Promoting Circularity in Tamil Nadu Leather Clusters for Solid Waste Management


An EU-India sustainability project ‘Promoting Circularity in the Tamil Nadu Leather Clusters for Solid Waste Management’ was launched by Thiru Siva. V. Meyyanathan, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Tamil Nadu and Ugo Astuto, Ambassador of the European Union to India, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

The project is funded by the European Union under its SWITCH-Asia Programme, and Solidaridad Regional Expertise Centre (SREC) along with its partners - Politecnico Internazionale per lo Sviluppo Industriale ed Economico (PISIE), Indian Finished Leather Manufacturers and Exporters Association (IFLMEA), Council for Leather Exports, Tata International Limited and the European Union (EU) – will work with 100 tanneries in the 42-month initiative.

The project will follow four key approaches:

  • Solidaridad will work with its partners and technical experts to introduce techno-commercially viable practices in the tanning processes on water efficiency and pollution reduction
  • Establish scalable pilot demonstration units on ‘Waste to Value’ citing examples of circularity
  • The capacities of the workers will be developed on innovative waste management solutions
  • Sectoral cooperation and market linkages for ‘Waste to Value’ products will be facilitated. A digital portal as Sustainability Matrix will be developed
  • A public-private partnership platform will be established that represents the interests of key stakeholders. These stakeholders will come together to create a roadmap for improving waste management at the cluster level.

The event brought together participants from India and EU, the Council for Leather Exports, key industry leaders and representatives from development partner communities

In line with Tamil Nadu’s effort to transition to a resource-efficient and circular economy model, this initiative supports clusters to adopt cleaner and sustainable production practices and entails pilot demonstration of sustainable technologies in tanneries.