Lenzing’s net-benefit concept guides and shapes all major decisions.
Lenzing’s net-benefit products offer positive impacts and benefits to the environment, society, and value chain partners that exceed those of most competing alternatives in the market. Net-benefit products take a life cycle perspective and thus include both upstream and downstream value chain processes. Customers can replace resource-intensive and polluting products with Lenzing’s alternatives, thereby improving their product footprint and reducing supply chain risks.
The three strategic principles of the “Naturally positive” sustainability strategy and the underlying focus areas are combined in the net-benefit concept.
Products and technologies with a net benefit
Carbon-zero TENCEL™ and VEOCEL™ branded fibers
Lenzing launched new carbon-zero TENCEL™ branded lyocell and modal fibers for application in the textile industry, and added the first nonwoven carbon-neutral lyocell fibers under the VEOCEL™ brand in 2021. The new fibers are CarbonNeutral® product certified in accordance with the CarbonNeutral Protocol – the leading global framework for carbon neutrality.
The fibers help to lower carbon emissions across the supply chain. Four key levers – energy reduction, use of renewable energy, new technology innovation, and supplier engagement – are deployed to achieve Lenzing’s carbon net-zero target for the long term. The three pillars of “Reduce”, “Engage”, and “Offset” actively contribute to lowering the product’s carbon footprint by reducing emissions as far as the current technological and economic conditions allow. But also by engaging with supply chain partners to reduce their emissions, and offsetting the share of the remaining unavoidable emissions. This will decrease periodically as a result of improvements thanks to the further implementation of other pillars. These products have the lowest CO2 footprint in their (fiber) category and can therefore contribute to the fulfillment of the customers’ SBT. For more information on Lenzing’s commitment and practices to mitigating climate change, please see the “Climate & energy” chapter.
LENZING™ ECOVERO™ viscose fibers and VEOCEL™ specialty viscose fiber with Eco Care technology
LENZING™ ECOVERO™ branded viscose (for textiles) and VEOCEL™ specialty viscose fiber with Eco Care technology (nonwovens) show a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and water impact compared to generic viscose (according to Higg MSI scores62).
TENCEL™ Modal with Eco Color technology
Fibers with this technology incorporate pigment during fiber production and thus help avoid conventional energy-intensive dyeing steps. A fabric made from this product has 60 percent lower CO2 emissions than conventionally dyed fabrics63.
Lenzing fibers with recycled content – REFIBRA™ or Eco Cycle technology
In line with Lenzing’s circular economy vision, “We give waste a new life. Every day”, the current generation of innovative fibers, manufactured on a commercial large scale, use pre-consumer cotton scraps, post-consumer garments, and wood from sustainably managed forests as a raw material. The cotton material is recycled into pulp which is blended (up to 30 percent) with dissolving wood pulp to produce high-quality lyocell fibers for textile and nonwovens applications. This technology diverts tons of cotton scraps and post-consumer garments from entering landfills or incineration. They are produced with high levels of resource efficiency. By Lenzing’s own calculations, Lenzing fibers with recycled content require 95 percent less water to produce and have a lower land use than conventional cotton. For more information on Lenzing’s approaches towards a circular economy, please see the “Circularity & resources” chapter.
TENCEL™ Luxe filaments
The TENCEL™ Luxe branded lyocell filament aims to become a key milestone for eco-couture fabrics in the premium luxury market. The closed-loop lyocell production process ensures minimal environmental impact due to low process water and energy use and raw materials consumption. TENCEL™ Luxe branded filaments produced with the Eco Filament technology avoid conventional yarn spinning, which is energy-intensive and predominantly based in regions that rely heavily on fossil-based electricity. For example, at the industry level, spinning processes contribute to 28 percent of the total CO2 emissions of the textile value chain (excluding use phase)64.
LENZING™ Web Technology
The LENZING™ Web Technology is an innovative R&D development technology platform that allows a wide range of novel sustainable nonwoven materials to be produced from the raw material wood. The patented nonwoven web formation process – Lenzing holds more than 25 patent applications – starts with dissolving wood pulp and produces a directly formed cellulosic nonwoven fabric made of 100 percent continuous lyocell filament. This technology enables fiber and nonwoven production in only one step and sets new standards for the efficiency, circularity, and ecological sustainability of cellulose nonwoven fabrics. The flexibility of this technology and possible integration with other nonwoven technologies will enable the development of a wider range of new cellulosic materials and composite structures for highly engineered end use applications.
Dissolving wood pulp is the raw material for Lenzing’s fibers and produced in the company’s own biorefineries65. Lenzing’s biorefinery process ensures that 100 percent of wood constituents are used to produce dissolving wood pulp for fiber production, biorefinery products, and bioenergy. All pulp produced at Lenzing pulp production sites, including the future pulp production facility in Brazil, is totally chlorine-free. The biorefineries at the Lenzing and Paskov sites help the Group shrink its carbon footprint and consequently also enable Lenzing’s customers to obtain low-carbon products. For more information, please see the “Raw material security” chapter.
Lyocell fibers from Lenzing are derived from renewable wood and produced in a closed-loop process, which transforms wood pulp into cellulosic fibers with high resource efficiency and low ecological impact. This solvent-spinning process recycles process water and reuses the solvent at a recovery rate of more than 99.8 percent. Lenzing’s lyocell fibers show around 50 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than generic lyocell (according to Higg MSI scores).
Modal fibers from Lenzing are produced using an integrated production process in which the raw material pulp is manufactured at the same site as the fiber itself. 100 percent of the raw material beechwood is converted into cellulose and other biobased biorefinery products. Beech forests grow naturally without the use of chemical fertilizers or artificial irrigation. The pulp production is energetically self-sufficient while supplying a significant amount of bioenergy for the entire fiber production process at the production site. Lenzing’s modal fibers therefore generate around 80 percent less greenhouse gas emissions in production than generic modal fibers (according to Higg MSI scores).
LENZING™ Acetic Acid Biobased
Lenzing’s biorefinery technology converts wood into pulp, energy, and biobased biorefinery products. One of the biobased biorefinery products is LENZING™ Acetic Acid Biobased, which has an 85 percent smaller carbon footprint than conventional fossil-based acetic acid. LENZING™ Acetic Acid Biobased causes significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions than average production worldwide, according to a study conducted by an independent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) consultant.
62) Higg MSI: This number was calculated using the Higg Material Sustainability Index (Higg MSI) tools provided by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. The Higg MSI tools assess impacts of materials from cradle-to-gate for a finished material (e.g. to the point at which the materials are ready to be assembled into a product). However, this figure only shows impacts from cradle to fiber production gate.
63) Terinte, N., Manda, B.M.K., Taylor, J., Schuster, K.C. and Patel, M. (2014). Environmental assessment of coloured fabrics and opportunities for value creation: spin-dyeing versus conventional dyeing. In: Journal of Cleaner Production 72, pp. 127–138
64) 2018 Quantis Report “Measuring Fashion ”
65) In addition to its own dissolving wood pulp production, Lenzing procures dissolving wood pulp in the global market.