Leather will be an inevitable part of human life as long as we consume meat. Likewise, environmental responsibility and constant improvement on impact – reducing manufacturing technologies will be a crucial part of Sepiciler principles.
Since 1984, consecutive enhancements and pioneer projects on water treatment, wastes, energy and overall management systems are inseparable fragments on our journey to create perfect leather. Now take a minute to glance our environmental activities and review our policy.
Throughout the leather and textile industries, Leather Working Group (LWG) is considered the best and most reliable program to make an overall assessment of a tannery in terms of clean technology, environment, safety, and chemical management. Acknowledging this fact drives Sepiciler to be the first leather manufacturer in Turkey to be a member of Leather Working Group and the goal is first achieved in 2016.
LWG perspective had a significant positive effect on the environmental systems already in places such as waste management, emission controls, chemical management, and restricted substances control, hide traceability and global requirements. With the increased experience in this program, Sepiciler upgraded its membership status to Gold Rated Member in 2020. With all requirements are met, Sepiciler aims to be re-audited in 2019 to upgrade the status of membership to Gold Rated Member. Furthermore, Sepiciler is audited by Intertek in 2018 for workplace conditions including ethical operation, health and safety, and environment. As a result of this audit, Sepiciler is awarded the WCA Achievement Certificate for exemplary conditions observed.
In addition to these achievements, Sepiciler is currently working on the Higg Index FEM Module, an environmental self-assessment system that is practical and desired by many brands. It is estimated that the works on the module will be completed in 2019 and the output of the module will be used for further improvement of environmental practices.
In our point of view, knowing the exact origin of the raw materials used in any product is the unquestionable right of every customer. To support this principle, we are using our digital hide traceability system to specify the origin of every hide going into manufacturing. We are keeping track of the hides we are purchasing to the slaughterhouse with proper documentation system in addition to our leather stamping procedure. Working with ethical and high-standard hide suppliers is a priority for us as well as our customers.
Reducing the footprint of industry on the environment is one of the priorities for Sepiciler for many years. To prevent the pollution of the water streams, our company started the first individual tannery wastewater treatment plant in Turkey in 1989 with a 1000 m3 daily capacity.
In time, treatment plant and waste management facilities are enhanced with new up to date technologies for carrying out physical, chemical and biological treatment operations in compliance with national and global standards. Sepiciler has all required permits for operation and audited continuously by authorities and independent parties for conformance.
As a requirement of environmental awareness and commitment to sustainability, Sepiciler started a solar energy plant with a capacity of 12 megawatts in a location close to tannery. In this plant more than 600 % of energy consumed in tannery is given back to the local grid as green energy to reduce the usage of fossil fuels.
21.809.137 kWh annual sustainable electricity is generated with 51.644 solar panels in this solar plant. This equals to a total annual CO2 emission reduction of 11.450 tons. Sepiciler is planning to implement this technology inside the tannery area starting with the rooftop solar panels in forthcoming years depending on the result of its feasibility studies.
In addition to water treatment, Sepiciler has pioneered in waste management projects in national leather industry with the first fleshing waste recovery plant in 2004 and the first tannery sludge composting plant in 2009. In sync with new trends and legislation, Sepiciler aims to be the first tannery in Turkey to accomplish zero waste to landfill principle in near future.
To ensure customer satisfaction and compliance with global product standards we implement a robust chemical management system throughout our manufacturing cycle. Presence of harmful substances are controlled by our Restricted Substances Management Policy and accredited 3rd party laboratory tests of all finished articles carried out in regular intervals. 100 % of our products are compliant with global chemical safety standards and are monitored according to customer criteria as well as our in-house Restricted Substances List (RSL). You can check out the latest version of our RSL here.