Following years of close cooperation to ensure responsible treatment of by-products from the leather tanning process, ECCO Leather has taken over operations of the Dutch waste water treatment plant Waterstromen in Dongen, NL. “We see waste water treatment and biogas generation as key competences for ECCO Leather both now and in the future, so bringing these processes even closer to the core of our business is a strategic move that makes perfect sense,” says Raymond Mente, Chief Financial Officer with ECCO Leather.
To ensure premium quality in every single ECCO shoe, ECCO pays meticulous attention to detail, including responsible processes throughout the entire value chain. As leather is a fundamental component of ECCO’s business, ECCO produces leather at our own tanneries. This enables us to be in control of the leather production and ensure solid ethics and sustainability in all aspects of our processes, including responsible treatment of by-products such as waste water and fleshings.
Since 2010, Waterstromen in Dongen has handled the by-products from the tannery, treating waste water and turning fleshings into biogas. These processes are very complex and demanding, especially given the strict environmental requirements in the Netherlands and ECCO’s high standards for responsible conduct. But the efforts pay off: the produced biogas replaces part of the consumption of compressed natural gas used to heat water for the tanning process. In 2017, approximately 46% of the total energy consumption in Dongen came from this fleshing-to-biogas process.
“After almost a decade of strong collaboration between Waterstromen and ECCO, we are now very pleased to fully take over operations and develop the plant even further,” says Raymond Mente.
You can read more about ECCO and corporate responsibility here.
ECCO is one of the world’s leading shoe brands, combining style and comfort. ECCO’s success is built on products with a great fit and top-quality leathers. ECCO owns and manages every aspect of the value chain from tanneries and shoe manufacturing to wholesale and retail activities. ECCO’s products are sold in 90 countries from over 2,200 ECCO shops and more than 14,000 sales points. ECCO is family-owned, founded in Denmark in 1963, and employs more than 21,000 people worldwide.