Introducing Ethical, Traceable - Net Carbon Zero Leather 


‘Net Carbon Zero by Nature’ means that 100 percent of product emissions have been balanced out by carbon removals via vegetation growing on the farms where the animals were raised. ​ Products are independently certified as Net Carbon Zero by Toitū Envirocare, with Silver Fern Farms contracting and purchasing the carbon removals from supplying farmers. ​ 

Chief Sustainability & Risk Officer Kate Beddoe says, “What’s unique about Net Carbon Zero By Nature and our farming system is that the certification is achieved by what our farmers do on their own farms to balance-out emissions, rather than by simply purchasing carbon offsets as is the case for many other carbon zero products.”

When you upgrade to premium net carbon zero leather sourced exclusively from Tasman Tanning, you are buying leather with the assurance that you are supporting sustainable farming systems.  

Certification Customers & Consumers Can Trust

Our Net Carbon Zero by Nature leather is a Toitū net carbon zero certified product. This means it is verified to the International Standards Organization ISO 14067 product standard. Toitū Envirocare is Aotearoa New Zealand’s leading, independent climate performance certifier. 

To enable us to do this, we measure all stages of product emissions from the birth of an animal right through finishing, distribution, manufacturing, retail, consumer and end of life.

To balance out those product emissions, we use satellite technology and machine learning to help us identify on-farm permanent vegetation that is absorbing the equivalent amount of Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere. We contract and purchase this carbon from farmers to account for all of the emissions associated with the finished leather produced and being sold as Net Carbon Zero by Nature. This approach rewards our farmers, who as well as producing top quality livestock are actively caring for the land through their environmental management practices. 


Whole-of-farm thinking is not just about accounting for, or focusing on reducing emissions, but creating farm environments that are better able to capture carbon and are more biodiverse. 

Our approach to producing a range of Net Carbon Zero by Nature products is to support and incentivize our farmers to protect, restore and add to the amount of native bush and tree plantings. It is a way of respecting and caring for the land that is reflected in the health and happiness of our animals.

Balancing Emissions

Producing finished leather and getting it to market creates emissions. Raising livestock produces greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous dioxide, these are mostly due to naturally occurring biogenic greenhouse gases like methane that occur when ruminant animals turn grass into protein for food. Manufacturing and distribution also adds to the carbon footprint . We know from the lifecycle analysis of our leather products exactly how many emissions are being created, and where, from a square foot of finished leather. 


To count as removals within our product boundary, woody vegetation must be mapped by us, agreed to be included by the farmer, independently verified, be permanent, must occur on farms who are suppliers of livestock to Silver Fern Farms and be subject to an agreement between Silver Fern Farms and the landowner. The woody vegetation is a mix of native and exotic vegetation.   The same groups of trees cannot then create a tradeable carbon credit that could be sold to someone else. They have to be exclusive to use for this purpose, by Silver Fern Farms. 

The Carbon Lifecycle Of Tannery and Leather Goods

Frequently Asked Questions

The total emissions generated by each square foot of product are independently measured across the whole life of the product, from farm to the consumer. This includes calculating the actual emissions of animals as they grow, from when they are born, to when they are killed. We collect real data from our supplying farms, the distance that farms are from our sites, all of the energy used in creating the product, the transport of product to stores and disposal of any packaging at home. This methodology follows an International Standards Organisation (ISO) approach and while we collect the data, the reports are generated independently and then audited and verified by an independent auditor to enable Toitū Envirocare to issue a Net Carbon Zero product certification. 

Toitū Envirocare is New Zealand’s internationally recognised environmental certification organisation. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of a New Zealand Government Crown Research Institute, Landcare Research. Toitū provide independent certification and verification of our Net Carbon Zero product, our processing emissions, and our Environmental Management System. 

We use independently verified and approved methodology to remotely identify the type, age and size of vegetation occurring on our suppliers’ farms. We then work with our farmers to ground truth the data. Each farmer is required to check each area and approve whether it is included or not. We then use internationally approved carbon accounting to assign a CO2 absorption number to each one of those mapped vegetation areas. 

Cattle, sheep and deer (ruminants) all produce biogenic methane emissions (mainly by burping) as they turn grass into energy that helps them grow or produce meat and milk. Silver Fern Farms’ Net Carbon Zero By Nature
products account for 1 % of end-to-end emissions (including all those burps). To ensure that we can work towards not just accounting for those emissions but actively reducing them, Silver Fern Farms is a partner with the New Zealand Government and other leading primary sector companies, in AgriZero. A major initiative to find, develop and adopt real solutions to reduce the amount of methane each animal produces, without impacting on their welfare. Read more about the activities of here: AgriZero NZ 

Toitū Envirocare annually audit and certify our products. The emissions associated with each product are independently calculated by AgResearch, every year, using the previous year’s real data. We assess the vegetation occurring on the farms annually using the latest satellite data. If the carbon footprint of the product changes, we will update our packaging and websites as soon as we can after each certification is issued.