Specialty chemicals giant Lanxess has been selected as one of the top nine Launch Nordic Innovators 2014.

The company was invited to present its Green Leather Crust concept during the Launch Nordic Forum in Malmö, Sweden, last month, whose aim is to unite global industry leaders and regional companies to identify sustainable innovations in materials.

Approximately 80 applications from all over the world on ‘materials and textiles’ were submitted, and nine innovations were chosen by a panel of experts.

Lanxess’ Green Leather Crust concept stood out in how it uses advanced chemistry solutions to provide significant improvements in leather production. It also includes top innovations along the leather-making process: the X-Zyme beamhouse technology, Lanxess’ wet-white tanning system X-Tan, as well as the recently launched X-Biomer biopolymers for the retanning process.

"By combining these technologies we could show that in many ways a more sustainable leather production can be achieved without compromising on quality. This applies for example to the effluent load in tanneries," explained Dr Marc Hombeck, head of new business at Lanxess’ Leather business unit, in a release. The leather business unit is part of Lanxess’ Performance Chemicals segment, which achieved total sales of €2.13 billion in fiscal 2013.

Launch Nordic is a global platform that intends to bring prospective innovations to scale by providing access to capital, credibility and capacity. The Launch Nordic Innovation Challenge calls for innovations that have the potential to transform the system of textiles, fabrics and fibres to one that has a minimal environmental impact respectively and drives social equality.