LWG Chemical Management Module Integrating with the Environmental Audit

Published 13th February 2019

What is the LWG Chemical Management Module

The Leather Working Group (LWG) introduced the LWG Chemical Management Module (CMM) as a standalone voluntary addition to the Environmental Audit Protocol in April 2017.  The development of the CMM was driven by the desire of LWG members to improve chemical handling in the leather industry, along with the emergence of the ZDHC programme and the development of a Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL) for leather.  The CMM was designed to eliminate the need for multiple audits for leather manufacturers who supply both LWG and ZDHC crossover brands.

The LWG Chemical Management Module consists of 3 parts:

Part A:  Chemical Management.  This is the section of the audit which is designed with ZDHC equivalency in mind and focuses on awareness, understanding, control and management of chemicals within leather manufacturing.

Part B:  Management of Chromium to Prevent Chrome VI Formation in Leather Manufacturing.  Looking at testing practices, frequency and factors associated with chrome VI risk reduction.

Part C:  Chemical Health & Safety.  Looking at the health & safety procedures, policies and practices in place


Chemical Management Module Progress

To date, 17 leather manufacturers have chosen to have the voluntary LWG Chemical Management Module audit with a further 3 scheduled.  Results have proven to be encouraging, although there is still some work to do around the verification of chemistry (Part A) as chemical companies are still preparing to meet the enhanced restrictions and requirements.

The Chemical Management Module will be incorporated into LWG’s main Environmental Audit Protocol when P7.0 is launched.  The anticipated date is 1st October 2019 with mandatory use from 1st April 2020.  When integrated, Part A will remain intact as a new section in the protocol to preserve equivalency with the ZDHC requirements.  Parts B and C will be merged with existing sections already in the protocol.

LWG are working together with ZDHC to ensure that they minimise the demands on leather manufacturers and chemical companies.  LWG Auditors will be able to access ZDHC’s Chemical Gateway to verify chemical formulations when auditing leather manufacturers, providing benefits for all sectors of the supply chain:

  • Chemical Companies on the Chemical Gateway will not need to provide additional verification to the leather manufacturers undergoing an LWG Environmental Audit; the LWG auditors will be able to see the verification on the Chemical Gateway.
  • Leather Manufacturers will see a streamlined process and will be able to source chemicals more responsibly.
  • Brands/Retailers will see enhanced security of supply and certification.


For more information about the Leather Working Group please contact info@leatherworkinggroup.com or visit www.leatherworkinggroup.com

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