Impact, risk and opportunity management

Lenzing successfully manages its pollution related impacts and risks. No major reportable infringements of permit regulation occurred during the reporting year.


[ESRS E2-1; GRI 3-3c]1

Group Environmental Standard

This internal standard is designed to reflect the benchmarks and emission thresholds of the best available techniques for industrial pulp and fiber production (see EU BAT below). In addition, Lenzing adopted the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Guidelines dedicated to enabling safer choices of fiber products. The ambitious framework aims for continuous improvement of pollution parameters.

Policy for Safety, Health and Environment (SHE)

The SHE policy applies to the whole Lenzing Group and was approved by the Executive Committee in 2022. It anchors safety, health and environment as corporate core values for the Lenzing Group.

  • Protect the environment operated in by minimizing emissions, waste and pollution and by improving resource efficiency. For this, objectives and targets are set and controlled.
  • Develop and maintain safety culture, standards and systems in order to continuously improve SHE performance.
  • Comply with all applicable legislation and regulations in the countries operated in and go beyond compliance to relevant industry standards.
  • Train and involve all employees in hazard identification, risk assessment and control.
  • Consult employees’ representatives and encourage them to participate in the decision-making processes for occupational health and safety management.
  • Empower all employees to stop any task or activity if it cannot be carried out in a safe manner.

EU Best Available Techniques (BAT)

All Lenzing sites in the EU, including one viscose plant, two lyocell plants, and two pulp plants, continuously met the applicable EU BAT performance in 2023, which is set out in several EU Best Available Techniques Reference Documents (BREFs). Compliance with EU BATs is the basis for the issuance and review of environmental and operating permits for the plants in EU and is continuously monitored by the competent authorities of Member States. Compliance monitoring, as well as requirements relating to management, monitoring program, reporting, etc. are also carried out in accordance with the EU BATs.

The EU BAT are applicable exclusively within the EU and do not have jurisdiction outside the EU. All fiber products manufactured at Lenzing sites outside the EU, therefore, carry the EU Ecolabel for best-in-class performance. In 2023, the Lenzing production site in Purwakarta (Indonesia) was successfully awarded the EU Ecolabel and became the latest facility in the Group to produce fibers with the label.

Chemical management

A group-wide chemical management standard was rolled out in 2023. It features comprehensive chemical inventories, approval processes, etc. with customization provided by an external IT consultant. It includes a hazard and exposure assessment for each chemical in order to demonstrate its safe use for workers, the environment, and the use of the products. The chemical management transition process was established in 2020 and has been rolled out to all the sites in stages to ensure all Group sites follow the same approach.


[ESRS E2-2; GRI 3-3d, 303-2, 306-2]

A summary of the “Actions taken” can be found in the management approach at the beginning of this chapter.

Lenzing is fully committed to the Supplier to Zero roadmap of the multi-stakeholder Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) initiative. In 2023 wastewater tests, both the Prachinburi (Thailand) and the Heiligenkreuz (Austria) site met the ‘aspirational’ level for MMCF ZDHC wastewater parameters.

Effluents are discharged in a controlled manner, therefore avoiding groundwater contamination. Process water is treated by biological wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The Lenzing Group has wastewater treatment plants at all its sites except Grimsby (United Kingdom). While Grimsby complies with all local laws and regulations on wastewater as well as the EU Water Framework Directive, in order to meet the even more ambitious Lenzing Environmental Group Standards Lenzing is investing in a new WWTP. Site preparation has finished and as of 2023, construction is underway. The construction also entails a cooperation with the local government to apply new technology from an ongoing R&D project.

Organic chemicals from pulp production waste streams are extracted early on in the biorefinery process at the Lenzing (Austria), Paskov (Czech Republic) and Indianópolis (Brazil) sites which significantly reduces the chemical oxygen demand (COD) of effluent water. This is one example of best practices where potential waste streams are converted into useful products, thereby avoiding pollution and reducing the amount of wastewater to be treated at WWTPs.

Lenzing’s plant in Purwakarta (Indonesia) has made great progress in improving its environmental performance. The completed EUR 100 million plant upgrade includes two major components. The first, a new carbon disulfide adsorption plant (CAP), was successfully commissioned and is fully operational. The second component is an upgraded WWTP. Its construction concluded in 2023 and once it is fully operational, it will reduce wastewater emissions significantly.

In 2021, another WWTP upgrade project was approved for the site at Mobile, USA. The lyocell plant was one of the first of its kind and will undergo a modernization of the existing WWTP in order to meet the Group’s sustainability strategy and target for COD emissions. This investment will not only help to fulfill future ZDHC requirements for lyocell production but will also allow potential enlargement of fiber production capacity. The project includes the refurbishment of existing structures and new modular elements for the most up-to-date waste water treatment. The investment thereby extends the life cycle of the WWTP. Construction was completed in December 2023. Commissioning of the new systems has started and the operational transition is expected to take place during Q1/2024.

1 In addition to the GRI disclosure, the corresponding ESRS section is noted. There is no claim to fulfilment of the ESRS in this and the following chapters.

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