County governor Göte Bernhardsson inaugurated Elmo Leather’s new treatment plant at Svenljunga, Sweden on June 1. The treatment process is based on innovative technology that reduces nitrogen emissions in wastewater by 80%. This is a major advance as the previous plant reduced nitrogen by 30%.

This is the first time that this new treatment technology is being used for wastewater in the tanning industry. The total cost of the project is around SEK50 million ($5.45 million), of which around SEK8.25 million ($900,000) was contributed by the EU´s LIFE environmental fund.

According to Elmo Leather´s ceo, Nalle Johansson, the company has been pursuing dynamic environmental policies for many years. He affirmed that Elmo´s management system for environmental work has independent certification and the company has managed to reduce the environmental impact of its activities over the years in terms of waste and emissions to air and water. Johansson continued: ‘By changing processes and chemicals and using traditional techniques we had come as far as was possible in tackling nitrogen pollution in our wastewater. To make further progress and achieve further improvements we needed to introduce a completely new treatment process for the tanning industry.’