September 21, 2021

Life Cycle Assessment demonstrates BASF’s Synthetic Leather Solution Haptex® has significant environmental benefits

September 21, 2021

A comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of BASF’s innovative synthetic leather solution Haptex® demonstrates the significant environmental benefits compared to other conventional synthetic leather solutions. The LCA was conducted by Intertek - a leading Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide.


“By commissioning an LCA at such an early stage, we are enabling life cycle considerations to be factored in the manufacturing process. This supports OEMs and their customers such as footwear, automotive, and furniture brands in determining the right material – such as Haptex, which demonstrated significant environmental benefits - for their next innovation,” said Yunlong Ma, General Manager, Green Initiatives, Intertek.

The LCA study is based on a total value chain analysis of Haptex from its chemical production to the finished leather goods. The performance on greenhouse effect, cumulative energy demand, and water consumption figures were also calculated and measured.

The LCA study shows that Haptex outperformed synthetic leathers from solvent-based and waterborne-based synthetic leather processes, in terms of carbon emissions. For instance, Haptex was proven to produce 52% less greenhouse gas  emissions than conventional synthetic leather, with more than a 20% reduction in energy consumption when using 1KG of chemicals for synthetic leather production. This is predominantly due to eliminating the wet line from the production processes, which reduces 30% of water usage compared to usual solvent-based polyurethane production methods.

The results proved that Haptex is a more sustainable alternative for products made with synthetic leather, such as automotive seatings, furniture, and footwear and fashion accessories like bags and caps.

Haptex, an innovative polyurethane solution for synthetic leather production, possesses high peel strength, anti-yellowing, and high abrasion performance properties. Haptex also does not use any organotin catalysts or plasticizer.

In collaboration with Warren Synthetic Leather (Suzhou) Co., Ltd and Suzhou Greentech Co., Ltd, the product has been further optimized to increase its performance, yet meets stringent VOC standards.

“The report comes at a time when pressure mounts on brands and OEMs to make stronger efforts towards sustainability by choosing alternative and animal-free leather for their products. Therefore, we must provide concrete information on environmental emissions and how we are reducing the CO2 footprint to our customers. With this study, Haptex has proven that it is more sustainable  compared to other conventional synthetic leather solutions, and at the same time can fulfill the different conventional requirements from OEMs and brands to produce products that are durable, stylish and eco-conscious,”  said Minli Zhao, Vice President, Consumer Industry, Performance Materials Asia Pacific, BASF.

Beverley Tan
Performance Materials Asia Pacific
Jutta Schmidt
Birgit Hellmann
Global Sustainability Communications
Last Update September 21, 2021