Management approach

Management approach

Material topic: Resource use and circular economy

[GRI 3-3]

Lenzing already has successfully implemented circular economy practices as central parts of its business model for a long time by achieving greater efficiency in the use and reuse of resources. Such practices comprise closing loops in production processes and producing fibers that are biodegradable (applying to TÜV certified biodegrable and compostable LENZING™ fibers1) at the end of their life. Such measures also ensure that Lenzing remains financially competitive and compliant with environmental legislation. As Lenzing continues to drive circular solutions across both the business and the industry, the complex transition from a linear to a circular system requires a collaborative approach. For instance, the company has partnered with Swedish pulp producer Södra to generate more opportunities for recycling textile waste, creating circularity practices and promoting systematic change. The company strives to create as much value as possible through improved sustainability performance that impacts the entire value chain.

Actual and potential negative and positive impacts, risks and opportunities


  • Creating new product offerings and business models to help the industry to change
  • Optimizing the eco-footprint of Lenzing products
  • Optimizing the value Lenzing generates via the environmentally responsible products it supplies
  • Lowering emissions by closing energy and material loops
  • Replacing products that cause end-of-life pollution (e.g. microplastics contamination) with biodegradable alternatives
  • Valorizing biorefinery products
  • Cutting the use of virgin raw materials
  • Driving innovation on recycling and optimizing closed loop processes
  • Joining forces and sharing know-how within partnerships for systemic change


Own activities:
  • Potentially Lenzing products may have higher carbon footprint and emissions due to inefficient recycling systems and processes of the industry
  • Falling behind competition in terms of offering products with recycled content
Business relationships:
  • Transitional risks due to changing legislation and stakeholder expectations (NGOs, customers)

Policies and commitments

  • “Better Growth” strategy
  • “Naturally Positive” sustainability strategy
  • Group Environmental Standard
  • Group Waste Management Guideline
  • Wood and Pulp Policy
  • Bioenergy Policy

Actions taken

  • Collaboration signed with Södra to jointly install a process for post-consumer cellulosic recycling in 2022
  • Lenzing signed a five-year agreement for the sale of Renewcell’s recycled dissolving pulp at the end of 2022
  • Targets for textile recycling on track
  • Lenzing intensified its collaboration with leading stakeholders and initiatives
  • Lenzing launched a pilot project together with Södra with ARA and Salesianer on recycling their post-consumer textile waste
  • Partner in Christian Doppler Laboratory for a recycling-based circular economy
  • Contribution to supply chain transparency to facilitate circular economy projects
  • Environmental management system based on ISO14001:2015 (including risk assessment and internal audits to ensure the effectiveness of the measures implemented)
  • Member of the Circular and Sustainable Textile Clothing project (CISUTAC)
  • Co-founded the Alliance of Chemical Textiles Recyclers (ACTR)

Sustainability targets, measures and progress

  • “Textile recycling” target
  • “Circular business model” target


  • ACTR
  • Policy Hub
  • European Apparel and Textile Confederation (EURATEX)
  • Accelerating Circularity Project (ACP)
  • Textiles 2030
  • Södra
  • Renewcell
  • Forum for the Future


  • Members of the Managing Board (Pulp and commercial)
  • VP Recycling Pulp


  • Corporate Sustainability
  • Division Textile
  • Division Nonwoven
  • Division Pulp
  • Global Quality, Environment, Safety & Health (QESH)
  • Research
  • Site managers

Lenzing’s circular economy vision

We give waste a new life. Every day

Lenzing strives to drive the industry towards a fully-fledged circular economy by giving waste a new life across all aspects of Lenzing’s core business and by co-developing circular solutions with potential partners within and outside the current value chain to close loops wherever possible. Lenzing’s vision is built on the following three pillars.

We use regenerative and recycled raw materials to help to protect the planet

Wood, a renewable raw material, is a key element of Lenzing’s circular economy vision, being entirely converted into high-value products and bioenergy. Furthermore, an increasing amount of alternative cellulose feedstock is used from textile waste, as a raw material, and advanced by Lenzing’s innovative technologies.

We think circular to design out waste and innovate processes

Lenzing develops and advances its sustainable practices continuously. This strategy minimizes environmental and social impacts not only within the company but across the entire value chain. Lenzing strives to lead in closing technological loops and optimizing the use of every resource with maximum economic value. Digital processes enhance transparency and support the shift from a linear to a circular supply chain.

We are not alone in this – Partnering for systemic change

To achieve a global shift towards a circular economy, collaboration is essential. Lenzing, as a fiber producer, is just one part of the textile and nonwoven value chain. Recycling textiles efficiently requires cooperation among designers, manufactures, consumers, recyclers and policy makers. Establishing effective post-consumer textile sorting and collection infrastructure is vital for expanding textile recycling. Lenzing is actively engaging in partnerships both within and outside the value chain. For more information, please see the “Stakeholder engagement” section in this chapter.

1 LENZING™ fibers which are TÜV certified biodegradable (soil, fresh water & marine) and compostable (home & industrial) include the following products: LENZING™ Viscose Standard textile/nonwovens, LENZING™ Lyocell Standard textile/nonwovens, LENZING™ Modal Standard textile, LENZING™ Lyocell Filament, LENZING™ Lyocell Dry and LENZING™ Web Technology. An exception in certification applies for the fibers LENZING™ Lyocell Filament and LENZING™ Lyocell Dry, for which the necessary tests for confirming biodegradability in marine environment were not yet done or finalized.

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