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Published
Nov 17, 2017
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Dutch organizations launch five-year project to reduce tannery pollution in India

Published
Nov 17, 2017

On 13 November, Dutch organizations Solidaridad, Stahl, PUM and a number of Indian partners launched a public-private partnership to fight tannery pollution in the Ganges River.


Ms. Kumar, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Environments and Forests at lamp lighting ceremony - Photo: PUM


The five-year plan is designed to create more sustainability at the Kanpur Leather Cluster by implementing new methods and technologies. The project aims to reduce the water discharge by 40% and introduce alternative technologies and processes at tanneries that have a reduced environmental impact. The Dutch organizations have partnered with the following local associations: Uttar Pradesh Leather Industry Association, Small Tanners Association, Central Leather Research Institute and Ganga Pollution Control Unit.

The project partners will introduce environmentally cautious production methods and train tannery staff on new practices. In order to do so, a Stahl Center of Excellence will be launched to demonstrate more sustainable technologies. The initiators will also partner with downstream communities on income generation. 

Michael Costello, Director Sustainability at Stahl said: “At Stahl we believe in actively promoting safe usage of chemicals around the world. We are well aware of the complex issues in the Kanpur leather cluster where some 400 tanneries discharge 50 million liters of wastewater each day. We also understand that we alone cannot change the situation, so we have joined forces with industry partners and local authorities to contribute to the clean-up already underway of this iconic and sacred river.”

The initiative is supported by The Sustainable Water Fund program (FDW), a public-private partnership facility of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Solidaridad, an international civil society organization, will operate as project coordinator and consortium leader. Stahl, leader in process chemicals for leather products, performance coatings and polymers, acts as the main private contributor. And non-profit organization, PUM, will provide technical assistance and training support from senior experts.

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