About Us

Leather Working Group is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for the world's leading environmental certification for the leather manufacturing industry. As a multi-stakeholder group, LWG boasts over 1300 members from across the leather supply chain, including:

  • Brands and retailers that sell leather products to consumers 

  • Manufacturers of leather (aka, tanneries) 

  • Traders of part-processed and finished leather 

  • Manufacturers of leather garments, footwear and furniture 

  • Suppliers of chemicals, machinery and testing for the leather industry 

  • Associations within and related to the leather industry. 

Since 2005, LWG has identified environmental best practices in the industry and provided guidelines for continual improvement. In fact, we offer a suite of auditing tools to assess the environmental performance of leather manufacturing facilities – and we certify those that meet our standards. 

Our Vision

The Leather Working Group is the number one globally recognised brand representing responsible leather sourcing to the industry and to consumers.

Our Mission 

The LWG aims to improve the impact of the LWG supply chain in a holistic way by becoming the overarching standard for leather manufacturing, covering all elements & actors in the leather value chain. Our group will:

  • Promote the positive aspects of LWG certification, through: 

    • Accurate metrics and data-driven insights

    • Supply chain transparency

    • Credible ESG certification 

  • Market and communicate more effectively to consumers & brands

  • Provide detailed information on key up-stream and down-stream topics to enable brands and members to make informed decisions, and carry out the necessary and additional due diligence that may be required

  • Provide greater collaboration across all sectors on behalf of and in the best interests of our brands and members

Our History 

Created in 2005, the Leather Working Group was the brainchild of a group of well-known brands and leading leather manufacturers that came together to focus on sustainability within the leather industry.  

Our Founding Members included brands such as Adidas, Clarks, Ikea, Nike, Marks & Spencer, New Balance, and Timberland, as well as key leather manufacturing companies from across the globe. 

The cornerstone of the group is the LWG Leather Manufacturer Audit Protocol – first launched in 2006 to assess the environmental performance and practical capabilities of leather manufacturing facilities. Now on Version 7.0 of the protocol, the audit has grown in scope and depth to assess the most important areas of environmental impact within the manufacturing process. 

We also launched the LWG Trader Audit Protocol in 2015, in recognition that traders of leather material play an important part in the global leather industry. This protocol has the added benefit of further enabling traceability across the leather supply chain and ensures the security 

In 2017, we launched the LWG Chemical Management Module (CMM), designed to assess a leather manufacturer’s use, management and disposal of chemicals within their facility. The CMM is also designed to align with the ZDHC MRSL for leather, minimising duplicative effort for our members.  

Today is comprised of over 1000 members from across the supply chain and offers multiple certification standards for different stakeholders in the leather manufacturing industry. 

Our Services

  • LWG Leather Manufacturer Audit Protocol - assesses the environmental performance and compliance of leather manufacturing facilities (aka, tanneries).  

  • LWG Trader Audit Protocol - assesses traders of part-processed & finished material and facilitates traceability through the supply chain.
     
  • LWG Subcontractor Audit Protocol - assesses the environmental performance of manufacturers completing subcontract work on behalf of other organisations that own the material. 
     
  • LWG Commissioning Manufacturer Audit Protocol - assessess the performance of companies that buy leather and commission subcontractors to perform all manufacturing operations on the material, before selling it on.
     
  • LWG Tannery of the Future self-assessment - a learning tool to allow leather manufacturers outside of the LWG membership to gain an understanding of the core principles of our auditing programme.

Further Resources

  • Structure & Governance - Learn more about how the Leather Working Group is structured and governed.
  • Funding - See how the Leather Working Group is funded and get more information on our fee bandings.