Technical superiority, quality and respect for the environment are the successful features which the Italian tanning industry can bank on, according to a Doxa survey commissioned by Unic

Leather production is considered less polluting than that of other types of material, especially if it is of a synthetic origin; quality of the leather and a guarantee of respect for the environment and for people are put on the same level as price, as a factor influencing purchases. Apart from technical aspects, ethical and environmental ones are important in defining the quality of a leather product.

These are the main results obtained by the survey requested by the Tanning Union from the Doxa institute. Research was carried out in Italy, Germany and the United States on a significant sample of final consumers, analysing the level of sensitivity and the consequent propensity to purchasing and willingness to spend connected to environmental excellence. From the study it emerged that Italy was considered better or much better than the main international competitors in the leather sector; and over 80% of the consumers interviewed declared that they were willing to spend more to have the guarantee of a product obtained respecting the environment and people.

The Doxa research, commissioned by Unic, which is unique in its kind, comes within the activity foreseen by the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Association of Italian Tanners with the Environment Ministry, whose priorities are to provide incentives and promote specific environment initiatives. Amongst the objectives that the two parties have set, that of promoting environmental value on the market is the one which stands out.

The agreement with the Ministry also confirms and acknowledges the commitment of the sector and supports the strategy of using environmental excellence to obtain a competitive advantage, as already came out in the last Environmental Report published by Unic.

The Doxa research thus highlights how the efforts of the tanneries to protect the environment (which imply mean costs exceeding 2% of the turnover and 18% of the GOM) may actually be profit bearing investments on the market.