Dr Beate Haaser of Sud Leder presented the background and initial results of their new €5-6 million investment to around 150 delegates attending the 2-day conference in Sinsheim. She said that their estimates show that up to 10,000 tons of CO2 per annum can be saved with the introduction of the new technology. Sud Leder have introduced a system of recycling their waste fats, hair etc from the beamhouse processes along with wastewater sludge to create biogas that is used to power the tannery. Excess energy sold-on and is put into the German national energy grid. Sud Leder process raw hides up to the wet-blue or chrome-free tanned material.

The conference is jointly organised and hosted by the German Institute for Leather and Plastic Sheeting, FILK and the German Leather Technicians Association, VGCT. Delegates include tanners, auto OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers, chemical and machinery suppliers and raw material suppliers.

Following a half-day of presentations on April 25, delegates were given a tour of the Sinsheim Transport museum which features one of the best collections of vehicles and aviation in the word including a former Air France concorde. The museum tour was followed by the VGCT annual dinner, VGCT presentation ceremony and social networking.

Full details of the conference will be published in the May edition of Leather International magazine.