Stakeholder engagement: Sustainable innovation, products and waterstewardship

Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)

The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) multi-stakeholder collaboration initiated a special focus and task teams for wastewater, sludge, solid waste, and air emissions in the textile industry. Lenzing has been part of the Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers (MMCF) task team on wastewater, sludge/solid waste, and air emissions since 2018. In 2020, Lenzing adopted the published ZDHC guidelines on wastewater, air emissions, and responsible fiber production for MMCF manufacturers. In 2021, Lenzing started the ZDHC Gateway reporting in accordance with the wastewater guideline in its viscose operations in Purwakarta (Indonesia), Nanjing (China), and Lenzing (Austria). In 2022, as well as continuing the Gateway wastewater reporting, Lenzing participated for revising and extending the MMCF guideline to include other fibers such as lyocell and support the development of the MMCF supplier platform program. Both will be finalized and published by ZDHC by the end of 2022 and April 2023 respectively. Once published, Lenzing will begin to implement them accordingly.

Research collaborations

Wood K Plus

For more information about Wood K Plus please see the subchapter “Biodiversity”.

Christian Doppler Laboratory

Lenzing is also a partner in the Christian Doppler Laboratory for an efficient, recycling-based circular economy lead by the Technical University Vienna. The laboratory aims to provide the scientific knowledge base for efficiently recovering secondary raw materials from different municipal solid waste streams. Another cooperative research project dealing with circular economy, more specifically textile recycling, is the Upper Austrian EnzATex project, which is now in its second and final year.

Circular and Sustainable Textiles and Clothing (CISUTAC)

For more information about Circular and Sustainable Textiles and Clothing (CISUTAC) please see the subchapter “Circularity & resources”.

Bilateral research

Bilateral research is also important to Lenzing’s approach to scientific collaboration. Noteworthy examples include its collaboration with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, USA, on the biodegradability of cellulose-based materials in the maritime environment (for more information please see the “End of product use” focus paper) or its collaboration with the Linz Institute of Organic Solar Cells (LIOS), Johannes Kepler University Linz, on the dielectric properties of cellulose fibers.

European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence (EPNOE)

Lenzing is also active in scientific networks such as the European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence (EPNOE) and in supporting research projects by providing input and engaging in discussions. Experts from Lenzing R&D also participate in relevant conferences and have gave several talks or have been part of panel discussions with a focus on sustainability, biodiversity and recycling.

Industry associations and initiatives

Industry associations and initiatives are also an important cornerstone to deepen cooperations and develop new networks – again with a very strong focus on sustainability. The European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing (Textile ETP), of which Lenzing is a member, is a very active player in this field. It hosts the Innovation in Circular & Biobased Textiles masterclass, in which Lenzing experts participate, and the Textile Circularity Multiplier Initiative.

Bright coatings

Bright coatings is a research project funded by the COVID Reconstruction Fund of the EU (EU React) and deals with furfural. Furfural is one of the biobased chemicals produced by the biorefinery in Lenzing. Research is being conducted with an EU-wide consortium to produce a new product from it, being more specific, a type of protective coating.

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