Pangea Earns Gold for Eco-Friendly Leather
Pangea is dedicated to building a sustainable future and working with the Leather Working Group (LWG) to achieve excellence in leather production. The LWG is a group of auditors who are trusted by renowned brands, including BMW, Cargill, Ikea, and Nike.
Pangea takes pride in being at the forefront of defining industry best practices and gold standards alongside LWG. The LWG's comprehensive audits cover 17 major sections, including incoming material traceability, environmental management systems (EMS), and energy consumption. Pangea underwent LWG audits in all 17 categories and was awarded the gold standard, the highest available, for its operations in Leon and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
Throughout 2022, the Pangea team conducted a voluntary gap analysis in all of its facilities, and official audits are planned for 2023. Pangea aims to achieve gold status for all applicable manufacturing sites by the end of 2023, and its Mexican operations have already been awarded and completed.
“Auditing continuous improvement and sustainable efforts are new for us, but a sustainable way of life is not,” says Director of Innovation & Sustainability, Roger Pinto. “Automotive leather is a much cleaner business than people think. Auditors were wowed by the fact that Pangea has such high chemical standards. Some of the old school tanneries you see in the media just don’t represent how we do business. Consider the extensive list of restricted substances, an area that is not a predominant risk for Pangea because of our diligent chemical supplier screening process and the regulations that they uphold. We have hundreds of data points showing that chromium VI is not present in our leather or our processes, yet auditors still focus heavily on it. Some less advanced manufacturers, typically in the fashion industry, simply have not evolved as much as automotive leather has. I am proud to work for an organisation that is continuing to reinvent such an authentic industry.”
Pangea underwent a traceability audit, although it is not yet required by the LWG. The majority of its supply base upholds this certification area. In January, it conducted supplier and sub-contractor visits. The LWG was pleased with the incoming traceability evidence it provided.
The LWG has technical experts who collaborated with leather producers, consumer brands, and industry experts such as the World Wildlife Fund, Textile Exchange, and UNIDO to develop a protocol. The flagship versions of the auditing protocol underwent peer review by environmental NGOs, including the World Wildlife Fund US.