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About the sustainability

Zeology & sustainability

Zeology was developed to provide a sustainable alternative to existing tanning agents. Introducing Zeology is another step towards a more sustainable leather value chain. You can find more detailed information in the University of Zeology.

 

How to achieve a sustainable leather value chain?

According to Nera, the two key elements are working together and taking small steps at a time. If everyone in the leather value chain contributes, together we can make a large difference. Every effort, no matter how small, matters.

One of the efforts Nera is making, is introducing Zeology; a sustainable alternative to existing tanning agents. Being a chrome-free, heavy metal-free and aldehyde-free process yielding great tanning results, it reduces the use of hazardous chemicals not just in the tanning phase, but also afterwards in the process. Other initiatives that Smit & Zoon is taking and/or supporting, include ZDHC certification for the Dutch and Chinese plants, active participation in the Leather Working Group and Leather International.

Also, the subsidiaries of Smit & Zoon (Smit and Codyeco) are offering an increasing number of sustainable, bio- based alternatives to conventional wet-end and finishing chemicals.

 

Is a LCA available for Zeology?

A LCA for Zeology is currently being analysed for a Cradle-to-Gate scenario. The data will be made ready for our partners and customers to work with. The LCA on Zeology will allow our partners and customers to perform their own LCA’s for Zeology leather articles or even consumers goods where needed.

 

Environmental impact

Zeology was developed to provide a sustainable alternative to existing tanning agents. Zeology’s main benefit is for the environment: less pollution, less discharge of chemicals in waste and waste water, no use of chromium or glutardialdehyde (GDA), and improved biodegradability of the tanned material. Moreover, it offers superior leather performance to other chrome-free alternatives. Introducing Zeology is another step towards a more sustainable leather value chain.

 

Waste streams (sludge, shaving, clippings)

The waste streams that arise from the tanning and tanned leather are typically shavings, clippings and sludge. With the use of Zeology, these mainly contain zeolite, as well as the natural collagen. Therefore, these waste streams are typically heavy metal-free, white of color and easy to handle. Furthermore, the sludge stream can be treated so that it meets the right conditions to be biodegradable. The waste streams coming from Zeology are ready to be re-used, recycled or biodegraded in a potentially circular fashion.

Learn more about Zeology & Sustainability

Go to the University of Zeology