Scottish Leather Group has opened what it describes as a £14 million “super tannery”, which it claims sets new industry standards for leather production and builds on its “world-leading sustainability achievements”.

The group, which includes Bridge of Weir Leather and Lang and Muirhead, manufactures leather for the global automotive, aviation, rail, furniture, and luxury goods sectors. Among the global brands it supplies are Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover and British Airways.

Scottish Leather Group said the “landmark” project, which has taken seven years to deliver, is part of its “ongoing commitment to raising standards in quality, sustainability and traceability”, declaring: “The business is renowned for producing the world’s lowest-carbon leather.”

The new manufacturing facility, based at Bridge of Weir near Paisley, was constructed with a goal of “low-impact production” and incorporates innovative hide-processing technology that ensures consistency of quality while enhancing environmental performance.

Compared with its previous equipment, the new tannery will reduce energy and water use by 82% and 42% respectively, the group noted.

Scottish Leather Group, which employs more than 750 people and was founded in 1965, said the recruitment and retention of skilled workers is “critical to the super tannery’s successful operation”.

Nicholas Muirhead, chief executive officer of Scottish Leather Group, said: “Since 2003, we have continuously invested in strategic initiatives designed to optimise and improve productivity, quality and sustainability.

“The new super tannery is the latest significant milestone on that journey, a state-of-the-art facility that builds on the considerable savings we have already made in reduced energy and water use, improving our efficiency, and future-proofing our production. This will provide our customers with further evidence of our position as the leader in the supply of the world’s lowest-carbon leather.”

Warren Bowden, head of innovation and sustainability at Scottish Leather Group, said: “Over the last 20 years, we have pioneered and patented circular manufacturing processes that minimise waste to landfill and radically reduce our carbon footprint, with initiatives such as our thermal energy plant and ultrafiltration plant.

“The super tannery builds on these sector-leading actions, providing a step change in productivity and environmental savings. Our sustainability journey is continuous, and this new facility will play a vital role in enabling us to achieve net zero leather production. We are committed to net zero for our own operations…by 2025 – ahead of Scotland’s net-zero ambitions – and delivering zero process waste to landfill by the same year, further fortifying our sustainability pledges.”