German-Sino tanner ISA Tan Tec recognised as a ‘high-tech enterprise’

15 July 2009

Usually, this honour is only conferred upon technology producers. ‘The fact that this status has now been given to a tannery underlines ISA Tan Tec's pioneering role for the industry as a whole: With our LITE concept - Low Impact to the Environment - we are drastically cutting our resource consumption,' explains Thomas Schneider, founder and ceo of ISA Tan Tec. The ‘high-tech' status comes with a 40% tax deduction. Connected with this is the requirement to conduct three in-house research projects per year, which are reviewed and evaluated by the authorities.

LITE is based on a product's CO2 footprint, which involves documenting the carbon dioxide emissions for each square metre of leather produced. LITE standards are based on calculations by the BLC Leather Technology Centre on behalf of LWG (Leather Working Group) for average energy and water consumption in the industry - LITE products are produced with roughly 35% less energy and 50% less water.

ISA Tan Tec fulfills LITE requirements by employing a number of individual measures. For instance, the tannery uses a new technology in the tanning vessels, which reduces the consumption of water and energy. Additionally, they dry the leather at lower temperatures. The leather manufacturer also uses renewable energy whenever possible. The company have installed a solar thermal system to heat the water required for the tanning process. ISA Tan Tec also recycle energy and water: The warmth of the machines is utilised to heat water, the condensate water that occurs during the leather drying process is recycled and re-used as process water.


ISA Tan Tec topping-out in Vietnam

Earlier in July, ISA Tan Tec also celebrated a topping-out ceremony of the new factory in Vietnam that meets even higher environmental standards. ISA Tan Tec is succeeding at this by comprehensively utilising the latest technology in an intelligent way. In addition to a solar heating system, a wind turbine is used to drive the pumps for the water supply. Wherever possible, ISA Tan Tec utilises waste heat from the production process. Water heated while cooling hydraulic machinery for instance is channelled into the hot water tank. In addition, the company saves considerable amounts of energy by using the latest tanning drums and infinitely variable air compressors. The company is also innovating in the area of wastewater treatment. The facility is surrounded by a wall of bamboo that not only secures their perimeter but also treats wastewater. The new tannery will start operations in October of 2009 with 250 employees producing two million square metres of high-quality leather each year.

‘We are very proud to be the first tannery to be awarded the status of ‘High-Tech Enterprise',' comments Thomas Schneider, founder and ceo of ISA Tan Tec. ‘We regard this award as encouragement to continue consistently pursuing our strategy of environmentally-friendly leather production. Our new production facility in Saigon is a further milestone. Consumer demand for environmentally-friendly products is currently growing rapidly. With our LITE products we are helping renowned companies like Timberland, New Balance, Keen and Hush Puppies to meet this demand optimally.'

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