What is sustainability?

Today, most conversations between suppliers and customers in the leather industry start with the definition of what “sustainability” means. The conversation is done so to prevent misunderstanding and misalignment on terminology going forward.

To this end it is important for anyone interested in SLF to understand what exactly sustainability means to the Foundation. Sustainability is a word that implies sustainable development – the ability to develop in a sustainable way.

Like most sustainability professionals, SLF likes to base what “sustainable development” means on the definition that is commonly used in the Brundtland Report[1]:

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

These principles are linked to the Three Pillars of sustainable business function – without which a business cannot continue indefinitely:

  • People
  • Planet
  • Profit

The Sustainable Leather Foundation focuses on all three of these sustainability areas and uses existing leather industry measurements while filling existing measurement gaps with new metrics that allow the leather industry to demonstrate how sustainable leather really is. The central emphasis of SLF’s approach is an evidence-based, independent, un-biased attention to positive sustainability attributes of leather.

To find out more about the work of the Sustainability Leather Foundation contact Deborah Taylor or Karl Flowers and start the conversation!


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