • Usage of renewable energies (hydroelectric power, wind power, …)
  • Natural gas as a fossil energy source is successively replaced with electricity.
  • Savings of over 1 GWh of energy/year in the last 5 years
  • Energy usage at our ECO2L-certified site is thereby significantly below the energy benchmark “Optimal Energy Efficiency in Tanning”.
  • Support for the climate protection project “Rainforest”: Additional purchasing of climate certificates for the conservation of endangered rainforest areas in Costa Rica
Other Emissions
Consistent reduction of emissions due to new projects:
  • Reduction of VOC emissions to less than 23 g of carbon per m² of finished leather (threshold values according to Austrian VOC plant regulation < 75 mg/m² of leather)
  • Reduction or elimination of odors due to desulphurization (reduction of hydrogen sulfide) and osmotic barriers

By-products and waste
Material recovery, recycling, and avoidance

  • By-products: high-value raw materials for the foodstuffs industry (e.g., gelatin, collagen)
  • Flesh split: Split leather
  • Shavings: Fertilizer industry
  • Machine adhesive leather: Animal fat --> Biodiesel production
  • Organic sludge: Biogas (electricity and heat)
  • Sewage sludge: Water drainage up to 50 % and thermal extraction in thermal recovery
  • Industry waste: Final thermal recovery and substitute fuels
  • 100 % of by-products are used as high-value raw materials.
  • Approx. 27 % of waste is converted into energy sources.
  • 32 % is used in biogas facilities.
  • 34% is used for thermal recovery (with energy decoupling).
  • Currently, only 7 % of waste must be thermally/chemically disposed.
  • We have achieved the following values due to ongoing activities:
  • 9-12 kg of raw material/m² of finished leather
  • 250-300 kg of chemicals/t of raw materials (EU-BAT: 425 kg)
  • 13-16 m³ water/t of raw material used (EU-BAT: 30 m³)
  • 93 % of waste is reused or thermally recovered.
  • VOC emissions with 23 g/m² of finished leather are significantly below legal threshold values.