SLF Transparency Dashboard Will Alleviate Audit Fatigue and Cost

The mission of the Sustainable Leather Foundation (SLF) is to support the global leather industry to learn, to improve and to protect the planet for future generations. Towards this objective its latest offering is the Partner Profiles and QR Codes which link up the SLF and a company’s website, and the company’s Transparency Dashboard. In a brief conversation with texfash.com, Deborah Taylor, Managing Director at SLF elaborates on the initiatives.

Long Story, Cut Short
  • As the value chains get connected, brands will have their own version of tools which will link to their supply chains and support their due diligence requirements.
  • Once brands, retailers and OEMS recognise that this system allows them to see all the good practice in one place, they will be able to concentrate on supporting their supply chains to achieve the necessary standard.
The creation of a Transparency Dashboard and the associated tools such as the Partner Profiles and QR codes is only available for partners who commit to the SLF.
Transparency Dashboard The creation of a Transparency Dashboard and the associated tools such as the Partner Profiles and QR codes is only available for partners who commit to the SLF. rupixen.com / Unsplash

How are these two offerings — Partner Profiles and QR Codes — expected to change the perception of the leather industry?
These tools will enable anybody to just click on a QR code to access the basic information about a facilities demonstration of good practice across the 3 areas of sustainability – environmental, social, governance.  As we connect the value chains together, brands will have their own version of this which will link to their supply chains and support their due diligence requirements.  Because this is dynamic, whenever a change is made – good or bad, the QR code will always point to the most up to date information instead of just relying on audit information that can be up to two or more years old.
 
Bringing this into the realm of consumers will help to correct the misinformation that still perpetuates. It will also highlight externally that the leather industry is constantly evolving and is focused on making the manufacture of leather and leather products as sustainable as possible through the adoption of clean technologies and process innovation.  Real innovation in our eyes is innovation that improves an existing process without causing a new problem or risk somewhere else as a consequence.
 
Is this only for SLF members?
The creation of a Transparency Dashboard and the associated tools such as the Partner Profiles and QR codes is only available for partners who commit to the SLF.  However, anyone can click the QR codes to see relevant information (they will just only see the top line information not the detail beneath).
 
Will there be a cost to this?
There is no additional cost to the partners; it was always meant to be part of the vision and those forward-thinking companies that joined us in our development period are now the first to benefit.

The fundamental approach that SLF adopts of A.I.M. (Accessible, Inclusive, Modular), means that any company in the leather supply chain whatever the size or scope, can benefit from a platform that transparently shows performance for Environmental, Social and Governance aspects. Once a Transparency Dashboard is created, SLF then supports companies with a toolbox of standards, benchmarks, explanatory notes and guidance templates to help facilities to prepare for audit.
Hand Holding The fundamental approach that SLF adopts of A.I.M. (Accessible, Inclusive, Modular), means that any company in the leather supply chain whatever the size or scope, can benefit from a platform that transparently shows performance for Environmental, Social and Governance aspects. Once a Transparency Dashboard is created, SLF then supports companies with a toolbox of standards, benchmarks, explanatory notes and guidance templates to help facilities to prepare for audit. Carter Yocham / Unsplash

Taking off from my last interview: Will this add to the audit fatigue or will it serve as a purpose to reduce that in the long run. If yes, how. Please elaborate.
This is another huge step towards alleviating audit fatigue and cost.  Once brands, retailers and OEMS recognise that this system allows them to see all the good practice in one place, they will be able to concentrate on supporting their supply chains to achieve the necessary standard and really start to understand what the different certifications provide risk mitigation for.  In my experience a lot of people ask for a particular sourcing criterion without understanding what it really means. In some cases, this leads to leather manufacturers having to undergo different audits / testing / inspections for different customers which might all be very similar but take time and cost money for each one that a facility has to undergo.  Of course, on top of that cost, there is also the reduction in productivity, taking the company away from the principle business at hand.  Some companies are spending tens of thousands of pounds each year just to meet these demands.
 
Our equivalency mapping service allows a company’s Transparency Dashboard to reflect all their conformance and compliance, as long as it is third party audited and credible.  Of course, the summary section of each organisation’s individual Dashboard also shows non-auditable good practice to give a full overview of how a company considers its responsibility – this can include awards, social responsibility programmes, additional due diligence work, etc.  We are working to give brands, retailers and OEMs a window to good practice so they can think more about what standard should be in place and not what certification company they know.
 
Overall, we believe that this fully transparent system, using our A.I.M. (Accessible, Inclusive, Modular), approach is the way forward for the future delivery of high-performance leather products that meet the sustainable expectations of civil society.

Our equivalency mapping service allows a company’s Transparency Dashboard to reflect all their conformance and compliance, as long as it is third party audited and credible.  Of course, the summary section of each organisation’s individual Dashboard also shows non-auditable good practice to give a full overview of how a company considers its responsibility – this can include awards, social responsibility programmes, additional due diligence work, etc. 

Deborah Taylor
Deborah Taylor / Managing Director / Sustainable Leather Foundation
 
 
  • Dated posted: August 9, 2022
  • Last modified: August 9, 2022