The project aimed to enable local leather-based industry in the three clusters around the city of Kanpur (Unnao, Banthar and Jajmau) to sustainably convert locally available raw hides and skins into exportable products, either directly as genuine leather or as derived finished products (for e.g. footwear). The initiatives and activities under the project were designed to:
- Promote environmental sustainability and greater production efficiency through adoption of best practices in leather processing
- Enhance waste management by reducing the amount of pollution generated at source and containing the impact of waste on the environment
- Create employment and income opportunities in local leather-based industry
- Contribute to the enhanced performance of local SMEs, thus ensuring their sustainable inclusion in domestic and international supply chains
The project focused on two areas – sustainable leather processing and waste management – and included the following activities:
- Feasibility studies on solid wastes for conversion into sellable products, latest technology available and potential technology providers.
- Pilot demonstration of key technologies to facilitate technology transfer and innovative solutions for challenges to efficient manufacturing and to display the execution of waste minimization practices, cleaner tanning technologies and occupational health and safety practices.
- Capacity building of the selected associations and institutes through training and skills development programmes and facilitating replication and dissemination of the knowledge transferred to the selected beneficiaries.
The interventions of the project facilitated sustainable leather processing and waste management in the leather tanneries in the target clusters. The project achieved the following:
- E-learning resources and animated training materials developed on 5 topics (sustainable leather manufacturing technologies, occupational safety and health related topics and tannery effluent treatment).
- Establishment of the ‘Leather Panel portal’ which comprises of eLearning materials and technical reports is increasingly used. While the portal has 100,000 users worldwide, and 17,000 in India . All training course materials and 26 technical reports were made available on www.leatherpanel.org portal.
- Introduction and institution of the first-ever innovation award system for the leather tanneries with the support of Council for Leather Exports (CLE) and Kanpur Unnao Leather Cluster Development Co. Ltd. (KLC). for promotion of cleaner technologies, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) improvements, and energy efficiency as also for showcasing the related best practices in tanneries.
- Technology demonstrations in leather processing technology through establishment of 8 pilot demonstration units (PDUs) aimed to reduce pollution emanation within leather processing.
- On-site demonstration and implementation of OSH measures undertaken in 3 tanneries and dissemination
- 32 Training programmes addressing a total of over 1400 persons across 22 tanneries, using blended e-learning materials, workshops, seminars, on-site training campaigns.
- Baseline assessment on solid waste generation compiled and disseminated through tannery associations.
- Energy and carbon footprint assessments in 6 tanneries, first-ever assessment of product carbon footprint (PCF) for finished leather; and 27 energy conservation proposals.
- Formation of a Cleaner Technology Core Group (CTCG) involving key stakeholders in the region