Environment and Sustainability

Our Policy

J Hewit and Sons Ltd believe that all businesses are responsible for achieving good environmental practice and operating in a sustainable manner. We are therefore committed to reducing our environmental impact and carbon footprint, by continually working to improve our environmental performance. This commitment is an integral and fundamental part of our business strategy and operating practises. Not only is this sound commercial sense for all; it is also a matter of delivering on our duty of care towards future generations.

In 1996 we were the first tannery in Scotland to be exempted from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency Act.

Our policy is to:

For any issues related to the Environmental and Sustainability Policy of our business, please contact:

Andrew Barlee
Health, Safety and Sustainability Director
J Hewit & Sons Ltd
12 Nettlehill Road
Houstoun Industrial Estate
Livingston, West Lothian, EH54 5DL

Tel: 01506 444160       Fax: 01506 437749      Email: sales@hewit.com

Energy Policy

The Company recognises that inefficiency in the use of energy leads to unnecessary impact on the environment. During the planning of new capital investments, the focal point for decisions will be on energy conservation. At the time of our company's relocation in 2010, we took the opportunity of investing in the most energy efficient and cost-effective air and water heating systems for our new factory. This resulted in an almost immediate reduction of our gas usage by 50%. Capital investment was also made in our lighting systems to ensure that low-energy lighting was installed and that lighting in areas of the factory that were not in use could be easily switched off. We continue to monitor our energy usage to ensure that we operate in the most energy efficient way.


In 1998 the Company came second in the small business category of the Positive Steps Award. East of Scotland Water and Zeneca Grangemouth initiated this award to encourage long-term improvements to the environment by industry within the East of Scotland. The award recognises the contribution made by industry towards reducing pollution, minimising waste and encouraging sustainable use of resources. The award was open to 700 companies in the East of Scotland. At the prize giving, J. Hewit & Sons Ltd. was commended as a company which operated in a very environmentally aware manner. In particular we were singled out as an excellent example of a firm using a substitution policy. This involves substituting safer alternatives in the place of hazardous materials and thus reducing risks not only within the factory but also on the environment. Mention was also made of our record in the recycling of materials and of our consistent use of sustainable products. SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) mentioned that our production facility tannery gave them a totally different view of how environmentally friendly tanneries could be!

We continue to closely monitor our water usage and effluent levels. We understand that the water we use during our leather manufacturing process is a precious commodity. Wherever possible, the water is recycled within the factory. When the water can no longer be recycled, the water passes through our own in-house effluent treatment plant. The water is treated to remove biodegradable solids. The water then passes through various acid/alkaline, bacterial and oxygenation balancing treatments to satisfy the stringent criteria of Scottish Water, prior to the water being disposed of into the sewage system.

Raw Materials

Skins - The leather we manufacture is produced from animals that are reared for their meat. These animals are sustainably reared on land that is not from areas of recent de-forestation. No child labour is used within the supply of the raw material pelts or hides we purchase.

Tanning Agents - All of the vegetable tanning agents we use in the production of our leather are grown and processed in areas that are not adversely affected by tropical deforestation. Nor are they grown and processed in areas that are in regions affected by habitat destruction. The vegetable tanning agents come from forests that are commercially managed in an ecological and sustainable way. We do not use heavy metal compounds, such as chrome and titanium in the production of our leather.


We purchase packaging materials for wrapping up parcels prior to shipping. Where possible, we select suppliers that sell recycled materials and/or operate within the guidelines of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). To further help the environment and to recycle as much as we can, members of our team also bring in unwanted packaging materials from home. So please do not be surprised if you order is delivered in a re-used pet-food or shoe box (or similar)!


The printed stationery we purchase and the paper we use in our printers and photocopiers is sourced from suppliers that operate within the guidelines of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). Wherever possible, the paper is recycled within the business and all employers are asked to carefully consider whether a given document needs to be printed.


Like many businesses, our manufacturing and warehousing facility does produce waste. Wherever possible, the waste is recycled using local authority facilities or is collected and recycled by a contractor (Biffa Group Ltd) who is ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified. Waste that cannot be recycled, is also collected by Biffa. Biffa has their own environmental policy which complies with all relevant environmental legislation, codes of practice, rules, regulations and they commit to continually improve their environmental performance. Biffa is regulated by SEPA, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.