Muirhead opens £14 million ‘Super Tannery’


Scotland-based leather supplier, Muirhead, has opened a £14 million (US$17.3m) ‘Super Tannery’ intended to enhance the production of low-carbon leather for aviation and passenger transport. The facility, which has taken seven years to deliver, is the result of the latest round of multi-million-pound investments by parent company, Scottish Leather Group, and forms part of the group’s 20-year strategy to make continuous improvements in sustainability.

The tanning part of the leather production process sees raw hides treated in drums filled with water and tanning agents to transform them into durable, high-performance leather materials. The 14 ‘super’ drums in the new facility replace 30 conventional hide drums, enabling Muirhead to process greater batches while unlocking improvements in environmental performance. The tannery’s hide-processing technology brings about a further step change in energy and water use, with a claimed reduction of 82% in energy use and 42% in water use. compared to the group’s previous equipment.

“Our sustainability journey is continuous, and this new facility will play a vital role in enabling us to achieve zero impact leather manufacturing. We are committed to net-zero for our own operations (Scope 1 and 2) by 2025 – twenty years ahead of Scotland’s overarching net-zero ambitions – and delivering zero waste to landfill by the same year, further fortifying our sustainability pledges,” said Dr Warren Bowden, head of innovation & sustainability at Scottish Leather Group.

Scottish Leather Group says that the increase in efficiency does not mean there will be any reduction in the number of technicians employed on site. In addition, and as part of the group’s commitment to complete circularity, the outgoing wooden drums from the tannery have been stripped down and repurposed.

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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