Examination successfully passed. After verification of compliance with the required parameters, the Tuscan leather district can officially announce the renewal of its EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme). The tool is promoted by the EU “to encourage best strategies and practices in the field of environmental responsibility, shared by the public and private sectors”. It is issued by the Ministry of the Environment through ISPRA (Ecolabel Ecoaudit Committee, EMAS Italy section). The work for the maintenance of EMAS in the Distretto del Cuoio was co-ordinated by a promoting committee supported by the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa. It included the Associazione Conciatori, Consorzio Conciatori di Ponte a Egola and the municipalities of Santa Croce sull’Arno, Castelfranco di Sotto, Fucecchio and San Miniato. The renewal is valid for three years and will expire in 2025.
To obtain EMAS compliance, private companies and public institutions must respect certain parameters within a shared platform of good practices that sets precise objectives. For example: rationalisation of energy costs and economisation of production processes. But, also, the use of technologies to limit the impact on the environment, and investments to facilitate the sustainability of industrial activities.
“The confirmation of EMAS for the tanning district,” explained Tiberio Daddi of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna Management Institute in Pisa in a note, “came about following the conduct of a district LCA”. This is an “innovative tool that few districts have applied. The LCA (Life Cycle Assessment, ed.) aimed to calculate the environmental footprint of a square metre of finished leather, providing a useful benchmark for tanneries that are increasingly adopting this type of study to assess the sustainability of their products”.