Top Four Takeaways from Smit & Zoon's 2021 CSR report

Here is a summary of Smit & Zoon's 8th consecutive CSR report, released in April 2021.

As part of their 200th anniversary celebration, Smit & Zoon released their 2020 Annual CSR report in April 2021. The report outlines the challenges and progress made towards creating a better leather value chain.

Despite the impact from COVID-19, Smit & Zoon is making massive strides towards creating a socially and environmentally sustainable leather supply chain by 2025.

The report emphasises Smit & Zoon's commitment to bring transparency and introduce full circularity to the leather value chain. They do this by showing their current status, challenges and plans concerning Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

With a particular focus on their three CSR areas: Footprint, Safety & Health, and Catalysing, The group creates an impact across four significant milestones in 2020, which are:

(1) Launching an innovative tanning solution — Zeology by Nera

Back in October 2020, Zeology was launched under Smit & Zoon's subsidiary called Nera Tanning. Zeology is the new standard in tanning. It allows for a chrome-free, heavy-metal-free, aldehyde-free alternative to conventional tanning methods.

We broke down the science behind Zeology in this article here.

(2) Obtaining ZDHC Conformance Level 3 Certification

The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) certification specialises in reducing the number of hazardous chemicals discharged into water supplies. The ZDHC supports consumers, brands and society by advocating better chemistry. Thus, creating safer products for consumers, as well as better working conditions for its people.

A significant part of Smit & Zoon's product portfolio is now certified per the highest ZDHC conformance level, level 3.

Smit & Zoon's CSR landscape.

(3) Introducing new product ranges — Biopol and Optitan

The Biopol and Optitan ranges focus on biopolymers, optimising leather performance.

The Biopol range serves as an alternative to traditional fossil oil-based products, where the Optitan range aims to provide a premium range of (re-)tanning products with the highest achievable active matter contents with no diluents.

(4) Introducing new water repellent finishing product — Aguastop W200

With aims to eliminate hazardous substances from Smit & Zoon's product range, the company developed a water-based product that gives anti-soiling and protection against water in a more sustainable way—creating a new generation of water repellent finishing products.

Hans van Haarst, CEO of the Smit & Zoon group commented:

‘I am really proud of our global team that has done a remarkable job in a difficult period. Together with our customers, our agents, various brands and many others, we have been able to do our part in supporting society by upcycling the hide, a byproduct from the meat industry, into a long-lasting material with unique characteristics. This year we celebrate our 200 years of existence and we look forward to a sustainable future with confidence!’

Smit & Zoon leads the leather world, as a catalyst in improving circularity in the leather value chain. We can't wait to witness where the organisation's consistency and commitment takes them in another 200 years.

Download the full report here:

Watch an explanation of the CSR Report by Egbert Dikkers, Global Director Sustainability Smit & Zoon here:

The video is also available with subtitles in French, Italian, Portugese, Russian and Spanish.

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