Footwear industry launches action plan for sustainability
Portuguese Footwear Industry launches a new plan for sustainability
APICCAPS (Portuguese Footwear, Components, Leather Goods Manufacturers' Association) has presented, on December 5th, at LIPOR, the Action Plan of the Footwear Cluster for Sustainability. The presentation happened within the conference Sustainability: challenges and opportunities and will have the presence of Inês dos Santos Costa, Secretary of State for the Environment, and João Torres, State Secretary for Trade, Services and Consumer Protection.
According to Luís Onofre, APICCAPS’ President, “this is an unique document for the Portuguese economy that aims to create a structured sectorial mindset, to fulfill the several domains of sustainability in an integrated manner”. Under the coordination of both APICCAPS and CTCP (Footwear Technology Centre of Portugal), “this document will be a key tool for the strategic repositioning of the sector within the international competitive scenario”, states the President.
The Action Plan is divided in three axes (Planet, People and Companies) and presents 12 measures, distributed by over 50 actions. “Our goal is for the Portuguese footwear industry to be a leader in the development of sustainable solutions”. The development of new materials, tracking raw materials, products’ information, products’ environmental footprint or energetic efficiency are some of the actions.
The Portuguese footwear industry plays an important role in the Portuguese economy, namely concerning exports. In effect, the Portuguese footwear exports ascend to 1.900 million euros, which represents 95% of the global production. Moreover, the national added value is significantly high and the sector is responsible for a positive Portuguese trade balance of over 1.300 million euros.
This outcome was only possible due to a successful combination between entrepreneurial dynamism and public policies that, together, act apon the three main factors for the competitiveness maintenance and reinforcement: commercial promotion and marketing; human resources qualification; and innovation. In the latter, Portugal has become the main user of innovative technologies within the footwear sector.