Use of Life Cycle assessment in the procedure for the establishment of environmental criteria in the catalan ECO-label of leather

LCA Case Studies


Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been used to detect the environmental ‘hot spots’ in the chrome-tanned bovine leather industry. We have studied those stages in the life cycle of leather, which occur ‘from cradle to gate’. The production chain studied starts with the agricultural products (fertiliser and pesticide production is also included) needed for cattle raising, it is followed by the slaughterhouse, and ends at the tanning industry gate. Main chemicals and waste flows in and out of this chain have also been included in the analysis. One of the main conclusions is that the tannery is an important stage in most of the impact categories, mainly due to the landfilling of the tannery wastes. Agriculture and — to a lesser extent — cattle raising also play a very important role in most of the impact categories; the former, due to the related energy consumption and use of fertilisers, and the latter due to the emissions associated with animal care. The Autonomous Government of Catalonia is using the results of this study to establish the environmental criteria that a leather product must fulfil in order to attain the Catalan eco-label.


Catalan eco-label cradle-to-gate cradle-to-grave descriptive LCA eco-label procedure eco-label environmental criteria impact assessment LCA leather industry leather Life Cycle Assessment 


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Copyright information

© Ecomed Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departament de QuémicaUniversitat Autònòma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  2. 2.Departament de QuémicaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  3. 3.Departament d’Enginyeria QuémicaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  4. 4.Escola Universitària d’Enginyeria Tècnica Industrial (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya)IgualadaSpain
  5. 5.Randa Group, S.A.Cardenal Vives i TutóSpain

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