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 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. 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 Climate Change 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 decarbonize the fashion industry value chain in alignment with the Science Based Target initiative.

The original targets were to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050 and reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2030. These targets were updated in November 2021 to limit the increase in global average temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as the IPCC recommended and in line with Science Based Target initiative8. An initial report, the “Climate Action Playbook”9, published in 2020 highlights major greenhouse gas reduction opportunities in fiber production, the fashion industry’s main raw material.

Lenzing was a founding member of the initiative and has continued to make an active contribution to the working group on raw materials, sharing its longstanding experience in the production of sustainable wood-based fibers and assessment of environmental impacts through life-cycle analyses (LCA). The working group has finalized a report called “Identifying Low-Carbon Sources of Cotton and Polyester”10, which was published in early 2021. The report contains an overview of existing LCA studies and identifies opportunities for improvement by switching energy sources, changing technology, and innovating. A second part on man-made cellulosic fibers is in progress.

World Economic Forum (WEF)

As a partner of the World Economic Forum, the Lenzing Group supports various initiatives, including the ambition of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders to mitigate the effects of climate change. As a member of the “Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production” platform, Lenzing promoted the blockchain project that was initiated together with TextileGenesis™ to trace fibers from their origin to the final garment sold in fashion brand stores at various stakeholder meetings in Davos and at the Sustainable Development Impact Summit of the World Economic Forum.

Lenzing also serves on the Steering Committee of the Nature Climate Solutions Alliance, a multi-stakeholder group convened by the World Economic Forum and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (wbcsd), whose aim is to scale up affordable natural solutions for climate change mitigation to help meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. It plans to raise ambitions to expedite voluntary action, encourage compliance in the markets, and strengthen the narrative of natural climate solutions for business and governments.

Roadmap to Zero

Lenzing contributed to the development of the “Roadmap to Zero” publication, which aims to catalyze industry action against climate change with proven approaches and measures. This document was prepared by the World Resources Institute (WRI) along with the Apparel Impact Institute (AII), a spin-off of Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), which identifies, funds, scales, and measures the apparel and footwear industry’s proven environmental impact solutions11.

Renewable Carbon Initiative

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. In the first year the number of members has increased to over 30 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. “Sustainable Carbon Cycles” communication paper from the European Commission). Lenzing will continue to be an active member of the RCI, with a particular focus on further greening up the textile and nonwoven businesses.

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