Lenzing’s circular economy vision

We give waste a new life. Every day

Lenzing strives to drive the industry towards a fully-fledged circular economy by striving to give waste a new life across all aspects of our core business and by co-developing circular solutions with potential partners within and outside the current value chain to close loops wherever possible. This vision is based on the determination to create value using as few virgin resources as possible and to reduce the use of fossil carbon in the company and the value chain while at the same time improving sustainability performance. It is built on the following three pillars.

We use regenerative and recycled raw materials to help to protect the planet

An important element in Lenzing’s circular economy vision is its use of wood, a renewable raw material harvested from well-managed and controlled forests or plantations. In its biorefineries, Lenzing converts 100 percent of the wood into high-value products and bioenergy. To reduce the need for wood, Lenzing is using an increasing amount of alternative cellulose feedstock, in particular from textile waste, as a raw material and is focusing on further developing the technology. Lenzing proactively participates in conservation projects to protect the world’s ecosystems. For more information on this, please see the “Biodiversity & ecoystems” chapter.

We think circular to design out waste and innovate processes

In addition to using raw materials highly efficiently, Lenzing strives to reduce its waste by closing loops in the production. By implementing circular thinking and high environmental and social standards in Lenzing’s operations, procurement and innovations, Lenzing minimizes the impact on ecosystems and society not only for Lenzing itself, but throughout the value chain. Lenzing set standards in the industry by further closing the loops in the technologies it uses.

Lenzing continuously improves its biorefinery concept by optimizing the cascading use of biomass, meaning that every resource in the wood is used with maximum economic value. As a side product to fibers, Lenzing also produces chemicals which can be used as raw materials in other industries such as food and pharmaceuticals.

Lenzing develops recycling technologies such as the REFIBRA™ and Eco Cycle technologies on a commercial scale to increase resource efficiency and reduce waste in the value chain. Lenzing implements digital processes (blockchain technology, e-branding services) to enhance transparency across the network in order to give customers and end users confidence and to facilitate the transition from a linear to a circular supply chain.

We are not alone in this – Partnering for systemic change

To move to a truly circular economy on a larger scale (regionally and globally), several parties have to work together. Lenzing, as a fiber producer, represents only a fraction of the value chain of textiles and nonwovens and relies on partnerships from every part of the chain. In order to be able to recycle textiles more efficiently, cooperation among designers, manufacturers, consumers and policy makers is needed. The infrastructure for sorting and collecting post-consumer textiles is crucial in scaling up the recycling of textiles. To foster and speed up systemic change Lenzing is entering into various partnerships within and outside the value chain, most notably was the partnerships in 2022 with Södra, a producer of dissolving pulp from recycled textiles. For more information, please see the “Stakeholder engagement” chapter.

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