Biodiversity and ecosystems stakeholder engagement

[GRI 3-3f]

Austrian Federal Forests (Österreichische Bundesforste, ÖBf)

One important wood supplier to the Lenzing site (Austria) is the state company Österreichische Bundesforste (ÖBf AG, Austrian Federal Forests). Managing 10 percent of the national territory and 15 percent of Austria’s woodland, ÖBf is the largest ecosystem manager, forest managing company and owner of hunting and fishing licenses. Sustainability forms the guiding principle for all ÖBf activities. The Lenzing site pulp mill obtains more than 35 percent of its wood from Austrian forests and the state of these forests is especially important for its sourcing. In Austria, forest biodiversity is monitored regularly according to a Biodiversity Index1. Recent outcomes are reported in the “Indicators of sustainable forest management 2020”2 from the multi-stakeholder organization “Walddialog”, as a contribution to the Forest Europe indicators and targets process. The ÖBf team for ecological landscape management is developing individual nature conservation plans for each of the 120 ÖBf-forest units, in addition to the existing forest management plans3.


A publicly funded research project “Biodiversity and multifunctional forest management” (BIMUWA4) developed specific measures to protect endangered species (red-list species) and increase biodiversity under local conditions of the PEFC region 6 (located in Austrian provinces Styria and Carinthia), which are integrated into daily forest management work. ÖBf is cooperating with the NGO umbrella organization Umweltdachverband on this. As the measures are very concrete and easy to implement, positive effects can be scaled to large forest areas. In 2023, Lenzing supported the roll-out of the results to the interested private forest owners by presenting its view during the information events in the region.

Textile Exchange (TE) Biodiversity Benchmark

The Textile Exchange Biodiversity Benchmark was launched on December 2, 2020. The benchmark is part of the TE Corporate Fiber and Materials Benchmark (CFMB) Program and is connected to TE’s “Climate+” strategy. The role of the benchmark is to address biodiversity loss and support improvements in the industry’s sphere of influence through knowledge-sharing. The methodology for companies to set targets for nature is being developed through the Science Based Targets Network (SBTN).

In 2021, Lenzing contributed as a member of the advisory group, providing input to the tool development and its own input to the benchmark. The “Biodiversity Insights Report 2021” provides “a first global baseline for the apparel and textile industry” regarding the awareness of its impacts on biodiversity. It describes approaches to actions in business integration, transparency, materiality, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, as well as corporate reporting. In 2022, the findings of the Insights Report were integrated as a new chapter of questions into the CFMB program. In 2023, the “Biodiversity Landscape Analysis” report was published, with a focus on natural fibers from plants (cotton) and animal hair (wool), and not much on regenerated cellulosic fibers.

Inspiring Cooperation Empowering People (ICEP)

Inspiring Cooperation Empowering People (ICEP) is an independent Austrian non-governmental organization (NGO) with a business-oriented focus. ICEP works with partner organizations in emerging markets and with Austrian companies and implements projects worldwide with the aim of getting more people actively involved in economic life. ICEP supports Lenzing since 2018 in the implementation of an ADA co-financed afforestation and conservation project in Albania. In 2023, a feasibility study for engagement in biodiversity improvement and social impact actions around the LD Celulose site in Indianópolis (Brazil) has been agreed, which will start in 2024.

Wood K plus

Many Austrian companies, including Lenzing, and scientific bodies have joined forces in the “Kompetenzzentrum Holz”. It is a leading research institute in wood and wood-related renewable resources in Europe. Recent topics addressed by the competence center include advanced biomass utilization (e.g. via closing loops in pulp production), lignin and hemicellulose utilization, or the use of enzymes in the production process. One work stream of Wood K plus for Lenzing is sustainability in wood sourcing. In 2021, the focus shifted to biodiversity, including support for the work for the Textile Exchange Biodiversity Benchmark. In 2023 a doctoral study has been started on the topic of biodiversity metrics for the assessment of corporate impacts and dependencies. This work is supporting the development of Lenzing’s biodiversity strategy.

WWF Austria

Lenzing has been invited to present at an event of the WWF Climate Group Talks5 on “How to integrate biodiversity in your core business.” Additionally, Lenzing contributed to a study by WWF and Ernst & Young “Management in the biodiversity crisis – How Austrian companies minimize risks and seize opportunities” 6 (translated title, study is in German language) with general insights and a case study.

1 Geburek, T., Büchsenmeister, R., Englisch, M., Frank, G., Hauk, E., Konrad, H., Liebmann, S., Neumann, M., Starlinger, F. and Steiner, H. (2015). Biodiversitätsindex Wald – Einer für alle! In: Biodiversität im Wald. BFW Praxisinformation 37, pp. 6-8

2 https://info.bmlrt.gv.at/themen/wald/walddialog/dokumente/indikatorenbericht-2020.html

3 https://www.bundesforste.at/unternehmen/naturschutz/biodiversitaet/oekologisches-landschaftsmanagement.html

4 BIMUWA website: https://www.bundesforste.at/leistungen/naturraum-management/foerderprojekte/biodiversitaet-und-multifunktionale-bewirtschaftung-im-wald.html

5 https://www.wwf.at/artikel/einladung-climate-group-talks/

6 https://www.wwf.at/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/WWF_Studie_Biodiversitaets-Management-Unternehmen_2024.pdf

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