September 19 2023  |  Seating

Muirhead unveils Super Tannery

By Jane Hobson

Muirhead opens doors of its £14 million (US$14.9 million) Super Tannery facility with a ribbon cutting

Muirhead has announced the opening of its £14 million (US$14.9 million), hyper-efficient Super Tannery.

The landmark project, which has taken seven years to deliver, will build on Muirhead’s sustainability standards and further enhance the production of the brand’s low-carbon leather for aviation and passenger transport.

The facility is the result of the latest round of multi-million-dollar investments by Scottish Leather Group in its facilities and forms part of the group’s 20-year strategy and commitment to continuous improvements in sustainability.

Tanning is a crucial part of the leather production process. The raw hides are treated in drums filled with water and tanning agents to transform them into Muirhead’s durable, high-performance leather material. Fourteen super drums replace 30 conventional hide drums, enabling the company to process greater batches while unlocking significant improvements in environmental performance. The tannery’s innovative hide processing technology brings about a further step change in energy and water use, with a reduction of 82 percent in energy use and 42 percent in water use compared to the group’s previous equipment.

The tannery’s processing technology brings a reduction of 82 percent in energy use and 42 percent in water use compared to the group’s previous equipment

Nicholas Muirhead, Chief Executive Officer, Scottish Leather Group, said, “Since 2003, we have continuously invested in strategic initiatives designed to optimise and improve productivity, quality and sustainability.

“The new Super Tannery is the latest significant milestone on that journey, a state-of-the-art facility that builds on the considerable savings we have already made in reduced energy and water use, improving our efficiency, and futureproofing our production. This will provide our customers with further evidence of our position as the leader in the supply of the world's lowest carbon leather.”

Dr. Warren Bowden, Head of Innovation & Sustainability, Scottish Leather Group, said, “Over the last 20 years, we have pioneered and patented circular manufacturing processes that minimise waste to landfill and radically reduce our carbon footprint, with initiatives such as our Thermal Energy Plant and Ultrafiltration plant.

“The Super Tannery builds on these sector-leading actions, providing a step change in productivity and environmental savings. Our sustainability journey is continuous, and this new facility will play a vital role in enabling us to achieve zero impact leather manufacturing. We are committed to net-zero for our own operations (Scope 1 and 2) by 2025 – twenty years ahead of Scotland’s overarching net-zero ambitions – and delivering zero waste to landfill by the same year, further fortifying our sustainability pledges.”

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