(Montecchio Maggiore, VI, Italy) LIFEGOAST, co-funded by the European Commission, is a project that has supported operators in the leather supply chain committed to improving environmental sustainability and the circularity of the sector.
The outcomes of the project were presented today at a conference at Villa Cordellina Lombardi, Montecchio Maggiore in the Veneto Region (Italy). An innovative chrome- and other metals-free tanning technology has been developed. The tech allows an almost entire recovery of shaves and their enhancement in other industrial sectors.
GSC Group of Montebello is the project leader with a specialisation in chemical auxiliaries for tanning. The group has developed new tanning agents based on organic polymers. These polymers have then been tested by Conceria Pasubio, one of the world leaders in the leather sector for the automotive industry.
The application of the new GOAST technology was positively evaluated not only in the automotive sector but also in the leather goods and footwear industries.
The presence of representatives of well-known international car brands at the conference testifies to the industry-wide interest in the use of leather for car interiors, which many experts consider to be more environment-friendly than other materials available in the market. Moreover, when the leather is tanned using highly sustainable processes such as the new and innovative GOAST.
A simulation of the use of these new tanning technologies at the district level was made possible thanks to the partnership with Medio Chiampo, the utility company in charge of managing the integrated water service of the Montebello Vicentino, Zermeghedo and Gambellara municipalities. The simulation with Medio Chiampo has proven the impact of the use of this tanning system
LIFEGOAST has also demonstrated a positive synergy between companies and academic institutions. The Ca 'Foscari University of Venice, Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems has found a way to transform the shaving of tanned leathers accumulated using this new technology into a resource capable of developing new industrial synergies.
Claudio Bortolati, director of GSC Group underlined, “The research has been exciting, and the results obtained have given us proof that it is possible to create an efficient tanning process, resulting in leathers with the characteristics sought after by the market and an improvement in environmental sustainability. There are clear signs of a not-too-distant future where nothing that derives from tanning will be wasted, but rather, it will be reused in other industrial sectors, from agriculture to green building, to name but a few.”
GOAST is the acronym for Green Organic Agents for Sustainable Tanneries. The project report can be downloaded from the website www.lifegoast.eu.