Nera Tanning > Zeology > Frequently Asked Questions > About the sourcing of the ingredients

About the sourcing of the ingredients

Where do you source your ingredients from?

The Zeolite used to produce the tanning agent is sourced from The Netherlands, with adherence to strict local environmental and social norms. Our main supplier is a renowned business partner with a production site in the Netherlands, applying high environmental and social standards. The company has RC 14001, ISO 14001, ISO 9001 Certifications and is an Ecovadis Supplier Sustainability Participant.

 

Do you have a responsible sourcing policy?

We only work with strategic suppliers, who consider sustainability to be a vital part of the way they conduct business. All of our suppliers work according to our BPCoC, which requires them to ensure that human rights are respected, make responsible use of the environment and natural resources and comply with all rules, regulations and ethical standards. Moreover, we work together with our first tier suppliers to continuously improve the sustainable performance of their suppliers (the suppliers upstream in the value chain).

 

Are the raw materials responsibly sourced?

The main raw materials of Zeolite are sand and ATH. Sand is an important ingredient of Zeolite, which is sourced in Belgium and The Netherlands ensuring that the production adheres to the most stringent social and environmental norms. Another important ingredient is ATH of which the raw material is bauxite. Bauxite is found in many countries worldwide. Sourcing of bauxite needs to be done in a responsible manner, in order to ensure that human rights as well as the local environment are protected. We require our first tier suppliers to continuously monitor and improve the sustainable performance of their suppliers upstream the value chain.

Does it involve mining?

In order to produce ATH, bauxite is mined. Since aluminum is the most abundant metallic element in the earth’s crust, bauxite is mined in many countries. The top 5 bauxite producing countries are Australia, Brazil, Guinea, China and India.

 

How do you ensure responsibly mined bauxite/aluminum?

We partner with our first tier suppliers to drive improvements in ethical and responsible business practices further in the value chain. We are aware that mining in some countries is associated with social and environmental risks and work with our first tier suppliers to  continuously monitor and advance sustainable performance further upstream.

 

How do you deal with potential child labor and forced labor?

Bauxite mining is not associated with child- or forced labor. The US Department of Labor’s ’List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor’, does not mention bauxite. However, we are aware that this doesn’t 100% guarantee that it will not occur in practice. Therefore we require our suppliers to work with companies that value the protection of human rights as a vital part of their business, respect national laws, carry out risk assessments and keep working with local communities to ensure children go to school.

What is the impact of bauxite mining on the local environment?

Bauxite is usually found near the surface and can be strip-mined economically. Environmental conservation efforts are crucial to limit the negative impact of bauxite mining. Restoration and rehabilitation of the topsoil is pivotal to ensure that the landscape and biodiversity is protected. When the land is cleared prior to mining, the topsoil is often stored so it can be replaced during rehabilitation. As good environmental practices differ per mining company, we work with our first tier suppliers to source from suppliers who apply best practices.

Is bauxite mining CO2 intensive?

Unfortunately, there are limited datapoints available on mining and CO2 emissions. A meta-study from 2018 has estimated that the mining of the four biggest metallic materials (iron, aluminum (bauxite), copper and gold) contributes approximately 0.4 -0.7% of the global CO2 emissions. This study mentions that, when looking at the mining part of the production process, bauxite mining is less CO2 intensive than other metallic materials such as gold.

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