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What it is, how to calculate it, critical points (calculation variables) and usefulness.

Sustainable tannery and carbon footprint calculation

Eco-sustainable growth today is an issue that touches the consciences of consumers and conditions their purchasing choices: the repercussions on companies that manufacture certified products are obvious. The industry today is called upon to keep this trend in mind: significant is the choice of Hannover Messe, the trade fair of reference for industrial production technologies, to dedicate a specific focus of the 2023 edition precisely to climate-neutral production. Indeed, manufacturing today is called upon to make a difference with products and solutions that move in the direction of zero-emission production.

The tanning industry is an absolute protagonist of this renewal: a pair of shoes, a car, a sofa, or a clothing accessory are products that, in order to gain the necessary consensus to justify their marketing, today must meet certain standards of eco-sustainability. Companies operating in the tanning sector are encouraged to calculate their emissions throughout the life cycle of their products in order to provide customers with credible environmental information and certify the eco-sustainability of those products.

Sustainability and Carbon Footprint Calculation

Eco-sustainability is a very broad and unspecific concept: an area so broad that it is complex to identify the right tool or the right way to produce and be eco-sustainable. The Carbon Footprint (CF) represents the equivalent in kilos or tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2eq) of greenhouse gas emissions generated by the production of a given product or industrial process. The CF is therefore not only limited to carbon dioxide but is a real inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and is one of the main ways to certify the eco-sustainability of a product. Many companies today track, certify and communicate the CF of their products. This specific indicator marks the environmental impact of a product and becomes a strategic factor in guiding a product's purchase choices, helping to decree its success or failure. Calculating CF is by no means simple and requires a number of variables to be taken into account.

Recording and inventorying the data needed to accurately assess the Carbon Footprint of a company's production activity is the first step towards reducing it through process optimization and setting the company on the road to Carbon Neutrality - zero emissions - which is the main goal in the crosshairs of the global environmental agenda.


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Erretre's solutions for reducing consumption and emissions and for calculating the Carbon Footprint

Erretre technology offers two fundamental tools for companies to project their production toward zero-emission horizons:

  • on the one hand, it provides technologies capable of optimizing production and thus reducing emissions directly and indirectly related to it;

  • on the other hand, it equips these technologies with sophisticated systems capable of measuring, tracking, and reporting production data for each individual batch.

The calculation of the carbon footprint is only reliable if the data used are specific to the various manufacturing steps: most manufacturing processes are very individual and untracked, often making the required data unavailable and forcing tanneries to use generic datasets for carbon footprint calculation. Erretre has developed specific hardware and software solutions to support those tanneries that want to adopt serious strategies to tackle climate change and validate them with regular and transparent reporting and communication. Erretre's technologies are able to accurately assess and record the specific CF impact of the production cycle phases in which they are active.

For each individual batch of leather, the tannery will have high-level information and specific data on energy sources and related CO2 emissions and will be able to develop precise studies on its Carbon Footprint.

Black Line drums and Ecotan finishing booths

Controllo dei consumi e della carbon footprint nei macchinari Erretre

The Black Line range of milling drums and Ecotan spray finishing booths are able to record and provide useful data for the quantification of greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, they have a control system capable of providing reliable consumption data for each individual process or batch: they provide reliable data for the calculation of the Carbon Footprint, Assomac Targa Verde, and LCA of the product and the company. Having control of the process through the data reported by Erretre machines puts the company in a position to intervene in a concrete and immediate way in their optimization, improving sustainability and reducing the consumption of leather-making production.

From the point of view of energy consumption - a discriminating aspect also in light of the recent historical-economic situation - Erretre machines are programmed to automatically and optimally use electricity, reducing it when it is not needed.

For the Black Line range of drums, Erretre Research & Development has worked on perfecting the control of temperature and humidity ramps during the milling process, on the automatic management of processes and recipes through functional control software, and on Chemical Milling® technology for chemical injection. The result is an increasingly precise technology that allows complete control of the process and at the same time enables it to be simplified, exploiting and enhancing the operator's analytical skills, maximizing the efficiency of the milling process and optimizing consumption. In addition, automatic data collection and compilation allow for faster understanding and optimization of the process, making analysis intuitive and effective.

conceria sostenibile macchinari per rifinizione pelli green

With the compact Ecotan leather finishing spray booths, you have a highly controlled process with up to 80% emission reduction and 30% chemical savings. The Ecotan is equipped with a highly efficient integrated fume abatement system that reduces the amount of treated air by 50% and improves its quality with 3 times lower dust concentrations.

The integrated energy-saving function allows work activities to be automatically adjusted based on actual needs, reducing energy wastage in unused areas. Automated real-time data collection means total control over consumption and translates into useful, certified information for estimating the Carbon Footprint, opening the door to more sustainable production.

Thanks to the synergy between the Sistema di Automazione Locale Computerizzato L.C.A.S. System and the M.O.Re. Milling Organizational Resource software with Blackline drums and Ecotan finishing cabins, high-quality results are obtained, the process is automatically organized with reliable and traceable data, and production is calibrated according to the real needs of each individual batch.


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