Climate change stakeholder engagement

[GRI 3-3f]

Stakeholder engagement and policy interventions

Lenzing strongly believes that its own efforts should be complemented by engaging with industry stakeholders and civil society, as collaboration is required to bring about systemic change in addressing the climate crisis. Lenzing signed the UN Fashion Charter for Climate Action in 2018 and is an active member of its working groups to develop solutions to industry challenges. Lenzing has also supported World Resource Institute (WRI) and Apparel Impact Institute (AII) efforts to develop a high-level roadmap for the apparel and footwear industry. 

A supportive policy framework and incentives are needed to realize measures such as fuel switching to low-carbon sources. Natural gas is currently more expensive than coal in many parts of the world. Sustainable biomass fuels are not sufficiently available in the required amounts. Similarly, renewable grid-based electricity is not widely and economically available in many parts of Asia. To advance low-carbon solutions, a level playing field is required, such as global carbon pricing and the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies. Industry and local governments should ramp up efforts to generate more renewable electricity in order to supply current facilities and cater for future growth.

UN Fashion Charter

The Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action under the auspices of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is a broad stakeholder movement in the textiles, clothing and fashion industry aimed at achieving a holistic commitment to climate action. Signatories commit to climate targets and ultimately to fully decarbonizing the fashion industry value chain in alignment with the Science-Based Targets initiative.

The original targets of the UN Fashion Industry Charter were to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050 and reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The Fashion Charter signatories updated these targets in November 2021 to limit the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and in line with the Science Based Targets initiative. An initial report, the “Climate Action Playbook”. published in 2020, highlights major greenhouse gas reduction opportunities in fiber production, which is the fashion industry’s main raw material.

Lenzing is a founding member of the initiative and actively contributes to the working group on raw materials, sharing its longstanding experience in the production of sustainable cellulose-based fibers and assessment of environmental impacts through life-cycle analyses (LCA). In 2021, the working group published a report entitled “Identifying Low-Carbon Sources of Cotton and Polyester”. The report contains an overview of existing LCA studies and identifies opportunities for improvement, by switching energy sources, changing technology and innovating. Since 2021, Lenzing contributed to the associated report on “Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers”. It was published in 2023 and is based on contributions from a range of stakeholders including other producers of regenerated cellulosic fibers, brands, NGOs and sustainability service providers.

Lenzing also contributed to the report “Aggregate report of the transition plans” with its Climate Transition Plan. In it, 42 signatories report their plans with 80 percent having approved SBTs.

Taking stock of Roadmap to Zero

Lenzing contributed to the development of the “Roadmap to Zero” publication in 2021, which aims to catalyze industry action against climate change with proven approaches and measures. This document was prepared by the World Resources Institute (WRI) together with the Apparel Impact Institute (AII), a spin-off Cascale (formerly SAC), which identifies, funds, scales and measures the apparel and footwear industry’s proven environmental impact solutions. In 2023, AII has published a sequel to this report to take stock and progress made by industry towards net-zero goal. Lenzing has contributed to this report with best practice examples in different areas such as innovative materials, eliminating coal, switching to 100 percent renewable grid electricity.

Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI)

Lenzing was one of the eleven leading companies from six countries that founded the Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) in September 2020 under the leadership of nova-Institute (Germany). The aim of the initiative is to support and speed up the transition from fossil carbon to renewable carbon for all organic chemicals and materials. The number of members increased to over 65 and now includes companies such as Beiersdorf (Germany), BASF (Germany), Cosun Beet Company (The Netherlands), Givaudan (Switzerland), Henkel (Germany), IFF (USA), LanzaTech (USA), NESTE (Finland), Unilever (UK), Uniper (Germany) and UPM (Finland). The Renewable Carbon Initiative aims to herald the end of the fossil age for all organic chemicals and materials by 2050. The concept of renewable carbon, which is essential for materials, is gaining more attention and traction – including on the political side (e.g. the Sustainable Carbon Cycles communication paper from the European Commission). In 2023, the RCI published several reports including a comprehensive understanding of today’s carbon flows or the contribution of renewable-carbon-based materials to lower carbon footprints. The second report also contains a case study of Lenzing fibers. Lenzing will continue to be an active member of the RCI, with a particular focus on further greening up the textile and nonwoven businesses.

GHG Protocol and CEPI contributions

Lenzing’s GHG emissions are calculated according to the GHG Protocol. Lenzing also participates in the further development of associated standards and guidance through the industry association CEPI (please see the “Raw material security” chapter for more information).

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