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How leather is helping to close the circularity gap

Leather featured prominently at a business conference in Glasgow on January 10, the State of the City Economy 2020 event.

Dr Warren Bowden, managing director of the Scottish Leather Group’s technology division, was one of the speakers at the event, sharing a platform with academics, politicians and business leaders. He took part in a panel discussion about sustainability and circularity. Dr Bowden received the invitation to take part because of the leadership he and Scottish Leather Group have shown for years in this area.

A business group affiliated to Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Circular Glasgow, has been appointed Warren Bowden to a role as an ambassador on circular economy developments for the city.

At the January event, he told the audience: “Lots of people present low-carbon arguments when talking about economic development, and have done for years. But there is a circularity gap; circularity is part of the story too. We have to address the use of resources and the finite nature of those resources and how we recover and re-use them.”

When he added that the Scottish Leather Group produces “the lowest-carbon leather on the planet”, there was keen interest among the people in the audience of more than 600 business leaders. “We take a by-product from what is claimed by Scottish agriculture to be an industry that is climate-neutral, with net-zero emissions,” he said. “We take the hides of about 90% of the proportion of the Scottish herd that goes to slaughter. And we convert it through our own circular manufacturing process into the lowest-carbon leather.”

He said the realisation that Scottish Leather Group’s products can claim this status had created “an industrial epiphany” for the group and for the wider leather industry.

Please see the December 2019-January 2020 issue of World Leather for a full account of the Dr Bowden’s participation in circular economy thinking in Scotland and his views on the role that the leather industry can play in serving as “an exemplar” for other industries.





Smit & Zoon Jan20

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