Södra Invests in Sustainable Tanning Agent Production from Bark

Source: Södra

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Södra, a Swedish forest industry giant, is making a significant investment in environmentally friendly leather production.

They're building a new production line at their Värö mill dedicated to creating a vegetable tanning agent derived from tree bark.

This innovative process utilizes a previously unused resource – bark – and transforms it into a sustainable alternative to traditional tanning methods. The new plant, scheduled for completion in 2026, will have the capacity to produce enough tanning agent for millions of square meters of leather.

Södra's CEO, Lotta Lyrå, emphasizes that this project aligns with their core mission of maximizing the value of each tree while boosting profitability for their forest-owner members.

Södra Innovation, the company's dedicated research and development arm, has been pioneering this technology since 2006. Their focus lies on efficiently extracting tannins from bark and transforming them into a viable commercial product for the leather industry.

Catrin Gustavsson, Business Area Manager at Södra Innovation, highlights the groundbreaking nature of this project. "This patented process allows us to create a valuable product from an underutilized resource," she explains. "This not only benefits the environment but also supports the leather industry's shift towards more sustainable practices."

Södra's investment positions them at the forefront of sustainable leather production, offering a promising solution for both environmental and economic concerns.