With a diverse array of innovation and trends for the leather and fashion industries, the CSCB Sustainability Forum was officially launched with the theme: ‘what is the return on investing in sustainability?’ This year, the event will take place on 8 November at the SENAI Institute of Technology in Leather and the Environment in Estância Velha, southern Brazil – a world-class reference centre in research and training for professionals in the tannery industry.

The forum is run by the Centre for the Brazilian Tanning Industry (CICB), with the support of the Brazilian Leather project – an initiative of the CICB and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency for the international export of Brazil’s leathers. Other top sponsors of the forum include JBS Couros, Química Carioca, SystemHaus and Euro-America.

The event’s central theme reflects a fundamental point on the application of planning, labour and capital in the pillars of sustainability, and what the results of all these efforts provide for the companies and society as a whole. As president of the CICB, José Fernando Bello explains that creating the lectures and inviting specialists helps to shed light on the main challenges of sustainability in the tannery industries, such as positioning, strategy and proven positive results.

“This year’s programme includes highly representative personalities from the national and international field, which should promote rich dialogue between markets, and reflection on the paths of our sector in domestic consumption and exports,” Bello says.

The forum comes at an opportunistic time, following Brazil’s success at September’s All China Leather Exhibition, in Shanghai, which is traditionally an important point of relations between Brazilian tanneries and their customers in Asia, and this year’s event was once again a platform for creating new business, market assessment, progress in previous negotiations and image enhancement of Brazilian leathers in China, with sustainability always a core tenet.

The keynote speakers at the event included Marco Chaparro (Transa) and Rafael Andrade (CICB), who spoke on challenges for leather in a hyper-connected world. Pedro Enger (Brava Forma), Rodrigo Brenner and Maurício Noronha (Furf Design Studio), talking about leather and sustainable design in the furniture industry. Primiano De Rosa- Giglio (UNIC), discussing the environmental footprint of leather. And representitives from Calçados Bibi and Arezzo, giving a talk entitled: ‘An expanding market: certified leather and sustainability’.