A project to transition to sustainable future for Tamil Nadu leather industry launched

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Jun 22, 2022
Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Forests Siva V Meyyanathan launching the Solid Waste Management in Chennai. Principal Secretary Supriya Sahu and Ambassador of European Union to India Ugo Astuto (right) are also seen

Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Forests Siva V Meyyanathan launching the Solid Waste Management in Chennai. Principal Secretary Supriya Sahu and Ambassador of European Union to India Ugo Astuto (right) are also seen | Photo Credit: SRINIVASAN KV

Initiative supports clusters to adopt cleaner and sustainable production practices

A project to promote circularity in Tamil Nadu’s leather clusters for solid waste management was launched on Wednesday.

International NGOs, leather industry organisations, and funded by the EU have partnered to launch a solid waste management project in Tamil Nadu.

The NGOs, Solidaridad Regional Expertise Centre along with Politecnico Internazionale per lo Sviluppo Industriale ed Economico (PISIE), Indian Finished Leather Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Council for Leather Exports, Tata International Limited and the European Union have launched the project. This project has already been implemented at Kanpur and Kolkata leather clusters.

The project will be a 42-month initiative funded by the European Union under its SWITCH-Asia Programme, which promotes sustainable consumption and production across the Asia-Pacific region. The project was launched by State Environment Minister Siva V Meyyanathan and Ugo Astuto, Ambassador of the European Union to India.

Leather clusters

Information provided by the organisers said that project at Pallavaram, Ambur, Ranipet and Vaniyambadi leather clusters in Tamil Nadu aims at promoting circular market-based models by establishing pilot demonstrations on environmentally sustainable leather processing practices and creating capacities among SME tanneries and their industry partners for the wide scale adoption of circular practices that creates value from waste.

In line with Tamil Nadu’s effort to transition to a resource-efficient and circular economy model, this initiative supports clusters to adopt cleaner and sustainable production practices. This initiative entails pilot demonstration of sustainable technologies at the tanneries, the organisers said.

With many tanneries located in Tamil Nadu, it is the key centre for the leather industry in India. The industry mainly processes semi-finished leather into finished and value-added products for export.


Solidaridad will work with its partners and technical experts to demonstrate a series of circular tanning and waste to value technologies at cluster level; tannery workforce will be trained in on better tanning practices, solid waste management and occupational health and safety through training-of-trainers programme.

Sectoral cooperation and market linkages for ‘waste to value’ products will be facilitated by engaging with potential national and international off-takers. A public-private partnership platform will be established that represents the interests of key stakeholders. These stakeholders will come together to create a roadmap for improving waste management at the cluster level, says a release.

Ugo Astuto said, “We are very pleased to collaborate with Tamil Nadu on this project as sustainability, circular economy and resource efficiency are key pillars of the EU-India partnership. This project will not only help to reduce the environmental footprint of the tanneries but also improve health and safety conditions of the workers and taking India a step closer to fulfilling SDGs.”

European Union has made Sustainable Consumption and Production a priority, thus this project is relevant. Leather Industry is one of the highest forex earners and generates high employment. He said that that the project will be very beneficial to the leather stakeholders in Tamil Nadu.

Minister Meyannathan said that the project is targeting waste management and its focus on promoting circularity has come at an opportune time, this will complement with the ongoing initiatives of the State government.

Published on June 22, 2022
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