The world is more interconnected today than ever before. Improving access to technology and knowledge is an important way to share ideas and foster innovation. The complex global sustainability challenges we are facing, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, widespread biodiversity loss, plastic pollution, etc., call for a collaborative approach to designing systemic solutions.
Transparency is a prerequisite for fostering trust and long-term relationships. Guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17, Partnerships for the Goals, the Lenzing Group regularly engages with a wide range of stakeholders and business partners in order to integrate different perspectives, understand global trends, and mitigate risks. Lenzing strives to identify and develop cross-industry business cases to make progress in instituting circularity at Lenzing and throughout the industry. With its contributions to developing methods, tools and products, Lenzing helps the industry to progress on its path towards a more sustainable future. For example, Lenzing Group actively contribute to multi-stakeholder associations such as Textile Exchange MMCF roundtable and Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s (SAC) Higg transparency program as well as Policy hub for accelerating circularity with forward-looking policy frameworks and for engaging policy makers in Europe. Lenzing’s launch of carbon-zero TENCEL™ fibers contributes to reducing the carbon footprint of customers’ supply chains.
Engaging in a dialog means respecting stakeholders, contributing Lenzing’s expertise and knowledge, and taking the opportunity to learn from partners’ perspectives. Each dialog starts with providing transparent information, supporting stakeholders to form an educated opinion and assess risks, and avoiding misunderstandings by building trust. Furthermore, stakeholder relationships built on trust and openness help solve existing tensions and avoid potential conflicts.
The ongoing stakeholder dialog was considerably affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the reporting year and was predominantly conducted online. Despite some cancellations and delays, the Lenzing teams made great efforts to continue their activities online with virtual workshops and webinars with customers, one-on-one discussions, training sessions, interviews, surveys, education, joint product development, web platforms, roadshows, regular media relations, online trade shows and conferences, press interviews, risk assessments, and audits.
Various business functions are involved in reaching out to individual stakeholders. In addition to the Lenzing Sustainability team, the Managing Board, managers of the different business functions, and key account managers are all important players who drive the company’s proactive approach towards an ongoing stakeholder dialog.
Key stakeholders in 2021
The Lenzing Group’s key stakeholders are the people and entities who are potentially affected by its operations, business conduct, and strategic targets. Lenzing regards them as strategic partners who have a significant interest in and impact on areas that matter the most to Lenzing.
One very special stakeholder group is Lenzing’s staff. Transparency, collaboration, and sharing of information make them key testimonials to credible Lenzing Group sustainability performance. For the special challenges COVID-19 presented for the Lenzing staff in the reporting year, please see the “Human rights & fair labor practices” chapter.
Main topics discussed in 2021:
- COVID-19 pandemic
- Climate change, CO2 climate target, and biogenic emissions and carbon removals (science-based target, SBT)
- EU Single-Use Plastics Directive
- Responsible sourcing, in particular sustainable sourcing of wood and pulp
- Circular economy
- Waste, emissions and water management
- Transparency and traceability of supply chain
- Raw material assessments (definition of sustainable raw materials)
For more information on stakeholder dialog, please see the “Stakeholder engagement” focus paper.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The SDGs are a collection of 17 goals adopted by all Member States of the United Nations in 2015 to address global economic, social, and environmental challenges and achieve a more sustainable future by 2030. Progress is being made in many areas but with just only about 10 years to go, the UN is calling for a “Decade of Action” to accelerate sustainable solutions and address the world’s biggest challenges.
Sustainable development plays an important role in addressing global challenges such as the current health crisis by aiming to provide access to healthcare and clean water for all.
Lenzing recognizes its responsibility and sees its pioneering role in the textile and nonwovens industries as an opportunity to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals. Lenzing’s Sustainability strategy and targets contribute towards these goals. For more information on Lenzing’s approach to the SDGs, please see the “Sustainable Development Goals” focus paper.