APICCAPS (Portuguese Footwear, Components, Leather Goods Manufacturer Association) presented on 5 December at LIPOR their Action Plan for the Footwear Cluster for Sustainability. The presentation happened under the conference Sustainability: challenges and opportunities, attended by 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 a unique document for the Portuguese economy that aims to create a structured sectorial mindset, to address 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 into three axes (Planet, People and Companies) and presents 12 measures, distributed 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, product information, product environmental footprint or energy efficiency are some of the actions included.
The Portuguese footwear industry plays an important role in the Portuguese economy, namely concerning exports. In effect, the Portuguese footwear exports amount to 1.9 billion euros, which represents 95% of overall production. Moreover, the national added value is significantly high and the sector is responsible for a positive Portuguese trade balance of over 1.3 billion euros.
This outcome was only possible due to a successful combination of entrepreneurial dynamism and public policies that, together, act upon the three main factors for the maintenance and reinforcement of competitiveness: sales promotion and marketing; human resource qualification; and innovation. In the latter, Portugal has become the main user of innovative technologies within the footwear sector.
Photo: Frederico Martins
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