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Lenzing ranked number one in the world for sustainable wood sourcing

Canopy Planet Society also commended Lenzing for its new Tencel fibre, which uses cotton fabric waste as a source of raw material.

30th November 2016

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Lenzing

Sustainable, Clothing/​Footwear

The Lenzing Group has been rated number one globally with respect to the procurement of wood, the key raw material in cellulose fibre production, by the Canadian environmental organisation Canopy Planet Society.

The non-profit organisation cooperates with 68 leading retail brands in the textile industry and is a driver in evaluating sustainable sourcing processes. In its report, Canopy assessed the performance on forest conservation and wood sourcing practices of the major players of the cellulose fibre industry. It also commended Lenzing for its new Tencel fibre, which uses cotton fabric waste as an alternative source of raw material.

“We are proud of this ranking, and see it as further evidence of the leadership role played by the Lenzing Group in the field of sustainability. The origin of the wood, the most important material, is the decisive factor for us at the beginning of the production process,” said Robert van de Kerkhof, CCO of the Lenzing Group. “Lenzing is continually striving to improve all its processes as well as its procurement guidelines. Lenzing will also continue to intensively provide support to the roadmap specified by Canopy as a means of preserving and protecting global forests. This is because sustainability is a core element of our business model.”

Responsible sourcing

Lenzing has been focusing on optimising the sourcing of the renewable raw material wood for more than 20 years in accordance with the principle of sustainability. The company mainly relies on the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification system whenever possible. In Europe with its strict forest regulations, Lenzing also makes use of the PEFC programme as a means of demonstrating its sustainable procurement activities. Close to 100% of the wood and pulp used by the Lenzing Group is already certified by FSC or PEFC or is controlled in line with these standards, the manufacturer reports.

Lenzing has been working steadily on the further improvement and environmental responsibility of its production processes. In this regard, Lenzing relies on the principle of closed loop production, as well as the complete use of the raw material wood in its “biorefinery”.

R&D expenditures of the Lenzing Group, which are already significantly higher than the industry average, were further increased in the current 2016 financial year to enable the company to press ahead with the development of new, ecologically-driven technologies.

Alternative raw materials

Another criterion serving as the basis for Lenzing’s number one global ranking was its performance in the field of alternative raw material sources. Lenzing demonstrated its leadership in sustainable fibre industry innovations by developing the new Tencel fibre on the basis of cotton fabric waste. This innovation links pioneering work in textile recycling with the environmental award-winning closed loop fibre technology of Tencel.

With this innovation Lenzing says it underpins its core value sustainability as a key business driver, and aims to pave the way to solutions for the textile industry’s pressing issue of more than 150 billion garments produced and partly disposed of every year.

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