Avoid: biodiversity due diligence via sustainable sourcing
Wood and dissolving wood pulp are Lenzing’s most important raw materials. The Lenzing Group assumes responsibility by focusing on sustainable sourcing. Lenzing only sources wood and dissolving wood pulp from semi-natural forests and plantations (as defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations1). Moreover, it does not source materials from natural or ancient and endangered forests.
Lenzing Group’s Wood and Pulp Policy
In its Wood and Pulp Policy2, Lenzing is committed to procuring wood and dissolving wood pulp exclusively from non-controversial sources.
In order to protect the world’s remaining ancient and endangered forests as well as the biodiversity and ecosystems’ integrity within these forests, Lenzing is committed to avoiding the use of wood and pulp containing wood sourced from regions such as the Canadian and Russian Boreal Forests, Coastal Temperate Rainforests, tropical forests and peatlands of Indonesia, the Amazon and West Africa.
Regular risk assessments, audits, on-site visits, and independent third-party certification of sustainable forest management programs ensure compliance with the policy and Lenzing’s commitment to no-deforestation. For more information, please see the “Wood and pulp” focus paper.
Lenzing’s wood procurement management system ensures that all wood is sourced from legal and sustainably managed sources. Lenzing demonstrates that wood sourcing complies with its high standards through verification based on FSC® and PEFC certification systems. All wood and dissolving wood pulp used by the Lenzing Group is either certified by FSC® and PEFC or controlled in line with these standards (see tables in the “Raw material security” chapter).
The forest certificates held by the Lenzing Group cover general criteria for biodiversity and forest ecosystem protection according to international standards. Additional criteria can be found in the national standards which vary between countries. For example, the percentage of area set aside for conservation varies between countries and even regions within countries.
For details on wood and pulp certification, see the “Raw material security” chapter.
Reduce: via circular economy approaches and climate targets
The aim here is to use fewer inputs from natural resources, and to minimize the impact of greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.
In accordance with the strategic focus area of “Greening the value chain”, the Lenzing Group has targets and programs in place to reduce emissions affecting water and air. One example is the implementation of closed loop water and chemical cycles. Lenzing also follows the Changing Markets roadmap for the manmade fibers industry. All viscose production sites have been assessed through the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) scheme. The ZDHC manmade cellulosic fibers guidelines version 2.0 was published on the 3rd of January 2023 and now also includes lyocell.
Lenzing is committed to the cascading use of wood. This means that different qualities of wood are utilized for different applications in a hierarchy of their value. Lenzing uses timber generated from small trees through thinning and from parts of large trees that are unsuitable for high-grade products, such as furniture or construction. Furthermore, wood chips that are a by-product of saw mills are also used.
Lenzing’s biorefinery processes produce dissolving pulp as the main product, as well as several biorefinery products and renewable energy. This results in 100 percent utilization of the wood. For details, please see the “Responsible production” focus paper.
Recycling fibers and textiles reduces the input of virgin raw materials such as wood. Well-developed technologies can also reduce the consumption of other inputs such as chemicals and energy. This is true for Lenzing products made with recycled materials, e.g. via the REFIBRA™ or Eco Cycle technology, both of which have lower carbon footprints than fibers conventionally produced from virgin material (Higg MSI score).
For details, please see the “Circularity & resources: Commercial-scale recycling technologies” chapter.
1 Carle, J., and Holmgren, P. (2003). Working paper 79. Definitions Related to Planted Forests. In: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2003). Forest Resources Assessment Program Working paper series. Available at: http://www.fao.org/forestry/25853-0d4f50dd8626f4bd6248009fc68f892fb.pdf [Accessed 15 February 2021]
2 https://www.lenzing.com/fileadmin/content/PDF/08_Corporate_Governance/Richtlinien_und_Kodizes/EN/policy-wood-pulp-EN.pdf [Accessed 15 February 2021]