Kings International: sustainable innovation in the tannery industry

GOAL & TARGET
Looking for a partner with technologies to develop solutions of Zero Waste Water Discharge
Kings International: sustainable innovation in the tannery industry
challenge

Each year during ‘Nahaans’, our tannery is forced to stop the manufacturing process for a period of at least 3 months. Tanneries have the stigma of polluting the Ganga river. Kings International needs help to make the production process more sustainable, so that we can produce in a better way, all year round.

About Kings International

Kings International is a Kanpur based manufacturer and exporter of saddlery goods, belts, bags, hunting & pets accessories and we are active all around the globe. We are working in many areas to improve sustainability in our factories such as ethical leather making, energy & water conservation, and waste management. Also in our supply chain, we are working on sustainability demonstrating transparency, traceability, ethical sourcing and ensuring animal welfare through the breeding farms and abattoirs.

Current treatment of waste water

The Leather industry located in the Ganga Basin is strictly monitored to prevent water pollution of Ganga river. Despite the treatment of waste water at primary, secondary & tertiary levels before discharge into the water body, the Tanneries of Kanpur & Unnao region are instructed to close their manufacturing operations for a period of 3 months by the State Government/UPPCB during various ‘Nahaans/Religious Rituals’ of ‘Magh Mela/‘Kumbh/ Ardh-Kumbh/ Maha-Kumbh’ held at Prayag, (Allahabad), depriving the leather industry & its employees from their basic rights of livelihood during such period.

Tanneries along with the Sugar Mills, Distilleries, Paper & Pulp industries, Textile Mills, etc; are all placed under the Grossly Polluting Industries (GPI) by government. However, among these GPIs, it’s only the Tanneries which unfortunately have the stigma of polluting the Ganga river, ultimately resulting in the closure of tanneries during the above mentioned ‘Nahaans’ every year, resulting in the revenue loss of thousands of Crores and causing unemployment to the casual & temporary workers who are disengaged during that period, as Kanpur/Unnao tanneries are the backbone to thousands of Shoe & Leather goods manufacturers not only in this region alone but in, Agra and Noida also. Moreover, it gives the wrong signal to the foreign buyers that India is not a consistent, reliable and dependable supplier of leather & leather products on account of such policies, which compel them to go to China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Pakistan for sourcing their products. On account of such policies, the leather industry is facing negative growth despite being included in PM’s ‘Make in India’ programme.

What we are looking for?

To address this recurring problem of shutting down the production activity for a period of 3 months, we in association with Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) and a Dutch NGO, Solidaridad have entered into a triple helix arrangement of developing the following cleaner/innovative technologies and best practices:

  1. Reduction in fresh water consumption by modifying the process
  2. Reduction in waste water generation
  3. Reduction in Chemical consumption consequently reducing the cost of manufacturing
  4. Recycling & reuse of 100% waste water for leather processing after the electro-oxidation process, thereby minimizing the fresh groundwater consumption and discharge of effluent into the water body, without Reverse Osmosis (RO) method (which eventually generates RO reject and creates problem in its secured disposal).
  5. Use of Salt-less Chilled/Brine-cured hides in place of wet-salted/dry-salted hides & skins.

The various trials & tests are being conducted at KINGS by CLRI Scientists. We would like to partner with companies that have technologies related to the above-mentioned issues and develop a solution of Zero Waste Water Discharge.

From left to right: Dr. Saravanan, Scientist CSIR-CLRI, Mr. Taj Alam, Managing Director, KINGS INERNATIONAL LTD explaining the project to Mr. Alphonsus Stoelinga. His Excellency the Ambassador of Netherlands to India, overseeing the joint work of Dutch NGO, SOLIDARIDAD and Dr. B. Chandrasekaran, Director CSIR-CLRI Chennai.

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