[GRI 304-3; ESRS E4-5]
Lenzing supports conservation solutions in other regions not related to its own supply chain, such as afforestation in Albania, DR Congo and the USA. Additionally, Lenzing is committed to addressing the protection of ancient and endangered forests in Canada (Broadback Forest Quebec, Vancouver Island) and Indonesia (Leuser Ecosystem) at the political level.
Lenzing has set itself the target of engaging in further conservation, biodiversity and restoration activities in regions where forests are at risk (Sustainability Target 8). To make further progress in meeting this target Lenzing has defined ways of identifying projects, to which it aims to contribute.
- Identify requirements to follow from CDP and Canopy
- Identify potential partners in the market with experience and a broad network for a successful partnership
- Identify how other players in the market are tackling the biodiversity issue
Furthermore, Lenzing plans to align the projects, that have been identified so far, with CDP (Carbon Dislcosure Project), Canopy and ÖBf (Österreichische Bundesforste) in 2023.
Mai Ndombe REDD+ project
Lenzing supported the Mai Ndombe REDD+ project with a donation in 2022. The project supports the protection of 300,000 hectares at the west side of the Mai Ndombe Lake in DR Congo, which is part of the world’s second largest rainforest and home to numerous wildlife species. The area is threatened by deforestation through legal and illegal logging.
The project uses carbon revenues to prevent logging contracts from being renewed in the area and creates alternative livelihoods for the local communities. This enables the forest and wildlife to regenerate which will promote biodiversity. To further advance the community’s self-determined development, trainings and demonstrations about sustainable (fish) farming are held to improve food security while also conserving natural resources. Lenzing’s contribution will be directed towards restoring the fish stocks and the environmental health of Lake Mai Ndombe.
The Lenzing Group started a forest conservation project in Albania in 2019, which is scheduled to run for five years until the end of 2024. It aims to support the development of rural areas in Albania in the broader region of Shkoder (Ana e Malit) and Diber (Peshkopi) by using natural resources sustainably and fostering alternative income sources for communities. The goal is to implement conservation solutions covering 20 hectares in this area.
Achievements in 2022:
- In the course of the reforestation measures, almost 20,000 trees have now been planted, covering 12 hectares of afforestation area with the cooperation of around 180 members of the local Forest and Pasture Users Association. The survival rate of the seedlings, in the newly established tree nursery at the Eco Social Farm close to the reforestation area, is between 85 percent and 90 percent. This has been a great success in establishing the afforestation activities as an example of good practice to be replicated in the region. In the tree nursery tree seedlings are protected until they are tall enough to be planted in the forest area.
- More than 150 local forest workers were trained on forest management in 2022, fire prevention and safety, reaching more than 400 forest workers during the course of the project. All training sessions were conducted under Covid-19 safety regulations. By providing these trainings, the management of almost 100,000 hectares of forest area in Albania could be positively impacted. The workshops have helped not only to improve the forest management, but also reduce the risks of forest fires – which is a constitute challenge in the region – and the risk of injuries for forest workers could be reduced.
- The student number at the Shkodra Forestry School has increased due to improved IT infrastructure and marketing materials/publicity events.
Highlight of 2022:
A round table on “Innovative Partnerships for Sustainable Forest Management” took place in June 2022 in Tirana, involving the Albanian vice minister for Tourism and Environment, the Austrian ambassador and stakeholders and experts in forestry. Scientific studies about sustainable forest management in the area were presented, which were conducted in conjunction with the University of Tirana.
Lenzing supported the “Earth Day Campaign” 2019, including the restoration of the Yosemite National Park in California, USA. With the support of this initiative not only the land was restored, but also the wildlife habitat was positively impacted.
In 2020, some 10,000 trees were planted. In 2021, 33,025 trees were planted, mainly in California and Colorado, as well as in Haiti. In 2022, around 1,000 trees were planted. This amounts to a total of 59,166 trees since 2019 that have been planted with the support of Lenzing.